Designing the future from Rome

Highlights from the EAD Design for Next Conference

Seven of InDI’s design researchers have recently returned from the European Academy of Design’s Design for Next conference in Rome. Our tenacious team presented nine papers at the event. Here, Dr George Jaramillo shares some of the highlights:

“The ochre buildings of the Corso. The throngs of tourists at the Spanish Steps. The immensity of the Campidoglio. When a city contains beautiful architecture, art, food and people, it should be difficult to keep yourself within an auditorium to take part in a conference. Yet, last week gave us an exciting and intellectually stimulating experience at the EAD12 Design for Next conference.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps. Image credit: George Jaramillo

“From hearing talks on design democracy to the paradox of design thinking to developing the concepts of space architecture, the conference has opened up some refreshing discussion within the design realm. I particularly enjoyed hearing a talk by Craig Bremner on the Museum of the Future and how we can relate to the artefacts that are made and what it means to make a collective archive that may or may not be on display.

“For me, the key part of attending conferences is to share your work with others who may have differing opinions, as well as create new connections face to face. In this sense the conference provided a great forum for this exchange of information, especially in making new connections, for example, I’ll be picking up conversations with researchers from Sheffield Hallam about the use of digitally augmented heritage and archived collections.

Five of the InDI team in Rome

Our team taking in the sunshine after Day 1. From left, Cara Broadley, Michael Pierre Johnson, Mirian Calvo, Paul Smith, George Jaramillo. Image credit: Sneha Raman

“In regards to our own research, the concept of enlightened evaluation within evaluation complexity and the work of negative capability helps to further our own work.

“Overall, this conference encounter was a great way to share our research meet new people who are doing incredibly fascinating things and to create meaningful international links across our innovation world. I look forward to the next event in two years time in Dundee.”

You can find out more about the papers our researchers presented here.

To find out more about the InDI team, please check out our staff profiles.

Inside view of EAD12

EAD12 Design for Next: a well attended event. Image credit: Sneha Raman


Spreading the word about our latest design research

Where to hear InDI staff during Rome design conference

InDI is buzzing with excitement just now as our researchers have had papers accepted at an esteemed design conference, and will be presenting them later this week.

We are really proud of our design researchers and the valuable work they do in the field of Design Innovation. The European Academy of Design conference, Design for Next, offers an ideal platform to share research carried out by our team, covering a selection of our projects including:

The Creative Futures Partnership: a partnership between GSA and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which brings together GSA’s distinctive strengths in creativity and innovation with HIE’s economic and community development expertise.

– The Experience Labs: a core element of the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), this project provides a safe and creative environment where researchers, businesses, civic partners and service users can collaborate on innovative solutions to the health and care challenges facing our society.

The teams papers include reflections on how bespoke design tools were used in workshops with people in the Northern Isles, a critique of alternative and creative evaluation techniques and the preliminary findings from an Experience Labs project with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Design for Next takes place in Rome from April 12-14 and will be attended by hundreds of international delegates. The EAD was formed in 1994 and promotes the publication and dissemination of research through conferences, the publication of proceedings, newsletters and journals. It seeks to improve European-wide research collaboration and dissemination of design research.

There are nine different tracks at the Rome conference: aesthetics, economy, education, environment, health, industry, society, technology and thinking. The fact that our researchers are featured across seven of these subjects illustrates the breadth of our work. In total, seven researchers are flying to Rome to present nine papers, but as you can see below many more of the InDI team have been involved in the writing process.

As well as providing a platform for sharing InDI research with a wider audience, events like these are an opportunity to make new contacts, which potentially lead to new ideas and new collaborations.

The event takes place at the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza University of Rome, in Valle Giulia next to Villa Borghese, one of Rome’s biggest public parks.

EAD Design for Next, Rome

You can hear our researchers at:

Day 1 (Wednesday April 12)
Room 12: 2.35pm –3.35pm*
Design for social sustainability. A reflection on the role of the physical realm in facilitating community co-design – Mirian Calvo* and Annalinda de Rosa

(all local times; presenter in bold)

Day 2 (Thursday April 13)
Room 1: 2.15pm – 3.35pm
Materiality Matters: exploring the use of design tools in innovation workshops within the craft and creative sector in the Northern Isles – Katherine Champion, Cara Broadley and Lynn-Sayers McHattie

Room 2: 9.30am-10.30am
Digital Makers Networks: globally connected local manufacturing – Paul Smith

Room 5: 10.40am- 11.40am
Design-led approach to co-production of values for collective decision-making – Sneha Raman, Tara French and Angela Tulloch.

Day 3 (Friday April 14)
Room 5: 10.40am-11.40am
CO/DEsign: conversational tools for building a shared dialogue around analysis within co-design – Michael Pierre Johnson, Jen Ballie, Tine Thorup, Elizabeth Brooks and Emma Brooks.

Room 6: 2.15pm-3.55pm
Living on the Edge: design artefacts as boundary objects – Michael Pierre Johnson, Jen Ballie, Elizabeth Brooks, Tine Thorup.

Room 9: 9.30am-10.30am
Well Connected: what does design offer in the complexity of the blood donor experience – Tine Thorup, Jen Ballie, Marjan Angoshtari.

Room 12: 10.40am-11.40am
Sustainable Design Futures: an open design approach for the circular economy: Paul Smith, Jen Ballie, Lynn-Sayers McHattie.

Room 17: 2.15pm-3.35pm
Harmonics: towards enlightened evaluation – Katherine Champion and George Jaramillo.

Click here to see the full programme.

And watch this space to keep up to date with how our researchers get on! And don’t forget to follow all the latest snippets on our Twitter account: @InDI_GSA