Swiss Design Network Symposium 2009

The framework of the conference is based on the assumption that the evolution of sciences and technologies, and their impact on society, suggests new research questions that constantly tend to expand the ways to design research - in term of topics of interests, approaches and contaminations - research questions that can be relevant for the design knowledge, practice and education.

From: Massimo Botta


Multiple Ways to Design Research
– Research cases that reshape the design discipline

12+13 November 2009
Lugano – Switzerland

The Fifth Symposium of the Swiss Design Network wants to highlight research cases informed by knowledge of other disciplines to understand their relevance for design theories, methods and practices.

According to this goal, the conference aims to present a multidisciplinary overview on research projects – from those ones originated within the design field to those ones originated within other fields – that produce design research outcomes useful to outline those theories, methods and practices which influence and reshape the design discipline.

The framework of the conference is based on the assumption that the evolution of sciences and technologies, and their impact on society, suggests new research questions that constantly tend to expand the ways to design research – in term of topics of interests, approaches and contaminations – research questions that can be relevant for the design knowledge, practice and education.

Delivering both panoramic overview and deepening, the conference keynotes and the parallel project sessions are addressed to a wide range of attendees: senior researchers of academia and of companies’ R&D units, PhD and master students coming from different disciplines, industry exponents involved in the design development and production.

Questions of interest are…
– How do theories, methods and practices from other knowledge domains inform the design research today? And, which kind of exchange exists between them?
– How does design research evolve in contact with other disciplines or contexts?
– How does design research informed by other knowledge suggest fundamental questions for the design discipline?
– Which specific research experience and/or topic outlines relevant design research areas?
– How does the context of technological innovation and industry drive design research methods and practices and vice versa?
– Which scientific and artistic fields are producing research outcomes that could be a point of interest for design research and discipline?

and conference contributions might have their origin in …
– Design Research related to specific and focused design topics with a strong impact on the discipline by integrating theoretical and practical competencies coming from other fields.
– Multidisciplinary research that faces complex questions and shows how design knowledge is influenced by and/or has influence on the multidisciplinary context.
– Research originated by fields and disciplines outside the design domain, like technical and humanistic domains, as well as arts, that produces design research outcomes and/or design typical outputs.
– Fields of investigation and ongoing research outside design domains that could represent, in the middle-long term, future directions for design research and practice.

According to the conference framework, contributions might regard:

1. The Theoretical Level

  • The epistemological reflection on design research
  • The problem of the design discipline foundation
  • Design research strategies and policies
  • Design approaches in scientific research and scientific approaches in design research
  • New knowledge domains and the reconfiguration of the design education

2. The Methodological Level

  • Design research practices within a multidisciplinary research context
  • The adoption of methods originated outside the design practice, like the situated action, the action research, qualitative and quantitative methods like focus groups and usability testing, virtual and factual modeling tests etc.
  • The use of specific design research methods like the strategic design, the participatory design, the scenario building etc.
  • Scientific research influenced by design approaches and procedures
  • Case studies where design research adopts scientific approaches and procedures
  • Case studies of typical design research that have a strong impact on corporate R&D? methods

3. The Practical Level

  • Design research projects in connection with scientific domains and disciplines like computer sciences, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnologies, medicine, biology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, semiotics, economy, arts etc.
  • Design research projects based on emerging topics and/or technologies
  • Design research outcomes within multidisciplinary research projects
  • Design research projects from corporate R&D departments
  • Basic research projects in the field of design

Full Research Papers
Short Papers
Interactive Posters / Demonstrations / Panels

23 February 2009 – Call for papers
2 March 2009 – Submission of abstracts open
6 April 2009 – Submission of abstracts closed
18 May 2009 – Acceptance notice for all conference formats
13 July 2009 – Deadline Full and Short Papers, deadline other conference formats
27 July 2009 – other conference formats accepted / revised
17 August 2009 – Papers accepted / revised

Submissions should report original work and must not have been published previously.

Written abstracts should not exceed 7’500 characters plus references. The abstract should indicate the context of the research including the main findings and conclusions. Detailed instructions on the format and the submission procedure will be available on the symposium web site soon.

Review process
The process for review is in two stages: abstracts and complete version for one of the conference formats as Full Papers, Short Papers, Interactive Posters / Demonstrations / Panels.
Both stages in the submission of Full and Short Papers will be peer-reviewed by an international panel of experts. For each abstract and paper, two reviewers will review in a double blind process, that will retain the anonymity of authors and reviewers.
Complete submissions for posters, demonstrations and panels will be reviewed by the program committee in the second stage.

Program committee

– Organizing committee
Giovanni Anceschi/ Italy/ Università IUAV di Venezia
Polly Bertram/ Switzerland/ SUPSI, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of the Southern Switzerland
Massimo Botta/ Italy/ SUPSI, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of the Southern Switzerland
Maria Grazia Mattei/ Italy/ MGM Digital Communication

– Scientific committee
Pier Luigi Capucci/ Italy/ University of Urbino
Gillian Crampton Smith/ United Kingdom/ Università IUAV di Venezia
Jorge Frascara/ Argentina/ Professor emeritus of the University of Alberta (Canada)
Hans Höger/ Germany/ Free University of Bozen
Tomás Maldonado/ Argentina/ Professor emeritus of the Politecnico di Milano (to be confirmed)
Ezio Manzini/ Italy/ Politecnico di Milano
Alvise Mattozzi/ Italy/ Università IUAV di Venezia
Silvia Pizzoccaro/ Italy/ Politecnico di Milano
Philip Tabor/ United Kingdom/ Università IUAV di Venezia


Authors are invited to submit a paper upon the approval of the abstracts. This invitation will include comments and most probably suggestions of the reviewers. The abstract reviewer will read and comment also on the paper draft.
– Full Papers may address any of the areas identified in the conference topics and should take cognisance of the conference theme. Full papers would be expected to be about 40’000 characters long, maximum 50’000, references included.
– Short Papers may focalize on late-breaking research results and on work in progress or innovative ideas.
Short Papers should not exceed 15’000 characters references included.
Both full and short papers will be published in the SDN 2009 proceedings.

Interactive Posters / Demonstrations / Panels
The program structure of the first conference afternoon schedules a series of parallel sessions addressed to smaller audiences. This allows to submit abstracts for various formats as mentioned above.
– Interactive poster submissions should consist in a two pages abstract including references plus a visual draft on one page A4.
– Demonstrations of procedures and prototypes should be submitted in a two A4 pages description which highlights conceptual or technical advances of the research finding, including the description of the live demonstration in the congress.
– Panel proposals should promise stimulating debate on forward-looking and/or contentious issues. They can be submitted by individuals interested in developing a panel session as well as by a group of participants with a common interest. Submission of abstract should consist in a two A4 pages description. Panel submissions are not anonymous.

31 August 2009 – Registration conference open
26 October 2009 – Registration conference closed
12/13 November 2009 – Symposium

Plenary sessions Cinema Corso, Parallel sessions Ex-asilo Ciani, Lugano
For travel information and hotel facilities consult

With best regards (and apologies for cross posting), do not hesitate to contact us,
Polly Bertram
Massimo Botta

SUPSI | Laboratorio Cultura Visiva
Campus Trevano
CP 105 | CH-6952 Canobbio
T +41 58 6666 394 | F +41 58 6666 399


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