External News

2 February 2017

International Design Organisations: Histories, Legacies, Values

A conference to examine the histories, legacies and values of international design organisations in a post-industrial, post-organisational world.

Date: 9-10 November 2017
Location: University of Brighton
Deadline for abstracts EXTENDED: 21 February 2017


  • Prof. Jeremy Aynsley, Tania Messell and Dora Souza Dias, Internationalising Design History Research Cluster, University of Brighton
  • Dr Leah Armstrong and Prof. Alison J Clarke, Victor J. Papanek Foundation, University of Applied Arts Vienna

From industrialisation to post-industrialisation, international design organisations have shaped the socio-political, geographical and disciplinary history of design as a force for change in the world. However, the histories, legacies and values of these organisations have largely escaped academic scrutiny. This conference invites scholars from the humanities and social sciences to open out multiple perspectives on international design organisations in shaping agendas, identities and values within design and beyond. It aims to locate these histories in relation to the contemporary post-industrial and post-organisational society in which the design profession currently operates.

Ranging in scale and scope, international design organisations have taken changing forms over time. These range from membership-based organisations such as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) (now Ico-D) originally formed in the mid-twentieth-century to represent the professions of design, to other specialist organisations and networks including the National Association of Clothing Designers (NACD) (now IACDE), formed to promote the design industries to government and business on an international level.

This conference seeks to explore the particular dynamics of these membership-based organisations and networks for the design professions. It will interrogate the internationalising agendas of these organisations and critically contextualise their impacts and legacies for contemporary design. The organisers invite authors to identify and explore the changing shape, form and function of international design organisations as an entry point into wider debates about the agency of design within geographical, political, cultural, social and economic contexts.

Papers should be international in scope but are to be given in English. Please send a title, 250-word abstract and 150-word author biography to M.Stuart@brighton.ac.uk before 21 February 2017. For more information, please visit the conference website.



Keep informed of all Society events and activities, subscribe to our newsletter.