By Anna Focaroli, MA Service Experience Design and Innovation at London College of Communication

photo from left to right – Anna Focaroli – student on MA Service Experience Design and Innovation, Paola Pierri – PhD student at LCC, Monica Biagioli – Senior Lecturer GMD, Silvia Grimaldi – Course Leader MA SEDI, Joel Karamath – Course Leader IDA and Caroline Claisse – alumna IDA. Not pictured are Hena Ali (AL MASEDI), Lara Salinas (lecturer MA SEDI)  and Nicolas Marechal (senior lecturer, interaction)

I have really appreciated the EAD conference since it provided me new and different perspectives around actual design topics but also inspired my final project.

As a design student and specifically as a service design student, the 12 EAD conference in Rome was an interesting and fascinating experience. I have had the opportunity to explore new perspectives from numerous academics around big topics related to design. Since my participation was quite passive – I did not present – I was just an observer and in this way I was able to completely immerse myself into this experience.

The first aspect I have really appreciated of this conference was the convergence of many different design cultures around the world and their approach to investigate our future related to 9 areas – environment, industry, health society, technology, thinking, aesthetics, economy and education. It gave me a sense of complexity and heterogeneous of design field. It includes several meanings which in turn are strongly connected with the socio-cultural mindset of each country.

More practically I was lucky enough to find a specific set of three presentations related to my final thesis – museum’s experience. From those papers I have learnt how to explore this topic, where the possible gaps could be – where to focus – and which specific points I would like to implement or avoid in my project’s process. Moreover, all those suggestions have had a significant role for implementing my area of interest but also provides me some key issues to be aware of.

Lastly, another aspect I was looking for is how those complex topics were presented by the lectures. I would avoid to talk about language issues found by some specific nationality, especially mine, Italian. However, it was surprising to see the contrast between who tried to engage more the audience with a strong and conversational presentation style and who was more into an academic level without a really open interaction with the public. Obviously the effect depends on who is the listener and which approach she/he is used to, but personally I would say this choice affects significantly my interest, more than the paper’s contents. I will also reflect more about my improvement as a presenter of my projects.

LCC papers in the conference:

  • Raising the Questions of Agency and Meaning in Emerging Design Practice by Paola Pierri
  • The four levels of Narrative: Design to Enhance Wellbeing by Patrick William Jordan, Andy Bardill, Kate Herd and Silvia Grimaldi
  • Service design pedagogy and effective student engagement: Generative tools and methods by Hena Ali, Silvia Grimaldi and Monica Biagioli
  • Re-imagining cinema: searching for an aesthetic of interaction design through cinema by Nicolas Marechal and Joel Karamath
  • Poster: Anatomy of local government/design education collaboration by Adam Thorpe, Alison Prendiville, Lara Salinas and Sarah Rhodes


Conference details:

Contemporary shifts in society, technology, production are reframing design processes, approaches and tools. While professionals, educators and researchers are questioning the next stage of innovation, design is evolving as a wide open field with many applications and meanings. More than ever it is important to investigate through design research and practice in order to tackle the societal, technological and industrial shifts of the future.

The 12th EAD Conference is hosted by Sapienza University of Rome in Italy, and it will foster discussion among designers, academics and experts about the articulated scenario of contemporary design and its perspectives, with intent to nurture diversity and interdisciplinarity.

‘Design for Next …’ is the title and topic of the Conference: ‘Next’ implies the concept of proximity as well as of destination, related to time and to physical space. The conference seeks to discover future fields of investigation in design, as well to discover and to connect the space and the people who share common interests in design research.

They invited contributions from professionals, academics and students to address the following questions with their own research, projects and experiences: What is Design for the Next? And what is the ‘Next’ focus of Design?

The Conference is organized into 9 parallel tracks in order to address 9 wide fields of Design for Next……

Aesthetics | Economy | Education | Environment | Health | Industry | Society | Technology | Thinking

Each track will center around a keyword to engage and tackle the different fields of Design research and practice. Together, in this process, we will draw the big picture of Next Design…..

Visit the EAD12|2017 website