call for papers

In September 2015 we invited contributions from professionals, academics and students, that acknowledged a systemic perspective on the following topics and reflected outcomes from their own research, projects and experiences.


  • Negotiating artefacts >

    How can the ‘artefact’ help us negotiate and construct active critical conversations concerning our transnational borders?

    This might include an exploration of either material or conceptual borders of creative production. That may include examples, case studies or address the use of the following:

    • Sound
    • Objects
    • Images
    • Actions

    As a site for the embodiment of social imagination, how we negotiate the authenticity of the artefact readily corresponds with methods and research protocols that are responsive and exploratory. Yet the most crucial element within this inquiry process is the need to be able to create artefacts from which critical options can be clearly assessed and addressed. Consequently it is the creation of new opportunities to see beyond what is known that has the potential to lead to the creation of new knowledge both personally and culturally.

  • Innovation >

    Please select two images from the six options below.

    Respond by setting out a concise position statement for a conceptual and/or metaphorical relationship between the two as you see it and in relation to the theme of Innovation and “in this Place”.

    Then create an abstract that explains how you intend to explore this position and how it fits with your ongoing innovative work or how you will develop this proposal as a research process.

    Logo Variations V3



  • Future crafts >

    Can deeper materials knowledge compliment the use of digital tools?

    Crafts can create a bridge between disciplines such as design, maths, art, material science and ideas. They encourage ethical and sustainable thinking, communal activity and create an understanding of the value of distinctiveness and difference. Making things with the materials around us is important to understanding the human condition, our health and well-being, enriching the quality of our experience and building empathy.

    Garth Clark, the American writer, historian, dealer and auction specialist in Ceramic Art said,

    “If every crafter disappeared tomorrow, the impact would barely be felt. Yes, our community would notice, but the average citizen would not.” And, “much of craft is not current with today’s visual sensibilities.”

    Advances in technology, new and different media, technical options and innovative working methodologies will lead to fresh, vital works of greater cultural relevance to our time and the future. They may harness the growing enthusiasm and energy for crafts and stimulate new and different interests and markets. Craft in the digital domain presents different challenges for the traditional crafter and enables us to question and respect traditional materials and processes often passed down through generations.

    Can we embrace, adapt and see a future for craft to shape our communities, environment, economy and fraternity?

  • Future space >

    How do we think about future spaces for creative production and what examples or actions can help us define this – intimately, socially, educationally, culturally or in the widest sense?

    There are a number of major challenges facing us today around belonging, identity, tolerance and gendered narratives. There is a corresponding need for proactive collaborative approaches to promote social inclusiveness through the discovery and promotion of wider narrative voices and actions explored through creative production.

    The purpose of this is three-fold:

    1. To learn more about the creative process, intercultural dialogue and research methodologies.

    2. Implement and inspire positive action, pedagogic developments, new knowledge, expand international networks and promote multiple outcomes that can impact across interdisciplinary fields.

    3. Help us understand existing and potential future spaces for creative production

  • Sustainability >

    Does the creative sector have a role in shaping the idea of a sustainable future, or is it all too difficult and complicated and should we just leave it to city planners, highly paid architects, technologists and investors?

    Masdar City is a planned city project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, handled by a development agency with the majority of seed capital provided by the Government of Abu Dhabi.  It aspires to be carbon neutral and is hailed as a city of the future where responsive technology will anticipate the needs of the inhabitants.

    A city emerging from the desert raises questions around the ethics of production; the tension between organic artist development and imported brands and product; the contrast between high end shopping malls, amusement parks and the unique sense of place and history.

    What lies behind the glossy imagery and the carbon neutral claim? What impact does such a development have on the future of art and design?

Review panel
The review panel had two chairs: Prof. Venu Dhupa and Marjolijn Brussaard, former Dean of the School of Art & Design Nottingham Trent University.

Each sub-theme review panel had a chairperson and reviewer from Nottingham Trent University:

  • Negotiating artefacts: Prof. Duncan Higgins, School of Art & Design
  • Innovation: Prof. Tony Kent, School of Art & Design
  • Future crafts: Prof. Tom Fisher, School of Art & Design
  • Future space: Ana Souto, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
  • Sustainability: Prof. Venu Dhupa, Conference research committee manager
view the programme download publication