Design Educators Community

2017 AIGA Conference — Design Education Call for Proposals

March 1, 2017 / By aigaeducators

For the upcoming AIGA Conference in Minneapolis, the Design Educators Community Steering Committee invites educators and industry professionals to submit proposals that address the topic of the Designer of 2025. The deadline for proposals has been extended until Monday April 10, 2017. 

The AIGA Designer of 2015 Competencies have helped educators and the professional community focus on a unified vision for where the industry is headed. When the document was published, Designer of 2015 provided a cogent, forward-looking guide that informed curriculum development as well as professional designers across the country.

Now that 2015 has passed, it is useful for design educators to reflect on these competencies with fresh eyes to see if we’re still on track, and think about what comes next. Do these competencies still represent the realities of the next 10 years and beyond? What considerations and issues must educators address in order to best prepare the next generation of designers? By examining the evolving contexts and practices of design, we seek areas of opportunity in which design curricula and the industry can evolve.

We invite you to submit proposals that address this important topic from a variety of perspectives. At the conclusion of the 2017 Conference, the DEC, in conjunction with AIGA, plans to publish an updated competency list for the Designer of 2025.

Your proposal may take the form of a one-hour panel discussion or workshop, a Pechakucha (20 slides, 20 seconds each), or a 20-minute presentation. Here are a few areas one might consider:

  • How will emerging or shifting technological landscapes affect design activity?
  • In what contexts (professional, social, environmental, etc) will designers likely be working?
  • How will the concept/practice of ‘Design Thinking’ factor into design education in the future?
  • Are there competencies within the Designer of 2015 that need more emphasis moving forward (trends that were emerging in 2015 but will be predominant in 2025?)
  • How might education need to evolve to address the needs of future designers (undergrad, grad, or career development)?
  • How might the act of ‘making’ change in the next 10 years?
  • What soft skills or mind-sets should define the Designer of 2025?


We welcome designers and educators from all areas to address these questions. Keep in mind that the audience for the national Design conference is a mixture of educators, both full time and part time, and designers from the professional community. Presentations should be accessible, relevant and engaging for a broad audience.

Proposals are due April 10, 2017. Please use this form to submit your proposal. A brief abstract (no more than 500 words) should be sufficient to communicate your topic. Questions may be sent to:

**You are welcome to suggest potential speakers or topics/presentations in the Comments section below. If you aren’t able to give a presentation yourself but you have some recommendations, we’d love to hear from you!

AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.