Come join us in Seattle!!

As part of the 2022 AIGA National Conference in Seattle, Washington, the DEC will host the SURFACE mini-conference on Thursday, October 20th, 2022 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm (PST).

SURFACE will feature peer-reviewed papers, panels, workshops, posters, and other work from design educators, graduate students, and others. We are accepting submissions from the design education community until July 15th, and will announce our schedule in early August.

More information and registration details can be found on the conference website:


Both a noun and a verb, this word has two meanings that are deeply connected to design. Surface can be a way to describe or refer to the layered planes of an object, environment, or idea – the skin, the screen, the shell, the boundary, the face, a layer. Creators are well aware of the importance of the surface of/within things, and it often serves as a gatekeeper to deeper ideas.  The word surface can also refer to the act of rising up or emerging – an object, statement, or idea floating to the top, being revealed, coming to light.

As we navigate the chaos of our current context, and consider the ways design and design education have grown and changed over the last decade, we wonder what comes next? What have we learned? What have we tried? What is already in motion but needs more momentum? Where are we going? What kind of design future do we want to build? What lies beneath the surface, and what is yet to emerge?