Design Educators Community

Call for AIGA Design Educators Conference Proposals

September 28, 2012 / By admin

The AIGA Design Educators Community announces a Call for Proposals to members who are interested in producing an AIGA Design Educators Conference. The next series of four conferences will begin in Fall 2013 (at the national design conference). Deadline for proposal submission is March 29, 2013.

The AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee is looking for people or groups of people within various geographic regions to take leadership positions in producing a conference. The AIGA Design Educators Community is halfway through its current conference series, having successfully produced Response_Ability at Bowling Green State University in Spring 2010 and New Contexts / New Practices at North Carolina State University in Fall 2010. We are looking forward to Geographics at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Fall 2012 and Blunt at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in Spring 2013. These conferences provide an opportunity for design educators to:

  • Present research and teaching methodologies to nationally—and internationally—renowned educators and practitioners as well as to newly established designers, educators and students
  • Learn more about pedagogy, history, theory, studio practices, methodology and technology
  • Gather as a community of individuals with shared interests

As a series, the conferences respond to issues of the impact of social media, criticism, sustainability and transnational contexts on design education. What are new areas of interest, connection or concern that design educators might address in the near future?


Please submit your proposal by March 29, 2013 to Design Educators Community Steering Committee members Frank Armstrong or Karen Zimmermann. Proposals should be submitted as a PDF. Proposals received after this deadline will not be accepted.

Review Process

Submit a two-page proposal outlining your interest in producing a conference. The submitted proposals will be reviewed by the DEC Steering Committee, which will make its selections based on several factors including: the quality and relevance of the conference theme; the variety of themes that will make up the series of four conferences; the suggested time and location; how well the conference objectives meet the vision of the AIGA Design Educators Community and the leadership abilities of the conference committee. Selections will be announced in May 2013.

What Your Proposal Should Address

01 Conceptual statement
Outline your interest in producing an AIGA Design Educators Community conference. Your conference may be modeled after those previously produced (including FutureHistory, Schools of Thoughts, Revolution, Design Frontier, Intent/Content, Response_Ability, and New Contexts / New Practices), or it can address a new format. Please describe why you are interested in producing a conference. This should include specific conceptual ideas you have for the conference, why these ideas are relevant in today’s educational environment and how these ideas differ from other conferences.

02 Programming structure
Include ideas for conference programming. In the past, each conference committee has had the freedom to produce programming for the conference. Your committee will have this same freedom to decide what topics to address within design education. We actively seek new innovations in programming that allow for the conferences to be more inclusive and interactive.

03 Support
Describe the support for a conference within the design educator community in your region. We encourage you to partner with your local AIGA chapter when possible. Please describe any partnering opportunities, listing what other groups or members would be involved. Outline any experience you may have with producing conferences or other large-scale events.

04 Planning team
Provide the names, contact information, and short bios for the individuals who will take leadership roles in the production of the conference. We understand that you may not have a full committee yet, but we do need to know who will be the primary point person(s) responsible for the production of any future conference.

05 Potential dates
The timing for the conferences will be as follows: Fall 2013 (at the national design conference), Spring 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. List in rank order the time period and potential dates when you would like to produce a conference. A specific month is acceptable. Please note that this may be subject to change. The Steering Committee will attempt to accommodate submitters’ preferred event dates.


Each conference will be responsible for establishing and managing its own budget. Adobe Systems has generously offered $10,000 to support each of the four AIGA Design Educators Conferences. This seed money does not typically cover all the expenses of the conference.

Conferences should always be branded as an “AIGA Design Educators Conference” and the tagline “AIGA Design Educators Conference” should appear prominently in all event promotions. Conferences will be supported in terms of advice, knowledge base, etc. by the AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee.

The DEC Steering Committee will provide a copy of the conference handbook to groups that are preparing proposals for submission. The handbook is not meant to be comprehensive, but offers recommendations based on past successes. If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to follow the requirements outlined in the handbook.

For More Information

Contact AIGA DEC Steering Committee members Frank Armstrong or Karen Zimmermann. We look forward to reviewing your proposals.


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