Design Educators Community

Call for Proposals for FRONTIER

March 31, 2016 / By aigaeducators

AIGA DEC Conference
October 7-9, 2016
Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana

Frontier: Call for Proposals
The landscape of design is changing quickly and it’s time to rethink design education, together. As the field embraces an increasingly amorphous definition of practice and an ever-expanding toolset, educators have a unique opportunity to imagine the many possible futures of graphic design, and to speculate, dream, and ideate on the role of future graphic designers.

Help us begin by disrupting the role and format of the traditional design conference. Instead of calling for papers, we call for ideas, thought experiments, and new ways to engage a conference audience. Motivated by a desire to provoke and energize, static presentations will be replaced by highly participatory small events, and submissions are encouraged to reflect a broader range of investigation and intervention, including but not limited to: workshops, panel discussions, performance, film screenings, pop-up exhibitions, design writing, and design fiction. More akin to a fair than a conference, this network of satellite events will encourage physical activity, promote an optimistic esprit de corps, and ask participants to proactively define the future of design education.

This open call for proposals welcomes anyone to contribute to Frontier—a conference concerned with the speculative future of graphic design education. Any viewpoint or approach that specifically addresses the conference theme, and provides a critical or analytical take on how design education could (or should evolve) will be considered for inclusion. General subjects to explore may cover: alternative models for learning, radical pedagogy, utopianism, emerging technology and tools, global economics and design, virtual classrooms, invisible worlds, the growing relationship between design and tech, homogeneity in design, imagined scenarios, the role of critique in a post-internet culture, and more.

Have an idea, moonshot, or thought experiment you would like to share? The deadline has been extended until May 10. Accepted proposals will be developed further (see details under submission guidelines) and featured during the conference. Selected submissions will also be published online and in a printed publication.

Submission Guidelines
As a call for ideas, your proposal may include a completed or intended work, activity, or event. Please be as specific as possible in outlining your submission. Provide enough detail and description to communicate your idea clearly. At minimum, please include a title, overview, and comprehensive description.

We encourage individuals from any discipline or background to contribute.

We are interested in all forms of speculation and commentary, including essays, images, graphics, illustrations, and diagrams. Academic papers and presentations, design writing, and design fiction are all suitable formats for inclusion, as are workshops, panel discussions, and exhibition proposals. However, it is the author’s responsibility to supply accurate information for any imagery, and to secure publication rights if necessary.

Please specify whether your submission is intended as a participatory small event or conference activity (ie: workshop, panel discussion, performance, exhibition, etc.). Include any requirements for special equipment or support if needed.

Please remove all references to your name and/or institution within the title or body of your submission and send your proposal via email as a one page (8.5 x 11 inches) PDF document to by May 10, 2016.

If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified via email in late May. Please note: regardless of format, your final completed submission will be due by June 30, 2016.

Questions? Email us:

About the Area
Bozeman, Montana is a small town situated in the beautiful and remote Northern Rocky Mountains adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, and October is an ideal time for outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing. Concurrent to the conference The Museum of the Rockies will be hosting an international exhibit: Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii. We recommend extending your stay a day or two to enjoy the amenities, outdoor opportunities, and culture of this special place.

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.
  • LeAnne

    What is expected for the Submission on June 30th? I’m helping to lead a design and technology program this summer, but it occurs after the submission deadline. I’d like to do a presentation on it, but I won’t be able to complete the submission by June 30th.

    • Marty Maxwell Lane

      Hi LeAnne,

      I think your best bet is to contact the Frontier organizers directly. Their email is:


      • LeAnne

        Thanks Marty! I tried that email and it got bounced back. Doesn’t seem to be working for me.

        • Marty Maxwell Lane

          Oh no! I am looking into it and we will respond as soon as we can.

  • Meta Newhouse

    Until the above information can get corrected: PLEASE EMAIL PROPOSALS TO THIS NEW ADDRESS:

    the .org email address is not working and it has not been resolved.
    thank you!
    Meta Newhouse