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Decipher FAQ!

May 1, 2018 / By aigaeducators

We’ve been fielding some good questions about Decipher, our September 2018 Design Educators Research Conference. Here, for your convenience, is a compilation of some of frequently asked questions—with answers. Please direct additional questions to decipher2018 (at) umich (dot) edu!

ONE WEEK OUT: CONFERENCE FAQ

Is there a conference website?
YES! Please check our conference website regularly for the most detailed and up-to-date information about Decipher. AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) is shifting to this dedicated conference site for all future conferences. As Decipher is the first conference to utilize this new system, we appreciate your patience and understanding, as some content may shift around while we work on producing the Decipher conference for you. As designers, we are sure you can appreciate that this is an iterative process! (If you have substantive feedback or notice any bugs, please let the DEC know: info (at) designeducators.aiga.org, subject: Conference Website Feedback.)

Can I still register?
Due to the overwhelming response to the conference, registration is now closed. We have reached capacity and are no longer accepting new registrations.

________________

Below is content from an email that went out to all registered conference guests on Sept. 20, 2018:

1 FOR FACILITATORS
You will soon receive an email with more specific details regarding your session’s presentation environment (e.g. room configuration, tech setup, etc.). Please plan to bring your own laptop if you are presenting slides.


2 YOUR AFFINITY SESSION
If you have not already, please read the email you received recently, Subject: “Decipher 2018: Reserve seats for sessions” (from me, Gowri Balasubramaniam). This email contains links to RSVP forms for each conference session; we are using this system to match everyone with ONE affinity session. Please only select ONE session from the range of options. Make your selection by Monday, Sept. 24.

You will have FREE CHOICE of ALL OTHER CONFERENCE SESSIONS AS SPACE ALLOWS.

Please do not worry if the session you are interested in joining as an affinity participant is “full” in the affinity RSVP form. (These forms are NOT a comprehensive RSVP for all of the conference sessions you will attend; depending on the day, there will be another 20–35 seats available in each room. The affinity RSVP just reserves the first 5 seats.)

Some have asked about the session matching we had planned—due to the enthusiastic response to the conference, the matching system we had planned to use will not work with our final number of registered guests. This RSVP takes place of that matching system.


3 CHECK YOUR PROFILE
Check your profile on website if you need to make corrections or additions to your name, title, photo, or bio, please email Gowri (gowrib (at) umich (dot) edu). We want to make sure YOU are on the site!

Use Subject line: Decipher Website Profile Update


4 DECIPHER WRITING ROOM
We will have a session on writing about design research on Saturday; following the session, the room will be used for one-on-one writing consultation sessions. Sign up to receive writing feedback will be available at the Registration/Information desk.  

In the meantime, we still need a few additional Writing Mentors: you’d like to volunteer your time and expertise as a writing mentor, please contact us: decipherwriting@umich.edu | Subject: Decipher Writing Mentor


5 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
The final conference schedule is up on our website: http://www.aigadecconference.org/calendar/

Please check it early and often, like voting.

We also recommend our visual schedule PDF so you can get a better sense of the parallel session offerings.


6 REGISTRATION / INFORMATION DESK
To collect your name badge and join the sessions, please look for the check-in desk in these locations:

Thursday:

  • 9:00am–4:00pm: North Quadrangle, Room 2435 – 105 S. State St. Please check in and get your name badge BEFORE 1PM on Thursday if you plan to join the 1:30 sessions.

Friday:

  • 8:00am–5:30pm: Rackham Graduate School, Fourth Floor – 915 E. Washington St.

Saturday

  • 8:00am–5:00pm: Stamps School of Art & Design, 2nd Floor (Follow signs for the Stamps Office) – 2000 Bonisteel Blvd.

Conference registration is now closed; due to the large number of recent registrations, our system closed automatically on Sept. 7. Prepare yourselves to do some collaborating, conversing, and networking!


7 CONFERENCE MEALS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Thursday, September 27:

  • 12:00pm: Prior to start of sessions, grab lunch on your own in downtown Ann Arbor. Then, eat it. Please see the restaurant list on our website for recommendations: http://www.aigadecconference.org/homepage/#travel
  • 1:00pm: Please check in at North Quad by 1:00pm so that you can get situated and arrive on time to the first block of sessions. Thursday’s sessions will be in various walkable locations across downtown Ann Arbor and Central Campus. There will be volunteers on hand to help orient you, but it is important to arrive and get your name badge by 1pm if you plan to attend Thursday afternoon sessions.
  • 4:30pm: Arrive by 4:30 at Michigan Theatre after enjoying Thursday’s sessions in order to secure your seat for Ariel Waldman’s keynote address; this event intersects with the Stamps Distinguished Lecture Series, and is open to the public, so a larger crowd is expected.
  • 5–7:00pm: Ariel Waldman’s keynote address and following Q&A session will end by 7pm to provide you time to get dinner at one of the great restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor! Check out the restaurant list on our website for recommendations: http://www.aigadecconference.org/homepage/#travel


Friday, September 28:

  • 11:50am: Lunch will be provided at Rackham
  • 5:30–7:30: There will be a reception for registered Decipher guests (age 21+) immediately following Jon Kolko’s talk at the Stamps Gallery. The reception will end by 7:30pm to provide you time to get dinner at one of the great restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor! Check out the restaurant list on our website for recommendations: http://www.aigadecconference.org/homepage/#travel

Saturday, September 29:

  • 1:00pm: Lunch will be provided at Stamps
  • 4–5:00pm: Jane Prophet and John Zimmerman’s closing talk, Supporting Design Research, will end by 5pm to provide you time to get to the airport, drive home, or, once again, grab dinner at one of the great restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor! Check out the restaurant list on our website for recommendations: http://www.aigadecconference.org/homepage/#travel

 


8 COOL STUFF JUST FOR YOU

UMMA STUDY ROOM: THURSDAY ONLY! 1:30–5pm Visit micro collections of design objects at our campus art museum especially curated for Decipher’s guests at The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). The Study Room is located on the lower level of the museum, next to the auditorium. UMMA has been recognized as the top public university art museum in the country by Best College Reviews.

DECIPHER MEETING ROOM: Stamps Gallery Downtown, 201 S. Division St.

This space is designed for Decipher’s guests to relax and network. The Meeting Room includes several design research books, including titles by Decipher facilitators and participants, as well as other interesting research materials.

Open during Gallery hours:
Thu: 11am – 7pm

Fri: 11am – 7pm

Sat: 11am – 5pm


9 GETTING AROUND ANN ARBOR: WALKING, PARKING, WEATHER

Thursday, September 27:

  • Sessions are in multiple locations in Ann Arbor’s very walkable downtown and UM’s Central Campus. Please plan ahead with appropriate footwear and rain gear, just in case!
  • Holiday Inn Guests: Let the front desk know you will need to use the pre-arranged shuttle service to downtown.
  • Parking in downtown Ann Arbor can be a challenge. If driving, do not plan to drive yourself between different session locations; we recommend leaving your car in a deck for the day and walking to all locations. Check the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority website to learn about parking options downtown, and take a look at the University of Michigan website for campus parking information.
  • You could check out an electric Bird scooter!
  • UMMA Study Room open for Decipher Guests 1:30–5pm
  • Decipher Meeting Room open at Stamps Gallery Downtown (sessions in Meeting Room from 1:30–4:20pm) 11–7pm

Friday, September 28:

  • Sessions are in two locations on UM’s Central Campus: Rackham Graduate School and The Michigan League. Please plan ahead with appropriate footwear and rain gear, just in case!
  • Holiday Inn Guests: Let the front desk know you will need to use the pre-arranged shuttle service to downtown.
  • Parking in downtown Ann Arbor can be a challenge. If driving, do not plan to drive yourself between different session locations; we recommend leaving your car in a deck for the day and walking to all locations. Check the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority website to learn about parking options downtown, and take a look at the University of Michigan website for campus parking information.
  • You could check out an electric Bird scooter!
  • Decipher Meeting Room open at Stamps Gallery Downtown (sessions in Meeting Room from 1:30–4:20pm) 11–7pm

Saturday, September 29:

  • Sessions are at Stamps School of Art and Design. Front entrance is located at 2000 Bonisteel Blvd.
  • If driving, use 2097 Fuller Rd in your GPS in order to reach the parking lot. Parking in that lot is free on the weekends. Yippee!  
  • Holiday Inn Guests: Let the front desk know you will need to use the pre-arranged shuttle service to downtown.
  • Graduate Hotel Guests: There will be a bus departing from the Graduate bound for Stamps starting at 8am, which will run a loop until 10am.
  • FYI: It’s not a home football weekend.


10 CONNECT WITH OTHER DECIPHER GUESTS

Two options to chat with folks to set up carpools, collabs, lunch dates, date-dates, or whatever you like before the conference:

AIGA DEC Discussions Group: Please mention the Decipher conference when you request to join the group. There is already a Decipher-related thread in the group; do a search and join in the conversation.

Decipher Event Page: No discussion happening here yet; let’s get it started!

 


OLDER FAQ CONTENT

Tell me more about how this conference structure will work.
Consider your submission as your “entrance ticket.” All the submissions of the same category will be organized into cohorts based on the role  (“participant” or “facilitator”) and primary theme that you specify in your submission. We will ask you to attend a session organized with your designated thematic cohort. We will make our best effort to balance the number of participants and facilitators in each cohort. Beyond your designated session you will be free to join any other cohort as a participant as long as there are available seats. Learn more about the conference here. 

Where and when? I want to get this on my calendar!
Decipher will take place Sept. 27–29 at various locations on the University of Michigan campus.
Sept. 27: Sessions will begin at 1pm at several locations on Central Campus and Downtown Ann Arbor
Sept. 28: Sessions / events will run from 9am–7:30pm at Rackham Graduate School, Central Campus
Sept. 29: Sessions will run from 9am–5pm at Stamps School of Art & Design, North Campus

Although Decipher is sponsored and hosted by the Stamps School of Art & Design, due to Fall semester class schedules the only day we will hold sessions at Stamps (North Campus) will be Saturday. There will be several transportation options to North Campus and we will provide detailed information about them at the conference.

YOU will be what makes Decipher an amazing experience—please plan your travel so that you can be present for the entire conference!

What other important dates do I need to know?
Aug. 1: Registration deadline for facilitators, poster presenters, and graduate forum participants (to confirm your spot in our schedule)

Aug. 27: Final Graduate forum submissions due

Sept. 1: Revised submissions from facilitators and poster presenters (for use in conference proceedings)

Sept. 1: Submissions close for General Participation: Please encourage your colleagues to apply to attend as participants! See our Decipher FAQ for details on why we are asking our participants (non-facilitator engaged attendees) to contribute a brief 250-word submission.

Is there a specific conference hotel?
We’re glad you asked! While the original conference hotel (Graduate Ann Arbor) filled quickly, we reserved a second block at the Holiday Inn, near the University of Michigan. This hotel is next to North Campus. The Holiday Inn will provide a shuttle service to downtown. It is possible also to get downtown via bus, Lyft, and Uber. Book your room via this link.

Can I share a room with another Decipher attendee to cut costs?
We understand that many of you are on tight budgets, and some folks have asked us about the possibility of sharing a hotel room with another Decipher attendee. Please join the AIGA DEC discussion group on Facebook and do a search for other Decipher folks / posts there if you’re looking for someone to share accommodations with you. (Note that there’s a brief survey to join the group; please complete it and mention the Decipher conference.)

What’s the difference between a “participant” and a “facilitator”?
Participants attend the conference and are expected to engage in all of the sessions. Facilitators plan and lead the sessions for participants. Facilitators also have an additional expectation of documentation and dissemination of their session following the conference.

Facilitators at Decipher lead the sessions. Decipher will not include “paper presentations,” but at a traditional academic conference, presenters would be the analogous role to facilitators.

Participants at Decipher are engaged attendees who will be involved in our selected facilitators’ Conversations, Activity Groups, and Workshops, and conference networking sessions in a variety of ways. We are also asking our participants to contribute a very brief written submission so that their own research interests can be articulated and disseminated as part of the conference communications and outcomes.

I just want to come to the conference to learn—why do I have to submit something?
Providing this information indicates your interest in specific conference topics, enables organizers to match you with specific facilitators and sessions and will create valuable networking opportunities for you throughout the event. Your 250-word submission will be included in the conference proceedings, giving everyone at the conference a voice!

I’m interested in different themes, as well as different session types. Should I submit more than once?
Only one submission is required to participate in Decipher. The additional information you share in your submission form will help us understand the level of interest in the themes and develop the conference structure accordingly. So, while you are welcome to enter as many submissions as you wish, multiple submissions are not necessary to participate in the various tracks and themes of the conference. Beyond your designated session (see above), you are free to join any other cohort as a participant as long as there are available seats.

What if I want to be involved in a different session in addition to my original submission?
Beyond your designated session (see above), you are free to join any other cohort as a participant as long as there are available seats.

If I apply as a facilitator and am not selected, do I need to resubmit an application for the September 1 participant deadline?
If not accepted as facilitators, submissions will automatically be added to the participant selection pool; there is no need to reapply as a participant.

What type of designers do you expect to attend? Do I have the right background to participate in the conference?
We would like designers from a wide array of disciplines to attend this event. Whether your area of interest lies in user experience, graphic design, motion, sound, wearables, products, environments, places, spaces, or services, we hope for participation from an array of designers from academia and industry. We hope for and expect design educators and practitioners with different levels of experience as well.

Will there be a registration fee? If so, how much will it cost?
AIGA members: $275
Non-Members: $325
Student AIGA members $75
Student Non-Members: $125

A special note for students: if you are not already in the AIGA database as a member and would like to register as a Student Non-member, you must first create a (free) my.aiga.org account and indicate your student status in your account. Then, when you return to the registration portal and enter the email associated with your account, the pricing should reflect the correct rate.

My proposal has been accepted; can you fund my travel?
We wish we could pay everyone’s way! The only funding available for Decipher guests were our Equity Scholarships & Travel Grants. The deadline to apply to this funding was June 15.

What if I just want to attend without submitting?
Please note that the format of this conference is atypical in that everyone participating in the conference will have submitted as either a “facilitator” or “participant.” Due to the engaging experience we hope to create at Decipher, there will not be general registration available for attendees who have not submitted a proposal.

(SUBMISSIONS CLOSED JUNE 15) Do I need to submit to the conference in order to apply for an equity scholarship?
Yes, you will need to submit a proposal in addition to completing our scholarship application process. Please see this post for more information and a link to the Call for Participation, which contains the application details. 

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