Design Educators Community

Nuts+Bolts DEC Conference Call for Submissions and Abstract Readers

December 28, 2015 / By aigaeducators

We are pleased to announce the Spring 2016 Design Educators Community conference:

Tightening up classroom fundamentals, reinforcing careers, and constructing the future of the discipline

June 15-16, 2016
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio

Nuts & Bolts, a national AIGA Design Education conference for emerging and established design educators, administrators, students, and designers will strip away the mystique of academia and help build a solid foundational knowledge of discipline-specific teaching methods.

Envision emerging and seasoned educators engaging in faculty mentoring and collaboration through direct conversation, with workshops, panels and sessions designed to help move careers, and the field of the design teaching profession, forward.

Through a series of group discussions, workshops, lectures, speakers and learning sessions, opportunities for open dialogue will be facilitated. Participants will be encouraged to share their challenges and achievements with others, uncover our educational shortcomings, identify our responsibilities, and offer pathways to solutions, all for the greater good of design and the global community.

There will be 2 juried tracks:


  • Assessment/Rubrics
  • Assignments
  • Creating a new curriculum vs. modifications
  • Critique Process
  • Culture of Care/Ethics/Empathy
  • Learning Models & Curriculum (project-based learning, problem-based learning, flipped classroom, inside out learning, blended learning, active learning, service learning, gamification, challenge-based learning, collaborative projects, interdisciplinary projects, co-ops, distance learning, undergraduate + graduate, and more)
  • Role of environments and space in the learning (and teaching) experiences
  • Teaching beyond the designer of 2015



  • Becoming a Design Educator
  • Faculty Engagement
  • Defining Research (creative, practice, writing/criticism)
  • Navigating Academia (language/politics)
  • Scholarship of Teaching; connecting this with students
  • Standards of Teaching + Ethics
  • Tenure/Promotion


There are five (5) ways you can participate in the Nuts + Bolts Conference:

  • Apply to participate as a “reader” of paper proposals
  • Submit a proposal for 20-minute presentation
  • Submit a proposal for a PechaKucha presentation
  • Propose and moderate a roundtable discussion
  • Attend the conference

Download the Call for Abstract Readers (pdf) due January 22, 2016.
Download the Call for Submissions due February 8, 2016.
Extended through March 8th.

We have had many submissions in the Pedagogy area and while submissions from either area are still welcome, we are especially seeking contributions under the Profession umbrella.

Stay tuned for a full conference website to be launching soon. Until then, for questions/more information, please contact


Image of Wolfe Center for the Arts at BGSU by Cory Klein Photography, used with permission.
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.
  • Tony Carton

    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to comment on the qualifications to be an abstract reader, and on the benefits that I believe people get when they perform this service.

    While having publications in the field seems normal to me, in fact it has been the main qualification for the conferences I’ve reviewed for. The other three qualifications, basically to be tenured, seem atypical to me. I’ll lay my cards out and say that I’ve been a reviewer for four conferences and a journal during the last 3 years and I’m an assistant professor. I was a graduate student for one of them, and I think that even now reviewing papers and abstracts give me the opportunity to critically read a paper that I may not otherwise have stumbled upon. One that may only seem tangential to my own research interests. It also forces me to be more critical about the quality of the argument than I may often have time for in my day-to-day review of literature.

    The call for this conference is out there and I’m not asking for a change. In the future though, I’d like to posit that involving assistant professors who have published in this conference series in the review process give them (us) an always needed opportunity to practice thinking critically about the quality of the work that gets submitted. It also let’s them (us) see where the bar is, and I often take some of my own criticism back to my own writing.

    Just my two cents and I’m glad to see a bit of increased activity around here again lately. See you all in Ohio!

    • Amy Fidler

      Thank you for the feedback, Tony. I will make a note of this comment, as the qualifications come directly from the DEC Conference Handbook. From time to time it is always useful to critically examine systems and help them change/evolve if there are shortcomings. See you in Ohio!

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  • Marty Maxwell Lane

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