The Cumulus 2018 Wuxi China organized by the School of Design, Jiangnan  University will be held in Wuxi, China. on October 31, 2018 to November 3, 2018.


Today we are in wide and deep transition locally and globally which creates many discontinuations in different perspectives. The happening transition in society, economy, technology, culture, environment and politics keeps increasing challenges and complexity of them. Consequently, it dramatically changes the situations and our ideas that we thought normal and solid. In such a fluid society, there is a big question on “where we are and will go?” to entire human society, states, communities or personals, which is a big design issue as well. Diffused transition generates uncertainty and gaps, which not only brings out confusion but also opens new spaces to explore new possibilities, where new design opportunities can be identified.

As an intercultural exchange platform for international community of design education, with the theme 2018 Cumulus conference in China aims to investigate where design is now and will go in this transiting age, and to identify new opportunities by presenting local responses for common challenges in globalization 3.0, sharing emerging design practices, design research and design education, and reflecting new attributes, roles and culture of design.


1.Emerging design research and practices

Driven by the diffused transition, what kinds of changes and topics are emerging in the design areas related to culture, technology, economic, and social? What is the potential and limitation of design?

  • (1) Cultural Transition and design opportunities
  • (2) Technical transition and design opportunities
  • (3) Social transition and design opportunities
  • (4) Economic transition and design opportunities
2.Evolution and continuation of design education

Forced by the diffused transition, the changes in design education is necessary. What kind of design education is appropriate in the different context? What kinds of new explorations have been conducting? How to evaluate the effects of these education reformation?

3.The change and certainty of design discipline

Confronted with these changes, what kinds of influence on design disciplinary are happening? What is the constant part of design discipline? How to facilitate the development of design discipline?

4.Interdisciplinary integration and design position

Nowadays, interdisciplinary innovation is also a significant issue. How to efficiently cooperate with other disciplines is crucial in this diffused transition context. What is the position of design in interdisciplinary innovation? What is the value of design?

5.Sustainable vision and design challenges

With the changes discussed above, the sustainable challenges are vital. What kind of sustainable vision do we have? How design can be an asset to make this vision become a reality?

6.Global transition and local design response

Thomas L. Friedman pointed out that we are entering the globalization 3.0 with the connection points changed from countries, companies to person. What kinds of influences are emerging for local design in globalization 3.0? What kinds of design practices are adopted in different regions? How to better cope with the challenges and opportunities in this new context?

More informstion about the DESIS activities on the Cumulus conference here

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