Cumulus conference Bogotá 2019 The Design After

October 30 – November 1, 2019 Bogota, Colombia
Hosted by Universidad de los Andes
Submission of abstracts EXTENDED by April 1, 2019

When design is about thinking in action and transition, it questions its original logic and gives birth to diversity. In Bogotá, Colombia, different perspectives will be found transcending the discipline, questioning what will become of design: the design, after.

Design, After

In the dawn of the new millennium, design is experiencing a moment of expansion, recognition, mutation and integration, other disciplines would envy. It retains its aura and transcends the realm of the tangible becoming a form of thought, dialogue and ontology. The turn of the millennium has staged disruptions and catastrophes: from wars against terror, to exacerbated fundamentalism; from the financial crises, to the flood of inequities and migrations.

In absence of better words, the “post” prefix has characterized the last half-century: postmodern, postfeminist, post capitalist, post humanist, post truth. Before creating post design, would it be worth thinking about an after design? Can design capture another vision of the human being, cultures and ecosystems that surround humans? Have designers thought about what will happen next?

We are a species that mutates and subsists revealing great adaptive capacities. We manage to debate emerging issues, without fear of experimental vocabularies while being critical, collaborative and speculative. Design today is transdisciplinary and plural.

Hosting Cumulus in Colombia is the result of this transition, placing humans in a border crossing, in an eclectic habitat a place as contradictory and vital as the change of the millennium. When design is about thinking in action and transition, it questions its original logic and gives birth to diversity. In Bogotá, Colombia, different perspectives will be found transcending the discipline, questioning what will become of design: the design, after.

Sensing the City, Sensing the Rural: This track deals with the ongoing radical transformations that the urban and the rural spaces are experiencing in the post-digital times. Transformations that are the result of the tensions between the computational and the physical domains, that affect both cityscapes and landscapes. The track seeks to examine the role of technology in the urban-rural balance. How can we reinforce connections between rural and urban spaces? How can information extracted from these spaces be used? How can design at different scales benefit from technology to observe, perceive and build the territory? If by 2050, two-thirds of the world population will live in cities, how will this impact rural environments?

Somewhere, Nowhere, Anyone, Everyone: One of the dominant design narratives since the mid-nineteenth century has to do with its centrality in fostering consumerism. However, in the second half of the same century behavioral researchers started thinking about alternatives to market economies and the emergence of new ecologies. Contemporary design is still looking for different ways to establish a more responsible, long-term and healthy relationship with the environment and its context. From consumption and individualism, design has transcended to promote a strong consciousness on the scarcity of resources and the importance of environmentally mindful local communities. Is it possible for designers to learn and design along with small communities? Can social sciences and design work together in providing ways of thinking and methodologies to empower communities instead of finished products,? Can design reach beyond the framework of market-driven economies? Can design methodologies help tackle wicked problems?

Fiction and De-innovation: The focus of the track is the articulation between world-making exercises and design methods that reformulate the identity of design. New domains have emerged that include Critical Design, Speculative Design, Design Storytelling . These methods and practices trigger creative, disruptive and conscious architectural and design practices by applying technological developments combined with ideation and speculation. The result generates spontaneous designs that are both, efficient and imaginative. Can the relationship between design, fiction, architecture and games redefine the role of each specific field? Can the intersection of these fields provoke a revision of the rhetorical innovation? Can these design processes lead to novelty without repeating innovation as a dry formula?

Design and Counterculture: The term counterculture historically refers to different moments when mainstream cultural values and institutions were challenged, usually by alternative emergent subcultures. Over the past years, counterculture design ventures have proven a strong adaptive capacity to the oftentimes, hostile productive mainstream venues. Non-mainstream design has been especially good at finding cracks around the system and exploit those gaps for the benefit of small communities or finding alternative ways to think and understand social processes. What is the role design could play in creating new production models or economic systems? What role could design play in challenging or presenting alternatives in the way people relate to the territory and the managing of their resources? What strategies could design help to develop, to tackle issues of inequality, social justice, and marginalization? What other possible scenarios could be set for the development of a society and a renewed idea of human progress?

Biodiversity-Driven Design: Unique and unexplored ecosystems offer an opportunity to spark designers’ imagination and push practices to search for new solutions to everyday needs. The rapid exploitation of natural resources has accelerated climate change, making us question how can we redesign our relationship with the environment without placing its biodiversity at stake? How can the intersection between science and design take research one step further? Is it possible for science and design to question how their knowledge can be better integrated to solve real world problems? Is it possible for designers to incorporate scientific processes in their design practice to widen the scope and impact of their projects?

The Scientific Committee for Cumulus Bogotá 2019 is calling for abstracts related to the main topic of the conference this year, The Design After. The conference’s main goal is to imagine the possible scenarios design will be dealing in the near future, especially regarding the challenges posed by environmental and demographic critical issues. The Committee invites design stakeholders to submit proposals reflecting on ideas, utopias, dystopias, design case studies and urban/rural planning. In particular to imagine what design would look like after its heyday and the row played by new technologies, artistic interpretations, thought experiments, pedagogical approaches; theoretical frameworks and strategies. Submitted proposals must fit into any of the five following topics:

Sensing the City, Sensing the Rural
Somewhere, Nowhere, Anyone, Everyone
Fiction and De-innovation
Submission guidelines
Design and Counter-culture
Biodiversity-Driven Design

Authors who are interested in submitting a paper for The Design After Cumulus International Conference must comply the guidelines presented above.

Types of Contribution

The Design After conference will accept two types of contributions:

a. Academic papers, with a focus on research. The structure should, in general, present an introduction, theoretical background, methodology, results, and conclusions describing contributions to new knowledge.
b. Professional Papers, with a focus on practical application. Contributions can be made from an industrial or educational framework.

NOTE: For the academic track, the content must be unpublished work. For the professional track the content does not need to be unpublished, but in both cases the author must follow APA standards for formatting and style guide.

The abstracts must have between 150 and 250 words (references excluded) + 5 Keywords

Full papers must have between 2500 and 3000 words (references excluded but figures and tables included) + 5 Keywords.

Peer Evaluation Process

All Submissions (Academic and Professional papers), will undergo a double-blind peer review by an international team of peer reviewers.


All Submissions (Academic and Professional papers), must be presented in English and all presentations will be held in English as well.

Publication Policy

Full accepted papers will be published in the proceedings in a digital version.

Please note that we will only publish papers of authors who are present on site. For papers with more than one author, there must be at least one of them at the conference to present the work.

Also, authors should manifest that the text they present is of their own authorship and that they respect the intellectual property rights of third parties. Likewise, they must authorize the use of the material for the conference and conference publications.

Abstract word limit: 150-250
Full paper word limit: 2500-3000
All submission must follow APA standards for formatting and style

Deadline for abstract submissions: March 28, 2019 -> EXTENDED by April 1
Notification of acceptance: April 11, 2019
Full paper submission deadline: May 17, 2019
Second round feedback: June 4, 2019
Final version deadline: June 17, 2019