DHS Annual Conference: Memory Full? Reimagining the Relations between Design and History

Meeting  /  OnlineOnly  /  02 Sep 2021  -  04 Sep 2021
Published: 26.07.2021
DHS Annual Conference: Memory Full? Reimagining the Relations between Design and History.
FHNW Academy of Art and Design
DEADLINE: 01/09/2021

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The registration to this year's online DHS annual conference grants you access to the virtual conference platform, which will already open on August 25 and run through 12 September. In this virtual environment, you will be able to listen to 4 Keynote lectures, participate in 29 sessions and take part in two workshops. You will have access to a virtual exhibition with audiovisual materials specially generated for the conference. In connected live conversations and chat rooms you will be able to meet and network with all attendees. The specialised book fair will renew its yearly presence and offer special online discounts.
When a device reaches the limits of its storage, it typically sends a “Memory Full” warning that serves both as annoyance and incitement for action. Responses include upgrading the physical drive, relinquishing content to an immaterial “cloud,” editing and deleting, or constraining an otherwise unfettered desire to archive everything. Actions like these can be read as a metaphor for how histories of design are shaped. Against a background of multiple temporalities and ontologies for design, this conference sets out to explore the relationship between design and memory. It invites reflection on the entanglements embodied by design between futurity and amnesia, critical discussion on data cultures, and debate around emerging approaches to the designed environment.

How can the memory of design be interpreted, shared, mined, or performed? Stories of social change are recorded in artefacts buried under layers of water or soil, in the plot twists of old novels or vintage media. The legacy of human activity passes into the material culture of non-human species, or enters their very physiology. Practices involving design as means to construct, repair and speculate about the past are integral to processes of codifying both canonic and alternative histories. To what extent can history writing be compared to a design project? Assumptions and bias are embedded in the ways facts are gathered and constructed as habitable stories. How long do these narrations remain functional before they need to be patched with new data? Are machines also learning bias when they are instructed to collect data and present it in meaningful forms?

The conference welcomes historic, contemporary and interdisciplinary approaches to the topic and invites contributions from design historians, and students and scholars in related fields; as well as writers, practitioners, educators, museum professionals, and activists who engage with design history.

>> Click here to check the full program.

- Early bird registration (before 31 July 2021):

Regular rate, DHS member: 90 CHF (approx. 83.1 €)
Regular rate, non-DHS member: 110 CHF (approx. 101.6 €)
Student/concessionary rate, DHS member: 65 CHF (approx. 60 €)
Student/concessionary rate, non-DHS member: 95 CHF (approx. 87.8 €)
- General registration (after 31 July 2021):
Regular rate, DHS member: 130 CHF (approx.120 €)
Regular rate, non-DHS member: 150 CHF (approx. 138.6 €)
Student/concessionary rate, DHS member: 100 CHF (approx. 92.4 €)
Student/concessionary rate, non-DHS member: 120 CHF (approx. 110.9 €)

About the venue:
The FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel offers seven bachelor and four master degree courses in art, design, and art and design education and research. The school is located on the Campus of the Arts in the Basel Dreispitz area, close to several cultural institutions such as Kunsthaus Baselland, Schaulager, and the House of Electronic Arts.