Monday, April 23, 2007

CHI2007, Nordes, Design, and Marcuse

Well, next week I am going to CHI. I am looking forward to see what the new trends are. I am hoping that the interest and focus on design that really started last year will this year take on even more. I am especially looking for papers and presentations that take a theoretical and philosophical view on design. So far, at CHI and the field as such, design is mainly connected to more practical views of doing design and less with conceptual reflection. This is fine, but I hope that this can be complemented with a deeper and more insightful theoretical understanding of design.

In the end of May I am going to Stockholm for the Nordes conference. The conference introduces itself with these words: "How can we understand the impact of design for people, companies and society? How can we provide design practice with appropriate and inspiring knowledge and ideas? How can we use critical and constructive design thinking to create new possibilities for the future?"

I am looking forward to the Nordes conference since many new conceptual ideas on design comes from Scandinavia. There is a strong tradition of reflection and critical examination of existing practice which seems to foster the development of new theoretical ideas that challenges the mainstream. maybe it is the case that small and self-critical countries (such as Sweden) might be a fertile ground for the kind of critique of the "one-dimensional society" that Marcuse once asked for.

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