Keynote Speakers

People - Future - Design History - Practices


​Riding Shotgun in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

The 3.5 million truck drivers on U.S. highways are in a unique position to identify incidents of human trafficking and to help victims by providing information to authorities. Studies show that truck stops in the United States are a common venue for sex trafficking due to their remote locations and lax security. This research project asks: How can a specifically designed technologically-based communication enable truck drivers to report incidents at a higher rate than is now being reported?


Lisa Mercer – College of Visual Arts & Design University of North Texas, USA

Lisa Mercer is Executive Director of Operation Compass, a charitable organization established in 2014 to continue work begun while pursuing research for her Master’s thesis. The mission of Operation Compass is to help victims of human trafficking find their way home. Its work is equipping communities that surround victims of human trafficking with the right tools to report incidents safely and anonymously. In order to ensure that the tools created are appropriate to the population intended, research-driven design methods are used as a way of developing and executing social innovations that can impact change. Ms. Mercer will graduate in December 2015 with a Master of Fine Arts in Design with a Concentration in Design Research from the Department of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas.


Keynote Speakers

​Co-Designing With People: Accounts Of A Design Research Experiment At Birmingham City University, UK.

Passionate people (entrepreneurs, artists, researchers) discover themselves through play. They use their imagination to open up possibilities to understand their own emotional history. In the design research community we are often too scared to experiment and improvise with new tools besides what is prescribed. Applying co-design methods and tools in a customer journey mapping project to develop a new service as well as a mapping method for future projects at the Library of Birmingham City University was a journey worth taking.

Keynote Speakers

Charles Ikem – Department of Management & Engineering University of Padova, Italy

Charles Ikem is a service designer and design researcher with experience working as a researcher on customer journey mapping at the Centre for Enhancement of Learning & Teaching at Birmingham City University and also at Amazon, both in the UK. He is currently working on applying service design methodologies to the Internet of Things framework. Charles’s current research interest is in the area of design for policy, co-design, urban innovation and Internet of Things. He holds a Master’s Degree in Design Management from Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. Charles is currently a researcher at the Department of Industrial Engineering,University of Padova in Italy. Charles is a proud Liverpool Fan.


Co-designing future technologies - Making use of design methods to engage laypersons in participatory foresight

How can methods and findings from design research help frame and address societal problems in the field of future technologies? Our talk introduces the interdisciplinary research project Shaping Future that adapts and combines methods from design and the social sciences to develop and analyse innovative formats for a participatory technology foresight and science communication. Focussing on interdisciplinary synergy effects, we will present the approach and a selection of developed prototypes.



Keynote Speakers

Marie Heidingsfelder – Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Germany

Marie Heidingsfelder is research assistant at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation where she works at the interface between social sciences and design. Current projects focus on need-oriented research planning and on technology and knowledge transfer.

As media and communication scientist, Marie holds a binational Bachelor Degree from the Bauhaus University Weimar and the Université Lumière Lyon, and a Master’s Degree from the Technical University in Berlin. During her studies, she developed a strong interest in the topic of human-machine interactions, cyborg technologies and their techno-social contexts.

Marie is a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts Berlin with a research focus on science communication and design fiction. She co-develops teachings and gives classes at University of Konstanz with the topics of innovation and diversity management.

Martin Kim Luge – Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Germany

Martin Kim Luge is an interaction designer and works as associate researcher at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Berlin. His work focuses on the development of methods for ideation processes and on design concepts at the interface between science and communication. He started to discover New Media in 2000 when he worked as a graphic designer. From there on he continuously broadened his skills through studies at renowned universities such as Burg Giebichenstein University of Arts, Halle/Saale, Digital Media Class at University of Arts, Berlin and the Media and Art class at Tama Art University in Tokyo. In 2011, he graduated at Prof. J. Sauter's class at the University of the Arts. In 2011 he co-founded the Berlin based FELD - studio for digital crafts.

Keynote Speakers

Designing Speculative Rituals, Situations, and other Tangible Imaginaries

While design fiction prototypes can spark speculation about imaginary practices, designers often treat these psychological “effects” as epiphenomena of the designed object rather than as structured experiences which themselves might be available for designerly manipulation. But humans have a long history of designing rituals, situations, and routines. This talk approaches the mechanics of human practice itself as a subject of design, not only through the explicit decisions about material interfaces but also through speculation about tacit rules of engagement.

Keynote Speakers

Joshua McVeigh-Schultz – University of Southern California, USA

Joshua McVeigh-Schultz is an interactive designer, media artist, and ethnographer in the Media Arts and Practice PhD program of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. His research focuses on the intersection between design and ritual. He was awarded an Intel PhD Fellowship for his dissertation exploring animistic design and speculative rituals of liveness. He has conducted research in USC’s Mobile and Environmental Media Lab, Intel Labs’ Interaction Experience Research Group and Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective. At Intel, he spearheaded the “Data Monster” toolkit project, prototyping kinetic objects with “moods” driven by live data-streams. At MSR New England he studied the experiences of romantic partners who use the relationship app, Couple, examining how they invent new communication rituals. He earned an MFA at UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media program where he designed a mobile interface that crowd-sources the traditional vox pop (“on the street”) interview. He also completed an MA in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley where he researched identity performance in the Japanese social networking site Mixi.


Co-Author: Jeff Watson – University of Southern California, USA


Design History

​Local History Concerns: the Hypothesis of the Three Origins of Design​

Local History Concerns: the Hypothesis of the Three Origins of Design aims to share approaches and concerns while starting to research about local design experiences. It is the result of a long term thinking on how to approach the history of design in my own country without loosing the point of view of the the standard narrative spread internationally by the Global or World-wide design history, known as General History in the past. The hypothesis came up aftera research project already published several books, firstly in Spanish (2010), then in Catalan (2014) and finally in English (2013).

Keynote Speakers

Anna Calvera Sagué – University of Barcelona, Spain

Anna Calvera Sagué – teaches design history and design philosophy at the University of Barcelona. Having studied Graphic Design, a profession that she has been practicing sometimes, she difended her PhD on Philosophical aesthetics at the university of Barcelona. Having usually research about the history of design in Spain, she have been promoting the ICDHS International Conferences since 1999. Recently, she helped the Barcelona Museum of Design curanting and exhibition on graphic design and writing for the product design exhibition catalogue. She likes to think about aesthetic issues applied to design world and culture.

ICDHS – International Conferences on Design History and Studies

Researchgroup Gracmon

Not Mere Messengers or Window Dressers: Understanding Social Contexts for Graphic Design

Graphic designers are wrongly perceived as mere messengers, beautifying and delivering content for others. Graphic design is, in fact, best approached as a vitally important channel of discourse operating between individuals and society. What kinds of messages are delivered through graphic design, how, and why? Informed by theories of semiotics, post-structuralism, and by sociology, I will analyse different graphic design media, from logo design to greetings cards, as significant of issues such as context and identity, among others, and as socially profound.

Grace Lees-Maffei – University of Hertfordshire, UK

Dr Grace Lees-Maffei is Reader in Design History, Programme Director for DHeritage, the Professional Doctorate in Heritage, and Research Group Leader for the TVAD Research Group at the University of Hertfordshire. She is Managing Editor of the Journal of Design History (OUP) and an advisory board member for The Poster (Intellect) and for AIS/Design: Storia e Ricerche, Journal of the AIS/Design (Associazione italiana degli storici del design). From 2013-2015, Dr Lees-Maffei was also Visiting Professor for the MA Design Cultures at VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands and for the PhD Design Programme at IADE-U, Lisbon, Portugal. Grace is the author of Design at Home: Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the USA since 1945 (2013); editor of Writing Design: Words and Objects (2012) and Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things (2014); co-editor with Kjetil Fallan of Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Design (2013), and co-editor with Rebecca Houze of The Design History Reader (2010).


Keynote Speakers


​The Anatomy of Design

This lecture informs the audience about the fundamental principles that constitute the expertise of visual designers.

The Anatomy of Design references to the speaker’s own professional work using real-life examples. It is not a theoretical account of design research. The way she visually translates those fundamental principles into her work will be illustrated by a recent corporate design project.

Keynote Speakers

Sabina Sieghart

Sabina Sieghart is a designer, consultant, and networker. She has been working passionately for clients and agencies ever since she graduated in communication design. Sabina spent four years working at Rolf Müller’s design office in Munich and Design/Writing/Research in New York, before establishing her own studio in 1999.

She also teaches at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria.


Speculation in Design. Ready For The Next Round?

The talk will provide an analyses of the recent critiques that the London school of Critical and Speculative Design was facing. It will be worked out that too many stakeholders share the same vocabulary for talking about speculation and critique in design without being able to emphasise or even accept their individual differences. The talk will therefore differentiate between fictional design forms that are aimed at direct techno-political impact and those that are aimed at techno-political insight. The argument will be based on references to professional Foresight and historical futures studies and will result in recommendations for further investitgations.


Keynote Speakers

Ludwig Zeller – Academy of Art and Design FHNW, Switzerland

I am a design researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures and docent for new media at the Visual Communication Institute of the Academy of Art and Design (FHNW) in Basel. Currently I am working on a historical and narratological theorisation of Speculative Design as part of the SNF-funded project Critical Artefacts that is lead by Claudia Mareis.