Changing the Change Conference

Publication / Conferences

The Changing the Change International Design Conference took place in Turin in July 2008. The subtitle “An International Conference on the Role and Potential of Design Research in the Transition towards Sustainability” gives a more accurate insight into the sustainable pretext for the conference. Our co-author, Dr Judith Mottram presented our paper “Design Stories for a Sustainable Society” which presented case studies of responsibility in design practice exploring three design projects tackling the energy challenges facing contemporary society. Whilst the underpinning question “how do designers respond to climate change” makes sense of a majority of papers presented to the conference, the issue is considerably wider. Remarkable keynote presentations were made by speakers from China, Japan, Australia, India, Africa, South America, North American and Europe. Put together the accumulative message became clear. “That designers and design researchers can make a fundamental contribution to the sustainable agenda, but that societal change and the role of communities is at least as significant in pursuing an agenda for change. And that the assumption…big science and big engineering will bail us all out is a dangerously fallible prospect. Turin was a relatively small conference with maybe two hundred and fifty delegates but the quality of the keynote presentations and the questions raised make it one of the most important conferences we have ever attended.

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