Call For Papers – “Designing Everyday Experience. Objects, Environments, Habits”

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary, 11-13 May 2023

EVANET – Everyday Aesthetics Network and the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME), warmly invite paper proposals for the three-day international conference ‘Designing Everyday Experience’. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of MOME’s doctoral school, the event will offer an opportunity for those with an interest in the philosophy and aesthetics of everyday life and design to share and discuss work, in the hope of furthering dialogue in this area.

Keynote Speakers: Michalle Gal (Shenkar College), Ben Highmore (University of Sussex) and Yuriko Saito (Rhode Island School of Design)

Conference Outline

In 1952, the Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers used the motto “from the spoon to the city” to express the pervasiveness of architectural design, spanning from the very small scale of everyday tools to the much larger scale of urban spaces and environments. Inspired by this famous motto and its symbolic value, the conference aims to extend the notion of design to the whole realm of our everyday life, encompassing the various objects, spaces, and practices of our everydayness, and questioning how these may contribute to shaping our habits, tastes, behaviours, and lifestyles. Just as we design the tools that help us in the various tasks of our daily lives, so we design public and private places in the city to be used by the locals and enjoyed by the visitors. Similarly, in contemporary art, artists design, set up, and install spaces so that they yield a certain aesthetic experience for the visitor. In all these instances, more than as a profession with specific rules and know-how, design is understood as an act of planning and shaping that can apply to any object of our daily experience.

On this basis, the conference draws on three specific axes of design:

Objects and Tools. This most traditional notion of design has to do with the creation of functional as well as purely aesthetic artefacts, such as works of art and decorative items. Objects and tools are either understood as physical or digital entities, including those that are either permanent or temporary.

Environments and Spaces. In this second sense, design relates to a variety of activities ranging from architecture, urbanism, and environmental planning – not excluding virtual environments – to the practices of renovating and repurposing spaces, reconfiguring locations for purposes of tourism, exploiting lands for real estate speculation interest, or occupying areas for growing social cohesion, ecological improvements, and environmental art. 

Habits and Practices. Design refers here to how we shape our lives to achieve certain goals: the routines and habits we develop in everyday life and how they help determine our identity and our relationship to the world.

Abstracts are invited in all areas related to the aesthetics and philosophy of design, broadly construed. Submissions dealing with the future challenges of design in everyday contexts are particularly welcome. New, complex, uncertain scenarios are awaiting us. How are we to design our future everyday life experiences?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following issues:

Objects and Tools

  • How can objects of design help us shape our everyday habits and routines by corralling our behavioral patterns? How can designers create objects’ affordances to conform to users’ needs?
  • How do power relations define the standards of everydayness through designed objects and tools?
  • What is the specific contribution of art objects in shaping and defining our everydayness?
  • How can we aim for a balance between usability, aesthetic values and low environmental impact when designing new objects?
  • How will new communication tools change our everyday experience? To what extent will the developments of virtual environments (metaverse, AltspaceVR etc.) affect our everyday lives? How do relate everydayness and hyperobjects?

Environments and Spaces

  • How can we design environments/spaces (cityscape, soundscape, parks, places for sightseeing, skywalks) with the aim of triggering a specific aesthetic experience (sublimity, picturesque, etc.)?
  • Atmospheres of everyday environments: how to conceptualize the natural and artificial components of atmospheres felt in designed environments on various scales?  
  • How can art shape our aesthetic appreciation of a space? In particular, what underlies the aesthetic experience of art forms such as installation art and environmental art?
  • What is the relationship between the city and new urban technologies (smart cities, IoT, integration of water retention parks), mobility (integrated transport system, cycle paths, on time measurement of traffic peaks), and the design of sustainable architecture?
  • How will climate change contribute to re-designing our experience of the natural and built environment?

Habits and Practices

  • What is the contribution of routines in building our experience of the world? What role do habits play in supporting, regulating and enabling our aesthetic life?
  • How do practices such as industrial, digital, and urban design, fashion, and clothing extend or narrow the everyday experiential spectrum? How do professionals and consumers/prosumers participate in these dynamics through routine transactionality?
  • How do expert and lay activities, habits, and routines take part in shaping our design landscapes? What kinds of dynamics prevail between the roles of professionals and consumers/prosumers?
  • Can artistic practices help promote pro-environmental social behaviors and habits? Can they help us develop aesthetic sensitivity that makes people more respectful towards the environment in which they inhabit?
  • How are we to rethink some of our most controversial social practices and lifestyles (tourism, traveling, food consumption, cloth) to make them more sustainable?

Cross-cutting Methodological Issues:

  • What is the theoretical nexus between design and everydayness?
  • Where is the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary in a design culture?
  • How should we conceive of the relationship between the philosophy and aesthetics of everyday life and design?

Important information:

The conference will be structured around plenary sessions, with the contributed papers selected by a blind peer-review process. Contributed papers will be scheduled for a 25-minute presentation plus a 15-minute discussion.

Please submit long abstracts in English of 800-1000 words (references included), prepared for blind refereeing, by using the online submission form. Abstracts should state the position defended or the issue discussed and indicate the outline of the argument.

Steering Committee: Elisabetta Di Stefano (University of Palermo), Lisa Giombini (University of Roma Tre), Adrián Kvokačka (University of Prešov), Bálint Veres (MOME, Budapest).

Scientific Committee: Elisabetta Di Stefano (University of Palermo), Lisa Giombini (University of Roma Tre), Rosa Fernández Gómez (University of Málaga), Jessica Hemmings (University of Gothenburg), Attila Horányi (MOME), Gioia Laura Iannilli (University of Bologna), Anna Keszeg (MOME), Adrián Kvokačka (University of Prešov), Sanna Lehtinen (Aalto University), Giovanni Matteucci (University of Bologna), Max Ryynanen (Aalto University), Dan Eugen Ratiu(Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca), Márton Szentpéteri (MOME), Bálint Veres (MOME).

Organising committee: Ildiko Csoregh (MOME Doctoral School), Julia Gáspár (head of office, MOME Doctoral School), Anna Keszeg (conference secretary, MOME), Bálint Veres (head of organizing committee, MOME)

Deadline for submissions: December 31st, 2022

Communication of acceptance: February 10th, 2023

The language of the conference will be English.

The conference will be held in person. We will monitor the development of the pandemic, and more reliable information will be provided in the upcoming months.

Registration Fee: Participation in the conference is subject to a registration fee. Bank account details to pay the conference fee and deadlines for registration will be provided in due course.

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