4T 2017: 12th International Design and Design History Symposium, May 11-12, 2017 - İzmir, TURKEY. Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2017.

In the context of representing the other Gayatri Spivak once said:

“And I don’t think, really that we will solve the problem today talking to each other; but, on the other hand I think it has to be kept alive as a problem.”


The statement can be applied to many contexts of identification. Be it cultural, disciplinary, or individual identities, boundaries that define them are constructed rather than given. Contrary to essentialist claims, they need to be constantly questioned, deconstructed and re-formed. This year’s symposium will question the boundaries of design and the possibilities to cross-over those boundaries. Hence the title, Cross(-)abilities in Design.

It is possible to read the term cross-abilities in two different ways. First as “Crossabilities in Design”, looking at the boundaries, norms and taboos in design practice, discourse and education. The second as “Cross-abilities in Design” investigating the partnerships and the changing focus of design disciplines in a global context. In both cases the use of the term “design” is meant to evoke an identity category rather than an a-priori corpus.

In exploring the problematic boundaries of design, encountering these two contested attributions are unavoidable. In this symposium we would like to invite papers that question both attributions and keep this duality as a problem.

The conference has three strands:

Crossing Cultures

With a concentration on the global and local contexts as well as glocal creations:

  • How can design turn into an emancipatory practice by questioning cultural norms
  • How are design discourses translated across cultures?
  • How can cultural difference, rather than diversity, be productively mobilized in design education?

Crossing Disciplines
With a concentration on multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary studies and practices in areas related to design:

  • How are design discourses affected by other disciplinary discourses?
  • How are the boundaries of design set in professional and educational institutions?
  • What are the limits of interdisciplinary collaborations in design practices?

Crossing Subjectivities
With a concentration on the user and designer profiles:

  • How do cultural generalizations, prejudices and stereotypes on identity affect design practices?
  • How can inclusive and accessible design be approached and broadened across different design disciplines?
  • How can the question of agency be addressed within design disciplines?

Those who are interested in contributing papers to the twelfth 4T Symposium are invited to submit a title and an extended abstract of 500-600 words through EasyChair ( by January 31th 2017. Registration to EasyChair is essential in order to submit abstracts. The symposium language is English, therefore all abstracts, presentations and papers should be in English. For any further enquiry please contact Cansu Karakız ([email protected]). Selected proposals will be announced on February 28th, 2017.

Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2017
Notification of accepted papers: February 27, 2016


To be announced

Tevfik Balcıoğlu, Gülsüm Baydar, Şebnem Yücel, Ahenk Yılmaz, Ömer Durmaz, Ö. Osman Demirbaş, Gökhan Mura, A. Can Özcan, Dilek Himam, Gökçeçiçek Savaşır, Özlem Taşkın Erten

Cansu Karakız & Eda Paykoç

Umut Altıntaş

Orkun Destici


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