April 1-2, 2022

Welcome to the National Conference on the Beginning Design Student 37 (NCBDS 37) hosted by the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University. This site will provide you with much-needed information about the upcoming conference. The website will be updated as the academic year progresses and as the conference draws near.

We look forward to welcoming you to Muncie, Indiana in April 2022!

Your NCBDS 37 co-chairs,

Sean Burns & Kristin Barry


Conference Theme:  blatant  I  latent  

Design theorist Axel Kilian writes that “…design must be grounded in a pre-object conceptual fluidity, transcending individual design objects and instead operating as much in the realm of the intangible as that of the tangible” (Kilian 2013). Kilian’s suggestion that good design operates in the interstices of the understood and that which is yet to be discovered, can be perceived as the crux of design education. The fragile balance that is struck between procedural teaching and encouraging self-discovery has a lengthy discourse in education, and is of particular relevance for contemporary beginning design. Reconceptualizing these principles as the “latent” and “blatant” in design education, we might discover new modes of thinking about the tangible and intangible qualities in design processes, pedagogies, and productions.

The “blatant” can be characterized as the obvious, pre-determined, or the realized in design, whereas the “latent” might be considered that which is hidden or forthcoming. The iterative process encompasses both of these principles, ultimately landing in a juxtaposition or blurring of these concepts. The calibration of this juxtaposition between the two extremes of latent and blatant is subjective and determined by individual and emerging value systems, and should promote healthy discussion on the relevancy of each in beginning design education.

By embracing these themes and their intersections, we hope to initiate conversation and stimulate thoughtful debate on the role of the latent, blatant, and their intersection with respect to multi-disciplinary beginning design. Conference organizers are specifically interested in the spectrum of design didactics, behaviors, iterations, ethics, ecologies, techniques, communications, productions, and strategies as related to the conference theme(s). We encourage submissions that apply this line of thinking within all design fields and their allies.

Accepted papers will be organized into sub-thematic sessions.

The abstract book can be found here.


Important Dates

DEADLINE EXTENDED: October 25, 2021 – Abstract Submission Deadline
December 3, 2021 – Notification of Acceptance
February 4, 2022 – Full Paper Submission Deadline
April 1-2, 2022 – NCBDS 37 Conference

For any additional questions, please contact