blatant  I  latent  I  blatænt

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 the realm of the blatænt, the juxtaposition or blurring of these concepts. The calibration of the blatænt 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 blatænt 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.

Information for abstract submission can be found here.