For the design conference ATTENDING [TO] FUTURES that will take place at Köln International School of Design of TH Köln (Cologne, Germany) on 18-20 November 2021 there is a Call for Submissions till April 05, 2021. Due to the development of Covid-19 it could be transformed into an online event.

A conference for design practitioners, researchers, educators, students, scholars, and activists, who engage in a political reprogramming of design!

Acknowledging the ways in which design (as practices, forms of knowledge, and sets of objects) is accountable for social and environmental injustice, ATTENDING [TO] FUTURES is a platform for critical perspectives that scrutinize unchallenged disciplinary norms and designerly ways of knowing, being, doing, and imagining in design education, research, and practice.

On the conference website you will find all further informations about conference and call:

We ask for contributions that are related to but not limited to the following questions and topics

→ How are design practices embedded in socio-political contexts and hegemonic power structures and how do they (re-)produce exclusion?
→ How can persistent structures of systemic oppression and privilege in design be recognized and changed?
→ How can approaches for the invention and constitution of future worlds be developed without perpetuating pejorative constructions of race, class, gender and ability?
→ How can we reprogram education, research and practice, in order to lead design out of defuturing ways of knowing, being, and doing?
→ How can we deal with the «monsters» (Ahmed Ansari) that design helps to create and that inversely help design into being?
→ How do supposed design innovations contribute to the destruction of possible futures, rather than opening up new spaces of possibility?
→ What does a critical revision and transformation of contested histories and entrenched narratives entail?
→ Which counter-hegemonic projects already exist, and how can they be amplified and mobilized?
→ How can design itself be employed as a tool to critically examine the socio-political configuration of historical events as well as to create possible futures?
→ What are the modalities of education as defamiliarization?
→ Which tools, methods, and media can be used to develop things, material practices, images, spaces, and bodies that transform existing hegemonies and subversively reverse normative orders?

We accept and encourage submissions of different formats

→ Talks (word + images/video)
→ Presentation or exhibition of (training-) research projects (word + images/video + prototypes/artifacts)
→ Workshops (with conference participants)
→ Performances (live or video)
→ Other formats

Key dates

Submission of abstracts
April 05, 2021

Abstract feedback
May 07, 2021

November 18–20, 2021

Submission modalities

Abstract of submission (500 words max., if needed, up to 5 images can be included). Short biography (200 words max.)

PDF file via e-mail to

Deadline:  April 05, 2021
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