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Theme to the Call for Papers

Conference Theme: Known and Unknown Territories 

The theme of the NCBDS38 conference is Known and Unknown Territories. The conference focuses on ways in which known territories and unknown territories are contemplated, explored, and defined in the beginning design education and spatial thinking. The question of known and unknown Territories is intended to guide beginning design students to a new place of understanding rather than to a location. How does this question manifest in pedagogical processes? Didactic, haptic, and technological inventions are in constant flux and evolution. Reconsiderations of how we approach the built environment and the systems we interact with are emerging from the Pandemic and into a space in which we must reconsider how and where we design. The conference organizers welcome educators and students to create paper submissions from the fields of art, architecture, design, and landscape architecture within five areas or perspectives: 

Known and Unknown Territories – Terra Incognita 

How do we define the blank space on the map and why? How do we define the unknown? How are students taught to enter and explore areas that are unfamiliar? When does the unknown become known in the field of art, architecture, design, and landscape architecture? How do we trace the path of peoples, animals, wars, climates, and technologies on a global scale in order to research humanity’s impact on the planet, and the ways in which we can make a real impact to save it, and to thrive as a species? 

Known and Unknown Territories – Otherness 

How does the beginning design student define otherness? What is otherness in art, architecture, design, and landscape architecture? Does the creative mind seek otherness or does its object to otherness? What is the known and unknown in otherness? What if we seek lines of communication through the lens of the other, not just that of humans but within the depth of the natural world around us. 

Known and Unknown Territories – Future and Past 

How do certain aspects of the past endure, and how do these components and/or characteristics influence the future? How do we navigate venturing into the completely unknown? How does knowledge of the past and the risk of innovation factor into design and how we introduce it to beginning students? 

Known and Unknown Territories – Technology 

How is technology introduced to the emerging students in art, design, and landscape architecture? How is technology implemented and are there any pedagogical goals or restrictions? How do rapid changes in technology influence design, from the tools we use to the materials with which we design? In an increasingly expansive and undifferentiated platform of information and opportunity, what is the future architect, designer, and artist? Will emerging students design on solid ground or in mediated realities and platforms? 

Known and Unknown Territories – Speculation 

What if? How might we? What can we learn about designing for the future through examination of extreme or unrealistic propositions? What is the impact when students are unleashed from the typical constraints of gravity, economy or even established societal norms thereby creating a petri dish of design possibility and failure? How can running amongst the extremes of utopian visions and dystopian manifestations wherein lies a landscape of design push imaginative alternative futures and possibilities? 

By embracing these themes and their intersections, we hope to initiate conversation and stimulate thoughtful debate on the role of Known and Unknown Territories and their intersection with respect to multi-disciplinary beginning design. Conference organizers are specifically interested in the spectrum of history, utopia, ethics, ecologies, technology, speculation, fiction, 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. 

Abstract Submission Guidelines

Paper abstracts should be 500 words or less and should include 3 images that will be included in the presentation. Abstracts must accurately describe the content and intent of the full paper and conference presentation. Final papers that are not aligned with the submitted abstract will not be included in the conference proceedings.

Abstract and paper submission have been closed.

Important Dates: 

September 1, 2022 – Call for Papers & Workshops announced

October 31, 2022 – Abstract Submission Deadline 

December 15, 2022 – Notification of Acceptance 

February 28, 2023 – Full Paper Submission Deadline 

May 18-20, 2023 – NCBDS 38 Conference 

For any additional questions, please contact