IASDR 2021 is the ninth Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research. The overarching theme of IASDR 2021 is ‘[ _ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes’. Design finds itself at a critical moment where the conventional ‘modes’ of doing, thinking and application are increasingly challenged by the troubled ideology of globalization, climate changes, migration patterns and rapid restructuring of locally driven manufacturing sectors. In addition, the wider call for design to become more open and more cross- and trans-disciplinary has further blurred boundaries between disciplinary and knowledge domains, challenging both design discourses and designers to steer praxis and thinking across unchartered territory for the sake of innovation and advancing research. In combination with the environmental, cultural, technological, and, crucially, pandemic transitions, the call heeds for design at large to fundamentally alter its modes of practice. Beyond the conventional models of conducting research, or developing solutions to ‘wicked’ problems, the recoupling of design with different modes should be seen as an expression to embrace other capacities of thinking, criticisms and productions. The coupling of DESIGN with SOCIAL, MAKING, BUSINESS, CRITICAL, HISTORICAL/PROJECTIVE, IMPACT, PANDEMIC and ALTERNATIVE MODES necessitates the rescripting of all aptitudes and practices. ‘[ _ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes’ encourages design researchers to discuss, elaborate and investigate emerging modes of design research that transcend disciplines in order to serve a multitude of goals and scales. This overarching theme wishes to solicit the definition of new frameworks, models, methods, products and unexpected outcomes in this questioning of design futures.
Since our beginnings in 1937, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has evolved alongside economic and social development in Hong Kong and the world. We have done more than change with the times. We have nurtured many bright minds who have contributed to the advancement of society. We are also a platform where practical, yet world-changing, ideas are conceived and brought to life.