Ideas of Revolt — Call for Submissions

The Graphic Design Educators’ Network 2017 Conference
Ideas of Revolt: Stationing ideas of revolt within contemporary graphic design education

Venue: Sheffield Institute of the Arts, Sheffield Hallam University

Dates: 7—8 September 2017

The political and social landscape of 2017 offers graphic design students ample rich subject matter to react to, dissect and interpret, but where is the revolt?

Historically, design education has laid claim to innovative practices based in creative risk-taking, challenging audiences and leading significant cultural transformation. However, this rhetoric is increasingly compromised by the metrics culture of academic quality management. Assessment methods that remain primarily object-based and outcome-defined have diminished divergent thinking. Too many graduates look to fit into the industry, rather than challenging the standard and forming their own path.

How do we encourage revolt? How can we re-frame design education as a space for the rejection of entrenched orthodoxies and the proposal of alternatives? How do we pursue change in our educational practices? Which ideas should we rethink? What practices should we revolt against? The 2017 Graphic Design Educators’ Network annual conference will examine instances where educators are challenging the state of play to creative effect, with an eye to developing new strategies for embedding revolt within the student experience.

With keynotes from Dr Rathna Ramanathan (Head of Visual Communication, RCA) and Matt Ward (Head of Design, Goldsmiths), and two thematic strands curated by Alternative Art School (Dr Cathy Gale and students, Kingston University) and Alt/Shift (Derek Yates, Winchester School of Art) the event promises to stir emotions.

Submissions are warmly invited for the following formats:

  • workshops – 60 minute interactive sessions;
  • papers – 20 minute presentations with 10 minutes for questions;
  • roundtable discussions – each roundtable will consist of three 10 minute presentations and whole group discussion facilitated by a chair. These sessions will last 60 minutes.

Within the structure of submissions, GDEN welcomes presentation of empirical research, pedagogic case studies, artefacts, well-argued calls to arms, ruminations or provocations, and other rigorous nonstandard approaches that draw upon disciplinary practices within graphic design education.

Please include the following information with all submissions:

  • title –
  • abstract – maximum length 150 words;
  • preferred format – choose one from: workshop/paper/roundtable;
  • for workshops – describe at least 3 learning activities expected of participants;
  • contributor name(s);
  • contact information – in the case of collaborative presentations, please provide details for all contributors involved;
  • organisation & affiliation – where relevant, please include the full course title, whilst practitioners may wish to include the title of their practice.

Email submissions to: – by the end of Sunday 18th June 2017.





Ticket price: £160