This cumulus network aims to better understand and shape the role of design education to match the future demand of industry to innovative within a rapidly changing global economic environment.  The changing nature of Design has gained attention from governments to address structural economic shifts brought upon through global financial challenges. Within this context design has been viewed as a mechanism of building resilience within a national economy by driving innovation, productivity improvements and social cohesion.

This network started in 2013 in Kalmar as the Design and Innovation network to address the broader issues addressing the changing nature of design within industry, government and society.  After two engaging meetings, it was felt that this topic should be refined to reflect a stronger focus on the role of design within industry to support innovation.  To reflect this change the network has been retitled Industry and Innovation.

The revised Cumulus network aims have also been updated to reflect to bring together a global network of  academics, educators and practitioners to share and explore approaches and challenges to  the repositioning of ‘design’ as a downstream operational activity to a driver of strategic value at an organisational level.  The network will aim to complement the activities of various National research programs investigating the role and value of design by framing the educational implications to enhance innovation within industry through design.


Specific questions that the network will aim to address include:

  • What will be the emerging design education content to enable industry to address structural economic shifts and remain globally competitive?
  • What is the ideal balance between design, science, art and business education to address issues relating to industry and innovation
  • What are the emerging industry engagement frameworks to enable design capability to be embedded within firms to enhance innovation?
  • What are the education challenges to prepare design gradates to operate within this context?
  • What exemplars projects exist and what forums should these be shared in?
  • How can this group provide input to influence regional and global policy?


Call for presentation in the Aveiro conference

The first meeting of this revised network will be held in Averio Portugal.  We are calling for presentations for the meeting from the Cumulus membership to frame the scope of the working group.  We would like to get a broad cross-section of ideas and examples of how this approach to design is being addressed within each country and what are some of the current educational approaches being explored.  The outcome of the workshop will be to provide a map of activity which will be populated in future meetings.  This activity map will assist in identifying gaps and challenges which can be explore through ongoing research through this working group. (outline presentation Max 500 words)

Calls presentation should be presented as a one page summary of your interest in this topic indicating, current research and insights which contribute to the working groups aims.  These presentations should be sent to the network hosts.  A short presentation on your topic will also be made at the Averio conference.  However if you are unable to attend, we would still be interested in hearing from you to capture your perspectives and include you in this and future discussions.


Dr Sam Bucolo
Professor Design and Innovation
University of Technology Sydney

Professor Marjolijn Brussaard
Dean, School of Art & Design
Nottingham Trent University
United Kingdom