CfP: Who Cares? 14th 4T International Design and Design History Symposium. Online, 17-19 November 2021

Call for Papers: Who Cares? 14th 4T International Design and Design History Symposium. Online, 17-19 November 2021

The Covid-19 Pandemic has once more reminded us how fragile our existence on this planet is and how fragile the planet itself has become. It also made us critically rethink design activities we have been carrying out to shape our environment in order to make ourselves more resilient. Our species is now going through a painful awakening, realizing that in order to make human life last, we have to care for all the living and non-living on a planetary scale.

“Care” then, assumes an ever-greater significance on an ever-greater scale. But who “cares?” Who cares about design’s role to make us well, to make our planet better, healthier? Are we to define the field anew, a totally new professional, a new platform of inquiry? How are we to learn from the history of all design disciplines that dealt with “care”?

Who has the power to care for the other? How can design empower people to care for themselves, for each other and for the planet? How can we care through design?

This symposium would like to invite papers discussing the concept of care and design including but not limited to the areas below:

  • Design to care for the self: How do we design (for) our own bodies. How do we design for health and well-being? How do we design for other selves?
  • Design to care for the planet: Is it possible or ethical not to care for the planet while designing?
  • Design to care for the earlier and next generations: How does design take a role in the care for the elderly or care for children?
  • Design and ethnicity: Does design discriminate?
  • Design and equity, design and equality: How does design take a role in the access to care?
  • Special focus: Caring for Covid 19 (design in times of pandemics)

Organizers would like to put a special emphasis on the discussion on past and contemporary applications of design in times of epidemics, and possibly, pandemics. This part invites research papers concentrated on the three pillars of caring for our bodies against Covid-19: hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks.

Those who are interested in contributing papers to the fourteenth 4T Symposium are invited to submit a title and an extended abstract of 1000 words in English through EasyChair by 2 July 2021. For any further questions please contact Işılay Tiarnagh Sheridan at

For more information and the full call, see the symposium website.

Share this post

News from the field

On the Traces of Misery

“Miserabilia” investigates spaces and spectres of misery in the imagination and reality of the contemporary Italian urban context. The main objective is the definition of tools for the recognition and investigation of the tangible and intangible manifestations of...