Keynote speakers

1102_Easter_2013_Portraits_130_Edit_Edit_M_BRIGHTERGrace Lees-Maffei

Reader in Design History, Dept. of Design, School of Creative Arts,
University of Hertfordshire

The Mediation Focus in Design History: An Intellectual History

Design history’s prevailing focus on production prompted a reactionary consumption turn in the 1990s. In this talk I will reflect on the intellectual history of the concept of mediation within design history as something that gained in prominence during the consumption turn, and since then. The consumption turn involved the study of mediating discourses in the understanding of design, but it was not until well into the current century that the term ‘mediation’ was posited as a description of a cogent concept with sufficient critical mass to constitute a ‘mediation turn’. As nodal phases in the design lifecycle, production, mediation and consumption provide design historians and others interested in understanding design with a choice of entry points that can be examined as focal concerns, or simultaneously, or in combination. I will illustrate this talk with examples from my own work and those of others.



picture-1301André Jansson

Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University

Mediatization and Social Design: A Critical Approach

Through the appropriation of new media we can extend our capabilities as autonomous human beings. Media can liberate us from the constraints of time, space and social cohesion. At the same time, however, mediatization means that new forms of social and technological dependence emerge, accompanied by experiences of frustration, stress and existential anxiety. Mediatization is an inherently dialectical process, where design plays a lubricating role through making media devices and services culturally meaningful and user-friendly, sometimes even self-instructive. But critical understandings of mediatization also actualize the growing need for design that can respond to the new discontents that haunt our media-saturated lives. This regards anything from the shaping of digital interfaces to the creation of alternative physical environments for media (non-)use. In this talk I present a systematized view of the interplay between mediatization and design processes, followed by a critical discussion of the current role of social design initiatives.


avm_235_0-BWAnders V. Munch

Professor of Design Culture, Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark

Close Encounters? Mediating Design Through Brand Spaces

The design culture is highly influenced by countless visual presentations of products in digital and print mass media, and the physical encounters with material products could seem to diminish. Brand spaces and flagship stores attempt to compensate by staging products as part of a brand universe to offer individual experiences – as well as further photo opportunities for social or mass-media circulation. Architecture, interior design and visual merchandizing are parts of a mix of media that communicate both visual and material qualities, themes, atmospheres and meanings. ’Everything is media’ in branding (Liz Moor, The Rise of Brands 2007: 46), but there is, of course, huge differences between mass-media appearances of graphic design and visual communication and the more singular physical and spatial means for individual spaces. In this talk I will discuss different kinds of brand spaces and focus on how they amplify or echo material qualities and product style as spatial, visual and physical experience. Brand spaces ranging from small shop-in-shops and fairs to brand museums offer perspectives on the role of brand space as ’medium’ for communication of product qualities and meanings as well as hinges between close encounters and mass-media circulation of design products.

Call for papers

Design and mediation

15th NORDCODE Seminarmicrosoft-surface-370x229

University of Southern Denmark,

Kolding, Denmark

November 22th-24th 2016


We hereby invite for submissions to the 15th Nordcode seminar on design and its mediations. While the designed object may communicate meaning and can be understood as mediating in  multimodal ways in itself, design is also communicated, represented, set in discourse or mediated in various ways. Likewise most designs appear as mediations before their realisation as objects and some designs never go beyond their state as mediated ideas. Mediation seem to be crucial to design both ante and post factum in numerous respects.

Scholars and doctoral students are welcomed from design studies, design history & culture, media, communication and branding studies, interaction design and related fields to take part in the seminar with working papers. The papers may present finished research, work-in-progress or initial ideas, as we invite to further discussion and co-development of proposed ideas.

Contributions may relate to one of the following topics or to the general ideas of the theme:

  • Remediations of design in other materials, media and channels
  • Media and mediations as part of designing
  • Criticisms in relation to design objects in mediation, for instance questions of authenticity, mediatization, gender, technology, etc.
  • The design of media and channels – including new media, social media, etc., as well as traditional media forms
  • Design in the media – the role of media and the public for the perception and understanding of design
  • The multimodality of design
  • Digital design objects and media in physical forms and vice versa
  • The role of prototypes, provotypes and other similar artefacts as mediation

We also welcome other contributions on the more general Nordcode theme of communicative aspects of artefacts, aesthetic qualities of physical products and objects, and design processes related to the theme.

Abstracts for working papers (max 400 words + 5 keywords) should be emailed before March 28th to:

Working papers are expected to have a final length of 2500 words. Although we recommend APA references, the structure and format of paper submissions is free as we encourage discussion across disciplinary borders. In the informal spirit of Nordcode, we furthermore invite you to present in creative and innovative formats.

All submitted papers will be reviewed and accepted final papers published on the seminar webpage. There may be further possibilities for journal publication, but this is still under investigation.

Participation in the seminar is free of charge.

Important dates:
March 28: Submission of abstracts and intention to participate
April: feedback on abstracts
July 31:: Deadline for paper submission for review
September 31: Notification of acceptance of papers
October 30: Deadline for final working papers
November 22-24: Seminar

The seminar is organised by the Department of Design and Communication and SDU Design Research, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding.

Best wishes from the seminar coordinators,

Toke Riis Ebbesen &  Mads Nygaard Folkmann

Contact email: