Doctoral Design Consortium'21 | 22-23 June 2021 | Online


IADE, Universidade Europeia, together with UNIDCOM – Research Unit in Design and Communication, is pleased to announce the 8th Design Doctoral Consortium, which will be held on the 22nd and 23rd of June 2021. This two-day virtual event will consist of keynote lectures by guest speakers, and presentations by our doctoral students, aiming to develop the conversation around the ever-changing scenarios and future challenges we face in the field of design research.

This year’s theme is TRANSition.

transition noun /trænˈzɪʃn/

the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another [1].

Transition has frequently been regarded as a connecting point between two much more important and prominent states. It is an intermission. A gap. The distance between two marks.

Nowadays, with the ongoing pandemic scenario and its effects on social and economic issues, this “process of changing” has been a source of suspicion within society. We have experienced rapid and continuous changes since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, and have been allowed little time to inure to each new shift – we have traveled through new safety measures, new states of emergency, new lockdowns, new strains of the virus, etc. Due to the very nature of pandemics, there is a constant need to change the way we approach each new event, where the previously implemented policies are no longer the most appropriate to minimize new consequences that might arise [2]. With no certain end to the pandemic in sight, these changes have continued indefinitely, accumulating an array of emotions that has led to ambivalence and skepticism.

However – and although it is often confused with – change is not transition. Change is situational and it will happen without people transitioning. “Transition, on the other hand, is psychological; it is a three-phase process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the details of the new situation that the change brings about” [3]. In other words, transition is the process of gradual acceptance and, in being so, it harbors new possibilities. It promotes the emergence of new ways of thinking, new endeavors, and new partnerships in the search for a novel stage of evolution – a new beginning.

Thus, we argue that transition should be regarded as its own state – a physical and temporal space where a tension between connectivity and distinction has developed, and where imagination and opportunity are sustained.

For designers, transition holds an essential role in our creative process as the structure that guides us along a path to innovation. It is the moment where we can rediscover and re-acknowledge promising resources to design the living of tomorrow; the moment where we can propose an idea and a scale to measure its value by asking ‘what should be’ and ‘how can we get there’.

It is our responsibility as designers to be aware of emergent changes and aid society’s transitions – acknowledging the past and present living and proposing solutions for building a more sustainable future within complex, interconnected social and natural systems.

Please join us for the 8th edition of the Doctoral Design Consortium in a two-day celebration of design process and research, where we hope to explore how Transition can support design innovation.

[1] Lexico – Powered by Oxford (2021) Meaning of transition in English. Retrieved from:
[2] Fakhruddin, B., Blanchard, K., & Ragupathy, D. (2020, May) Are we there yet? The transition from response to recovery for the COVID-19 pandemic. Progress in Disaster Science. Retrieved from:
[3] Bridges, W. (2009) Managing Transitions: Making The Most Of Change. Da Capo Press: U.S.



7th Design Doctoral Conference





6th Design Doctoral Conference





5th Design Doctoral Conference





4th Design Doctoral Conference