2017 Object Subject Conference. Photo: Trang Arya

DESIGN Canberra edition of Fusion Journal

Issue 13 of fusion – an international, open access, online scholarly journal for the communication, creative industries and media arts – is now live. This special issue publishes a collection of papers from the national design writing conference Object Subject held in Canberra in November 2017 as part of the DESIGN Canberra festival.

The Object Subject inaugural national design writing conference was a flagship event for the 2017 DESIGN Canberra festival, the primary outreach program for Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. The theme of the 2017 festival was “where do we go from here?” which sought to co-design with the audience, the future of the annual DESIGN Canberra festival.

This conference came about to help create a bridge between academic writing and popular design blogs, and to tell a bigger and more nuanced story about the past, present and future of design. The Object Subject conference was born and a fruitful discussion ensued from some of the leading design writers across academic, curatorial, practitioner and commercial perspectives.

The most important discussion which arose from the conference related to the responsibility of design and its potential to create a better world. For example, as designers, writers or consumers we have a responsibility to know where the materials used to make objects come from and we must encourage ethical and inclusive design. The keynote speaker, Alice Rawsthorn, argued compellingly that the responsibility of the design writer is to point out what is responsible and irresponsible about design. In response to the Object Subject conference, and as a result of our invitation to audiences and participants to co-design the festival, DESIGN Canberra have heeded the call to take seriously design’s responsibility as an agent for positive change in society. The 2018 DESIGN Canberra festival program now includes a public dialogue about the role and impact of design on the community, and how design can make life better.

Co-founded by the Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University (Australia), and the College of Arts, University of Lincoln (United Kingdom), fusion publishes refereed papers, creative works and other practice-led forms of production.

Managing Editor: Professor Craig Bremner
Production Editor: Kim Woodland