The Research and Education Forum is an integral part of the World Design Assembly, regrouping dozens of WDO’s Education Members from around the world to submit papers and posters on themes that concentrate and further the design discipline and its strengthening its connection to industry.

The forum brought together designers, academics, students and design professionals to further enhance the future of design research and education through a series of keynotes, paper presentations and a panel discussion on the future of design education.

The papers presented at the 2022 Research and Education Forum are included in the proceedings document of the event. 

52.8 MB – PDF

Keynote Speakers

‘Pseudo Design, Futures Design, & the Future of Design Education’
by Karel Vredenburg

About Karel Vredenburg

Karel Vredenburg has led design in various roles worldwide at IBM for most of his three decades with the company, and is currently responsible for IBM’s Global Design Leadership, Culture, External Engagement, and Academic Programs. He chairs the Design Executive Team comprised of top managerial design executives in each business unit and the Design Leadership Board comprised of the technical and managerial design executives responsible for the review and appointment of Design Principals and Distinguished Designers.

‘The Potential of Design Education: Industry and Future’
by Meikang Yao

About Meikang Yao

Prof Meikang Yao, who is Dean of School of Design and Director of Academic Committee of Shunde Polytechnic. He is also the Chief Architect of Shenzhen Civil Engineering Tongji Architectural Design Institute. Professor Yao has been keen on research interests in architectural design and theory, urban planning and design and landscape and environmental art design. He was granted a National Innovative Design Skills Master Studio in 2019, a Top 10 Most Influential Designers in China from 2011 to 2012, and German Red Dot Award in 2017.

Panel discussion

Future of design education
with Mariana Amatullo, Isabelle Vérilhac and Kari Kivinen

About Mariana Amatullo

Mariana Amatullo, President, Cumulus A practitioner-scholar, educator, and design strategist, Mariana is the President of the Cumulus Association. She is an Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design. She serves as the Vice Provost for Global Executive Education and Online Strategic Initiatives at The New School, New York. Previously, Mariana co-founded and led the award-winning social innovation department, Designmatters, at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Mariana’s research and publishing bridge the design and management fields and examine the role designers play in advancing social innovation and organizational learning. Mariana holds a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and a Licence en Lettres from the Sorbonne University, Paris, where she also studied Art History at L’Ecole du Louvre. A native of Argentina and the child of a diplomat, Mariana grew up around the world.

About Isabelle Vérilhac

Isabelle Vérilhac, President, Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) Isabelle is the head of International Affairs and Innovation and coordinator of Saint-Etienne (France) UNESCO City of Design and the President of the Bureau of European Design (BEDA). Isabelle holds a Post-Diploma in design research, a Doctorate in material chemical physics, and gives lectures in industrial design. She was the director of the Saint-Etienne Medical Technologies Cluster from 2003 to 2007, and has worked in design, medical research and development activities. For 14 years she has been in charge of the relations with economic stakeholders at the Cité du design Saint-Etienne. She created and set up the materials resource center, the innovative uses and practices labs and the Design Creative City Living Lab of the Cité du design.

About Kari Kivinen

Kari Kivinen, Education outreach expert, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Observatory Kari Kivinen is the Education Outreach Expert of the European Union Intellectual Property Office OBSERVATORY. He is involved e.g. with the Intellectual Property in Education Network-project, which promotes creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and responsible digital engagement among young Europeans. He has worked in international schools in Finland, Luxembourg and Belgium. He is the former Secretary-General of the European School system and ex-Head of the Finnish French school of Helsinki. During his professional career, he has combined his everyday work with research and further studies. He builds bridges between educational research and school system reform.

& Posters

Under the banner of ‘Design for the unimagined’ the Research and Education Forum was further divided into three themes. 

Theme 1: Response in extreme times

Our world is facing many complex challenges – from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, overpopulation and global migrations. These extreme circumstances have not only forced us to rethink how we live our lives, shifting daily habits and patterns, but have also brought us together in new ways that showcase how humans can adapt in times of crisis.



Theme 2: Human-centred technologies for social and environmental benefit

Big Data. Artificial Intelligence. The Internet of Things. These technologies are influencing our world, but questions loom about what value they can really bring to our everyday lives. The key, it would seem, to unlocking this potential is evaluating the balance between human-centred and performance-based technologies. As we look to address some of our most pressing and social and environmental challenges, designing with people in mind allows us to better understand where we came from and how we can move forwards together.


Theme 3: Emergence of new learning

Changes in society, student expectations, and technology continue to shift the ways in which we learn. A distinctive rise in online learning has caused both design educators and students alike to explore new tools to keep up with the demands of 21st century learning. As new forces reshape the academic landscape and conversations around educational accessibility pervade public debate, how can existing methodologies of design research and curricula evolve to enhance the student experience and equip them with the skills needed for future professional practice?