KISD sessions and workshop at the 2019 Cumulus Conference in Rovaniemi

At the 2019 Cumulus conference “Around the Campfire“ with more than 500 participants from the most renowned design schools worldwide attending from May 29 until June 1 in Finland, KISD – Köln International School of Design hosted conference sessions including a workshop on “Emerging Formats “. With many guests from KISD’s international partner universities, these sessions started a “Global Design Conversation” about emerging formats in academia – and how they can have a sustainable, lasting impact.

With more than 50 participants in total, agile formats daring to go new paths beyond existing degree programs were discussed and a lot of new ideas developed. How can we share expertise and activities? How can new transnational activities be brought to a sustainable level? What are the opportunities for design education facing global challenges?

From the perspective of KISD, the outcomes were very convincing: “We could strengthen existing ties to partners, connect existing partnerships to broader collaborations, and reach out to new ones. In seven workshop groups, we discovered emerging “out-of-the-ordinary” formats to practice,” said KISD professor Philipp Heidkamp. “The participating colleagues from all over the world were excited about the topic to be discussed and the way the conversation was established.”

The successful workshop will feed back into the next Cumulus conference in Bogota from October 30 to November 1, 2019.

“The KISD workshops arranged by Philipp Heidkamp and his colleagues Wolfgang Laubersheimer, Katrin Müller-Russo and Lisa Janßen at Cumulus in Rovaniemi were especially meaningful due to the representatives in these workshops. Insightful thought leaders and design administrators were present to lay the groundwork and framework for moving ahead with a focus on internationalization for design education. The impact of these initiatives has the power to reach schools and students around the world and over 800,000 students in the Cumulus network,” said Lorraine Justice, PhD, Dean Emerita, Professor of Industrial Design, Rochester Institute of Technology.

“The Emerging Formats sessions at Cumulus organized by Philipp Heidkamp and KISD were an excellent platform to introduce and connect educational leaders and academics from around the world to explore new methods and ideas to further design education. The sessions, organized around a common theme of internationalization, were very insightful, yet probing, providing participants with an opportunity to think strategically about global design education. I am pleased to have participated,” concluded Venka Purushothaman, PhD, Provost, from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore.

A further success for KISD was the election of Philipp Heidkamp as new member of the Executive Board in the General Assembly of the Cumulus world organization on May 30 during the conference: “Internationalization is at the core of Cumulus’ mission. I am thrilled to welcome to our board Phillip Heidkamp who is bringing deep expertise and thought-leadership on this subject among many, but also a commitment to explore and co-create with our members new dynamic formats for collaboration and creative linking that I anticipate will be highly generative,” stressed Mariana Amatullo, PhD, President Cumulus Association, Associate Professor Strategic Design and Management / Vice Provost Global Strategic Initiatives at Parsons The New School of Design, New York City.

On the occasion of the conference, KISD could sign and celebrate new agreements of collaboration: Together with IUAV (Italy), we will strengthen our KISDstudio Venice, SDS Nice (France) emphasizes our efforts on sustainability, UID (India) creates a first and intense bridge to India looking for dedicated collaborations on the MA level. ESDI (Brazil) establishes a relation to the first design school in Brazil established 60 years ago allowing us to connect to the current societal and political challenges in Brazil through the means of design.

LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) is a close partner in the Global Design Initiative (GDI) network established in 2015 allowing now further collaborations not only with the design, but also with the art and architecture programs. This will give an excellent framework for continuing and deepening collaborations in the next years.