Helsinki-Tallinn 2006


About the conference

Welcome to this 5th conference of the working group International Committee of Design History and Studies ICDHS! This time it is arranged by two design universities in two countries and cities, connecting University of Art and Design Helsinki and Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn in a collaborative effort to provide a platform for presentations, discussions and debates. It also connects the Nordic Forum for Design History into its broad scope of cultures and countries that will come together next August 23rd to 25th.

In the four previous ICDHS meetings we have explored topics of both general and local nature, trying to raise hitherto unheard voices of how design has developed in regions and cultures outside the dominating centers and discussions. Besides history we have mapped the prevalent conditions and studied emerging trends in areas where design is tied to broader schemes of development affected by accelerating global flows.

This time we will continue discussion along avenues already opened but of lasting importance as well as going into new paths. The title - connecting - implies the wish to highlight the connections between territories, cultures, professionals and artefacts of design, how flows of ideas, practices and goods have produced change and how the connections may have been of one- or two-way character - or how certain loci have acted as melting-pots producing novel combinations again travelling back to the origins of their sources.

What is ICDHS? It is an international working group on design history and design studies, promoting through conferences the research and dissemination of research results on these fields of inquiry. The activity began with the Barcelona conference in 1999, followed by the Havana conference 2000. In the Istanbul conference 2002 the Committee was inaugurated and the activity continued in the 4th Guadalajara conference in 2004.

What is the Nordic Forum for Design History? It is a Nordic working group (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), which has organized biannually symposia on design history since 1988, every second year in a different country. A selection of the symposia outcomes has been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Design History. The Nordic Researchers and Scholars: please pay attention especially to theme 5!