Ends on August 3, 2017

Call for speaker proposals

Calling designers, writers, bloggers, publishers, researchers, collectors and design lovers. Object Subject will explore the way design speaks to us, and the way we speak about design.

It begins with a premise that writing is essential to the future of design – promoting understanding, providing reflections, interpreting the past and imagining the future – but extends to a broader consideration of design practice as cultural and artistic language. Object Subject is a new platform to explore and respond to emerging changes, current issues and promised opportunities within the sector, to develop new audiences and bridge scholarly and popular writing in a digital age.

Presentation types

We welcome proposals for presentations in a range of accessible and more formal formats. The below are suggestions only, if you have other ideas we would love to hear from you.

Panel discussion

This involves each speaker introducing themselves and their views on a topic for 3 minutes followed by 25 minutes of discussion amongst the panel.

Proposed panel discussion topics:
  • The rise of digital – the changing role of the design critic and design writing in a digital age
  • Radical design communication – exploring alternatives to the written word and letting design speak for itself
  • Design storytelling and object narratives – sharing personal, local, cultural and community stories
  • Branding identity – narratives of the subject and how the written word shapes the identity of a designer
  • Other: please suggest a panel discussion topic


This is a 12 minute speaker presentation followed by 3 minutes of questions and answers.

We recommend against reading entire papers, and suggest you use visual supports such as Powerpoint. Multiple-authored presentations are welcome.

Visual presentation/show and tell

Participants are given the opportunity to demonstrate their most recent work, and interact with the conference attendees in an informal way, such as a demonstration or any adapted format of their own choice. Maximum duration of presentations is 5-6 minutes.

Guest Editor:

Professor Craig Bremner, jointly Professor of Design at Charles Sturt University and the University of Southern Denmark.


Rachael Coghlan, Artistic Director DESIGN Canberra and CEO, Craft ACT

Penny Craswell, Founder, The Design Writer and Creative Strategy Associate, Australian Design Centre

Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe, Senior Lecturer, Design, School of Art & Design, Australian National University

Sarah Mason, Director ACT Writers Centre

Dr Carlos Montana Hoyos, Associate Professor, Industrial Design – Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra

Dr Lisa Scharoun, Associate Professor of Graphic Design – Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra

Gilbert Riedelbauch, Head of Foundation Studies and Graduate Coursework Convenor – School of Art & Design, Australian National University

Submission Guidelines

All proposals must be submitted through the Craft ACT submittable page, and must include:

  • Title 
  • Abstract/outline which clearly and concisely describes the subject and nature of the presentation eg. panel, paper, visual presentation (max 400 words)
  • Presenter's name, affiliation, contact information, and brief biography (max 200 words)
  • Additional presenters, if any

Presenters must obtain all necessary authorisations and clearances from their organisation(s), prior to the start of the conference. Presentations shall be unclassified and cleared for release to the public. Presenters and panel chairs must register for the conference and pay the applicable registration fee.  

Full papers will be submitted after abstracts have been accepted.

Key Dates

3 August: Deadline for speaker proposals (including papers, panels and presentations)

17 August: Notification of accepted proposals

31 August: Early bird registration closes

29 September: Deadline for full papers (where applicable)

3 November: Registration closes

9-11 November: Conference

Registration & Fees

Early bird: $190.00 (save $100 off full price registration until Thursday 31 August 2017)

Full registration: $290.00

Student: $120.00

The registration fee includes:

  • Welcome reception
  • Admission to Object Subject conference sessions (Friday 10 November)
  • Lunch, morning and afternoon tea (Friday 10 November)
  • Research Forum (Saturday 11 November; includes morning tea)

Registration now open


All papers submitted to Object Subject will undergo a peer-review process. Selected papers from the conference will be published in an online edition of Fusion journal (established by Charles Sturt University and the University of Lincoln, UK). This publication will investigate the contribution that contemporary craft and design makes to society, and establish a dialogue between craft and design practice and cultural, social and environmental concerns.


All questions about submissions should be emailed to designcanberra@craftact.org.au

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