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Hosted by University of Johannesburg & Inscape Education Group

The 2021 DEFSA Design Education conference will be streamed live from 5 to 7 October 2021 from UJ Arts Centre.

How it's going...

The abstract phase is closed.

  • 55 abstracts submitted
  • 24 Institution represented
  • All design disciplines are represented. The most popular disciplines (excluding pure research) are Built Environment,Visual Communication and Industrial Design.

Then 2nd phase is expected to be complete by 15 April - double-blind appraisal where [anonymised] abstracts are assessed at a high level for required criteria such as relevance to the conference theme and design education. We hope to announce here when we expect to notify authors of their acceptance into the next phase (full paper submission).

Our conference will be virtual in 2021 - and in support of the conference theme we are taking this opportunity to present new formats and peer review procedures.

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Conference Theme

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production.

The Second used electric power to create mass production.

The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.

Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third - the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century.It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. (Klaus Schwab (2016) Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF)

The COVID-19 pandemic has visibly impacted every sphere of life. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and its impact on design education can similarly be viewed through the lens of this global pandemic.

The unique context of Afrika adds further layers to this lens. In past DEFSA conferences, design educators would reflect the conference theme on their particular context, lived experience, and specific design discipline. To encourage this self-reflection and forward-thinking, the 2021 DEFSA Conference addresses the past, present and future of design education while considering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the context of Afrikan scholarship.