CFP Sep 24, 2021

National Conference on the Beginning Design Student 37 (Muncie, 31 Mar-2 Apr 22)

Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Mar 31–Apr 2, 2022
Deadline: Oct 15, 2021

Kristin Barry, Ball State University

The 37th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student will be held at Ball State University from March 31-April 2, 2022 in the College of Architecture and Planning. The theme for the conference is BLATANT | LATENT, which asks authors to discuss the seen and unseen in beginning design. The conference website is now live and will be updated with more information as the conference approaches.

Conference Theme: BLATANT | LATENT

Design theorist Axel Kilian writes that “…design must be grounded in a pre-object conceptual fluidity, transcending individual design objects and instead operating as much in the realm of the intangible as that of the tangible” (Kilian 2013). Kilian’s suggestion that good design operates in the interstices of the understood and that which is yet to be discovered, can be perceived as the crux of design education. The fragile balance that is struck between procedural teaching and encouraging self-discovery has a lengthy discourse in education, and is of particular relevance for contemporary beginning design. Reconceptualizing these principles as the “latent” and “blatant” in design education, we might discover new modes of thinking about the tangible and intangible qualities in design processes, pedagogies, and productions.

The “blatant” can be characterized as the obvious, pre-determined, or the realized in design, whereas the “latent” might be considered that which is hidden or forthcoming. The iterative process encompasses both of these principles, ultimately landing in a juxtaposition or blurring of these concepts. The calibration of this juxtaposition between the two extremes of latent and blatant is subjective and determined by individual and emerging value systems, and should promote healthy discussion on the relevancy of each in beginning design education.

By embracing these themes and their intersections, we hope to initiate conversation and stimulate thoughtful debate on the role of the latent, blatant, and their intersection with respect to multi-disciplinary beginning design. Conference organizers are specifically interested in the spectrum of design didactics, behaviors, iterations, ethics, ecologies, techniques, communications, productions, and strategies as related to the conference theme(s). We encourage submissions that apply this line of thinking within all design fields and their allies.


Submission for NCBDS 37 is a two-step process. The first submission is a detail, summarized abstract, including optional imagery, which will be peer-reviewed for acceptance. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted by reviewers will then be asked to produce a full paper and present a visual presentation at the conference in March/April 2022. All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. The submission deadline for abstracts is October 15, 2021. Abstracts sent after this date will not be reviewed. There is no template for the abstract submission. Your abstract should address the conference theme and adhere to the following conditions:

Author(s) Name, affiliation, and email address should be listed on a cover page, with abstract on a second page. No identifying information should be included in the abstract to ensure anonymity.

Abstract should be no more than 500 words.

Author(s) should include no more than 3 images. These may be formatted within the text or attached to the end of the document.

The full abstract, cover page, and images should be formatted and submitted as a PDF document

Please email abstracts to:

Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by December 3, 2021. Authors whose abstracts are accepted must submit the full paper by February 4, 2022. Paper submission guidelines will be published after abstract submission is complete.

Accepted papers will be organized into sub-thematic sessions.

We invite professionals, academics, researchers, and students in any design or design-adjacent field to participate and apply to present. The conference website is now live and provides additional information.

We look forward to seeing you in the spring at Ball State University!

Sean Burns + Kristin Barry
NCBDS 37 Co-chairs

CFP: National Conference on the Beginning Design Student 37 (Muncie, 31 Mar-2 Apr 22). In:, Sep 24, 2021 (accessed Oct 18, 2021), <>.