ICDHS is the acronym of the International Committee of Design History and Design Studies, an organisation that brings together scholars from Spain, Cuba, Turkey, Mexico, Finland, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, the US, Taiwan, Canada and the UK.
Since 1999, when the Design and Art History departments of the University of Barcelona organised the first edition of the ICDHS, a conference has been held every two years at a different venue around the world. These conferences have had two distinct aims: first, to present original research in the fields of Design History and Design Studies and, second, to include contributions in these fields from non-hegemonic countries, offering a speaking platform to many scientific communities that are already active or are forming and developing. For that reason, the structure of the conferences combines many parallel strands, including poster presentations and keynote speakers who lecture on the conferences’ main themes.
With the title BACK TO THE FUTURE (THE FUTURE IN THE PAST: Starting Again: Understanding Our Own Legacy), the 2018 event is rather special. The Taipei 2016 conference was the 10th edition and a commemoration of the ten celebrations to date. Returning to Barcelona in 2018 marks the end of one stage and the beginning of a new one for the Committee. The numbering chosen—“10+1”—also means that Barcelona 2018 is both an end and a beginning in the ICDHS’s own history.
Consequently, several research lines proposed for strands refer to the legacy of these conferences, reminding new audiences of previous editions and areas of research already worked on. It is therefore a question of taking stock and exploring the real legacy of the conferences. This review represents a promise for the future and considers the conferences’ continuity in the near future, looking ahead to themes and issues for upcoming editions.
29, 30 & 31 October
Paranimf de la Universitat de Barcelona, Museu del Disseny de Barcelona, Can Jaumeandreu (UB)