CCS to Host International Art, Design and Research Conference in Detroit

February 7, 2022
Cumulus Conference

Cumulus, the leading global association of art and design education and research, looks to CCS and Detroit to host its 2022 conference, “Design for Adaptation.”

The College for Creative Studies (CCS), in partnership with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), will host the international Cumulus Conference 2022 – Design for Adaptation in Detroit, MI next fall. This is only the second time in its 30-year history that the Cumulus conference will take place in North America.

Taking place November 2-4, 2022, Design for Adaptation will explore the role artists and designers play in accelerating adaptation to the immediate and future impacts of climate change through a wide range of approaches, methods, visions and experiments that  seek to reduce vulnerabilities and foster resilience for any community, big or small. Extending beyond the environment to human rights, poverty, inequity, global food security, health, climate change consequences call for rapid action and adaptation.

“Global actions to slow climate change are promising but insufficient. While designers have questioned their responsibilities for 25 years, few have focused on how people live in a changing environment,” says Maria Luisa Rossi, Cumulus Detroit 2022 conference chair and CCS Systems Design Thinking MFA chair. “This emergency—without precedent—requires bold and creative thinking. Design for Adaptation will bring hundreds of the world’s most brilliant and creative minds together to rally around this timely and imperative topic.”

Great Lakes region industry leaders, academics, and community activists have interrogated questions relating to climate change and justice and piloted new ideas in and around Detroit for many years. The region has experienced historic flooding, record breaking water levels in the Great Lakes and other climate events in recent years. 

“Detroit has long been a celebrated hub of industrial design in the United States and home to international design giants. Today it stands out as much for its storied history as for the cultural renaissance it continues to be at the center of,” said Mariana Amatullo, PhD, president of the Cumulus Association, associate professor at Parsons School of Design and Vice Provost of the New School. “The first U.S. city to receive the honor of UNESCO’s designation as a City of Design, Detroit and our member CCS will be inspiring hosts to see the Cumulus global community engage with the urgent call for action that the conference invites around the interdependent issues our disciplines must contend with if we are to design our way out of the worst of the global climate crisis.”

“Hosting an international conference of this magnitude is a task that CCS does not take lightly,” said Don L. Tuski, president of the College. “Climate action and social responsibility are an intrinsic part of the CCS curriculum, culture and core. Detroit offers a rich variety of projects and initiatives that will help lead to a better future.”

Cumulus conferences provide a collaborative educational experience, including opportunities to present academic and professional papers and posters, participate in workshops and exhibitions, meet with peers from Cumulus Working Groups and network with the wider circle of Cumulus international partner organizations and friends. It allows attendees to explore new local contexts, and experience the rich diversity in approaches to art and design education and research represented by the global nature of Cumulus members.

“This year’s conference expands to include the membership of AICAD, further widening the circle of institutions in North America. AICAD is thrilled to partner with CCS, a member institution, to welcome Cumulus to North America,” said Deborah Obalil, president and executive director of AICAD. “Through our annual symposia and other programs, the membership of AICAD has been exploring the intersections of climate change, racial justice and the arts and design for a few years. Partnering with CCS on this Cumulus Conference addressing Design for Adaptation is an excellent way to continue that conversation on a global scale.”

CCS and AICAD invite scholars, designers, artists and climate activists to submit papers and poster abstracts for consideration of contribution. Submissions can be made through the Cumulus website.

Key Dates
Call for Contributions – February 7, 2022
Paper Abstract Deadline – March 14, 2022
Poster Abstract Deadline – April 25, 2022
Full Paper submission Deadline – May 23, 2022
Poster submission Deadline – June 6, 2022
Camera Ready Paper Deadline – July 8, 2022
Camera Ready Poster Deadline – July 8, 2022