P/References of Design: Budapest will host the world’s largest conference on design culture

Date: 2024.04.30
How can design address the issues of the future? What is the role of design in society and a designer’s job in our age? Where will design expertise become most crucial in the coming years?

Points of reference in our changing world and our choices are greatly influenced by design and art, and their areas are also open to increasingly broad interpretation. At the same time, we are prompted by geopolitical issues that are gaining in importance and artificial intelligence to reconsider our existing paradigms and redefine the main foci of design. This will be the topic of the next conference of the Cumulus Association, the world’s top design and art organisation. Having won the right to organise the spring conference, the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design will be hosting the best of the international design scene in Budapest between 15 and 17 May. 

With 357 institutions in 66 countries, including countless iconic universities and knowledge hubs, Cumulus is the single most significant professional network in academia. Its members can attend several major conferences each year, share knowledge and research findings in work groups, and discuss the hottest topics in design, innovation, education, and research. Each year, it organises two major conferences: after Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design has earned the right at an international competition to organise and host the Cumulus conference in the first half of 2024, Budapest will be home to this year’s spring European summit, following last year’s similar event in Antwerp. Previous conference locations include Detroit, Beijing, Saint Petersburg, and Rome.   

The diverse professional Cumulus community seeks to advocate for and highlight the positive role of designers in creating sustainable futures through the continuous improvement of design and art education. By providing a platform for a world-class exchange of experience, it builds bridges across fields of designs, borders, and generations. Year by year, their conferences explore the current challenges resulting from the interaction between contemporary design culture, the creative industries, and education. Moving beyond human-centred design, the 2024 spring Cumulus conference in Budapest entitled P/References of Design will look at the relationship between data, economy, wellbeing, co-existence, and design over a course of three days featuring plenary and section meetings, workshops, exhibitions, and demos. 

The 9 tracks of the conference will help explore various aspects of strategic design, systems thinking, community design, human and machine creativity, and more-than-human design. The social, physical, and virtual domains of design can all be relevant for re-examining and rethinking our existing references and preferences. 

Around three hundred researchers and teachers from around the world are expected to attend personally, with another several hundred joining in virtually. The conference programme includes around 140 presentations, running simultaneously in 5 rooms, 40 workshops and several work group meetings, in addition to cultural, culinary and community building events and activities.  

Speakers will include such authorities as outstanding researcher of modern architectural history of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London Dr. Robin Schuldenfrei, professor of the New Media Department of the Academy of Arts Novi Sad and co-founder of SHARE Lab Vladan Joler, who combines areas like investigative journalism, writing, data visualisation, and critical design in his artworks, and game designer and professor of the NYU Game Center Eric Zimmerman, whose projects range from video games deconstructing classical literature to card games spicing up cultural debates.

Traditionally, the host organisation can make a more in-depth introduction of itself and its city, giving MOME the opportunity to present its professional ambitions and major accomplishments from recent years to the representatives of partner institutions and prominent members of the international community in spring 2024.

P/References of Design 

Conference days: 15–17 May 2024  
Venue:  MOME Campus

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Supported by: ExOrdo, Light Art Museum, Bang & Olufsen
The event is part of the Global Voices at MOME initiative, supported by the MOME Foundation.


Press contact:

MOME Brand Office

About Cumulus Association

The Cumulus Association is one of the world’s most prominent global design and art education organisations. With 357 institutions in 66 countries, including countless iconic universities and knowledge hubs, it is the single most significant professional network in academia. It was founded in 1990 by the Aalto University, the Royal College of Art, the Danish Design School, and the University of Applied Arts Vienna among others to coordinate collaboration between schools, and facilitate student and teacher exchange. It organises events and projects with member institutions to improve the quality of and discuss current developments in art, design, and media education.  

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Though recurring every year, each MOME graduation period is unique, with a number of object and concept designs and artworks. Once again, there will be public diploma defences to take place between 3 and 20 June. The good news is that the MOME Diploma Exhibition showcasing the masterworks will be open longer this year, from 15 to 21 June at various locations across the Campus. Also, students from the first MA programmes to have launched in English language will be graduating this year.

Students enrolled in the B2D course can now rely on a curriculum that is fresh, authentic, and rich in case studies to help them prepare for the challenges of the creative industries. Not only will they have the opportunity to learn from distinguished creative professionals invited as guest speakers, but soon have access to a video series created through ongoing development efforts and featuring founders of renowned companies such as DE_FORM, YKRA, and Flying Objects.

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