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Invitation of proposals for presentations at Design Cultures in Italy and the Nordic Countries

Transnational seminar at the Danish Academy in Rome, May 15-16, 2023


Design Culture Studies at University of Southern Denmark would like to invite design scholars to discuss differences and similarities between design, design traditions and design institutions in Italy and the Nordic countries as a productive comparison. Both regions have a strong consciousness and organisation as ‘design nations’ and advanced design research environments. Design Culture Studies is a more recent field of research (Julier 2000; Julier et al. 2019), established at University of Southern Denmark since 2006, and the concept of Design Culture has found productive use in Italian research as well (Deserti & Rizzo 2014; Manzini 2016). We want to challenge the national and regional storytelling and its clichés through comparison of broader aspects of design cultures (Fallan & Lees-Maffei 2016; Fallan, Zetterlund & Munch 2023).


There are both contemporary and historical parallels between Italian and Nordic design cultures, as both regions experienced an international breakthrough in the consumer culture of the 1950s with a distinct modernistic, but also sophisticated aesthetic idiom. Most associations with Italian design were, however, quite differently coded, and expectations differed a lot between Scandinavian and Italian design (Lees-Maffei & Fallan 2013). Both design cultures have had and still have a strong representation of architects playing a defining role in product and interior design as well. And the manufacturing industries in both regions show cultures of production, where luxury goods have been through parallel transitions mixing craft and industrial production, which have defined design ideals and understandings of production. These ideals and understandings have a strong impact on consumer behavior and transition towards sustainable consumption.


This is an open call for proposals for presentations on design culture related to the two regions or any transnational relations between them at the seminar. The idea is to frame a discussion across the presentations and turn them into chapters of an anthology, published as special volume of Analecta Romana, the yearbook of the Danish Academy in Rome.

                             Please, send your proposal of max. 300 words and short bio with deadline 1st of March to Anders V. Munch, Answers will be send 15th of March, and the selected presenters will have to submit long abstracts of 2000 words for 1st of May to share with all participants. There is no fee for participation, but travel and accommodation are on your own expences.


Dr Sisse Tanderup and Prof. Anders V. Munch

Design Culture Studies / University of Southern Denmark

Department of Media, Design, Education and Cognition

  • Universitetsparken 1
  • Kolding - DK-6000
  • Phone: +45 6550 1340

Last Updated 01.02.2023