A World in Flux

Flux    [fluhks] (noun)
1. continuous change, instability, transition, mobility, or movement.

We are in flux. Around the world, communities are experiencing great feelings of instability, constant transition, and rapid change that permeate daily life. It seems everyone shares the same concerns given the global scale and subsequent impact of our diverse dilemmas: Donald Trump’s presidency; rising terrorism; Brexit and the European Union; the Syrian conflict; immigration, diaspora, and rising nationalism; the growing economic divide; affordable healthcare; racial and religious tensions; environmental depletion and global warming; and more. Our contemporary lives are one of ceaseless uncertainty, worry, and anxiety; our thoughts remain fixated on the ‘what-ifs’ of the globally intertwined political, social, environmental, and economic futures.

Amidst this dense fog of an uncertain and tenuous future, how are artists, designers, and educators reacting and responding?  How are these uncertain moments of transition in art and design reflected in history? What is the emerging role of design, the designer, and design education? How can practitioners, industries, and/or design educators improve the status quo via pragmatic or theoretical means?  As the philosopher Hegel famously noted, “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk”—we understand a historical condition just as it passes away. How will scholars and practitioners reflect upon this period of flux and how we, as design practitioners and design educators, navigated the volatile landscape?

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