Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth (Event)

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee


With the Cumulus vision to actively promote exchange of knowledge and design experience on a global and interdisciplinary scale, three Russian schools – Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University, St Petersburg University, and HSE Art And Design School (National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’) have joined their efforts to host an online conference organized in collaboration with Cumulus.

‘Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth’ will be a precursor to the official annual Cumulus Conference. Postponed due to COVID-19, this will now take place in Moscow and St Petersburg in June 2022. Since staying connected is critical in the on-going COVID-reality three Russian universities decided to make participation free of charge. The conference will be held in digital format in October 2020.

'Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth' aims to encouraging the Cumulus community to express their opinions on the role of design as a humanizing practice in the context of multidirectional development complicated by the COVID pandemic.

We invite the participants to explore the issues surrounding the design community's involvement in the innovation process. How can design thinking help society overcome its fear of, and resistance to the main challenges of our time. In what ways could we bridge the gap between traditional living patterns and the changes rapidly occurring in all areas of society today?

We need a communicative model that would smooth over the differences between horizontal and vertical processes. The perpendicular development vectors – x and y – shape the space of interpretation, aims and objectives of design. The horizontal vector represents cultural values and the conventional lifestyle;

this is an area of social comfort. The vertical vector represents innovations that destroy the familiar way of life. Our discussion focuses on design as a practice of searching for areas of growth, support and balance, which make it possible to reconcile the traditional way of life and cultural values with the innovative approach to solving problems arising in society.

The three-day conference will run from 28 to 30 October 2020. Each day will be covering one of the conference’s tracks: Future Human, Creative Industry, Inter-action. Each host (SpbU, SpbPU, HSE) will be responsible for one track. This approach will present a diverse Russian art and design academic community eager to exchange ideas with colleagues worldwide.

‘Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth’ invites participants to develop a map of relevant research in the field of design within the following reference frames:

Future Human;
Creative Industry;
Period28 Oct 202030 Oct 2020
Event titleDesign: Vertical and Horizontal Growth: Inter-Action
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational