CIRRUS is a Nordic-Baltic network of Art and Design higher education. There are 20 excellent art and design schools from the Nordics and the Baltics in the circle of this cooperation. The central activities of the partner institutions are art and design, including innovative activities, technical development and artistic practices.

EKSIG 2015: Tangible means – experiential knowledge through materials, 25-26 November 2015

EKSIG 2015: Tangible means – experiential knowledge through materials
25-26 November 2015

International Conference 2015 of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge at Design School Kolding & University of Southern Denmark.


EKSIG 2015 will address the theme of ” Tangible means – experiential knowledge through materials”. It will be convened by the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG), and hosted by Design School Kolding and University of Southern Denmark.



Professor Lene Tanggaard (University of Aalborg, DK)
Professor Carole Collet (Central saint Martins, University of the Arts, UK)
Dr Elvin Karana (Delft University of Technology, NL)

We expect to launch the full program medio October.


EKSIG 2015 aims to provide a forum for debate about materials as a means for knowledge generation by professionals and academic researchers, exploring the role and relationship of generating and evaluating new and existing knowledge in the creative disciplines and beyond.

In recent years many creative disciplines have shifted focus from what is produced to why it is produced and how it is used. This includes a growing interest for combining craft traditions with design and other related issues such as sustainability. As early as 1983 Schön defined designing “as a conversation with the materials of a situation” (Schön 1983: 78) and the designer as a maker of things even though it is acknowledged that the concept of design can be broader than ‘making things’. Also in the 1980s Manzini (1989: 17) pointed out a need for further development of cognitive tools and cultural references in order to catch up with the technical and scientific development of materials. Recently Karana et al. (2014) have expressed a need to study not only the functional but also the experiential side of materials. Thus, material knowledge is not only about ‘scientific’ facts such as functional and technical properties. It also encompasses personal, experiential, cultural, emotional, environmental and social aspects. In many disciplines, materials pervade all parts of practice, from the processes to the creation of artefacts and/or other kinds of physical manifestations and the interpretation through other professionals, such as curators, critics, historians etc.

With this conference, we wish to explore different ways in which experiential knowledge through materials can be given more appropriate consideration within the framework of research. This may include for example investigations into the nature, aims, validity, evaluation and/or necessity of different modes of communication and exchange.

Organisers: Nithikul Nimkulrat, Kristina Niedderer and Anne Louise Bang