Design Values in the Mediterranean

Guest Editors
Andreas Sicklinger, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
Çiğdem Kaya, Technical University of Istanbul
Reham Mohsen, University of Helwan in Cairo

PAD. Pages on Art and Design, Issue Number 21 will be published in December 2021.

If one imagines the countries that border the Mediterranean through culture, trade and long periods of overlapping history, in which even idioms in different regions exchange large numbers of meanings, it must be interesting, on the one hand, to examine the similarities that point to the Design aesthetics and, on the other hand, the differences that objects and textures have shaped with cultural values or traditions. This shows that design practices in all of these areas have always been known, just as architecture leads to interior design and craft leads to products.

While from a trade point of view, the Mediterranean has always been alive to this day, simply by adapting industrial needs and market demands over the centuries, societies living in the same area are divided into two halves, between the north and the south. Exchange of goods and knowledge has been always a strong point of this vast geographic area that has however more in common than in differences, overcoming cultural differences by connecting bridges and sharing of activities.

The organization of daily life is a common need for all: common practices help to melt what is shared, and differences create interest and opportunities to learn from one another. This is the starting point that this call aims to investigate.

The Call

This edition of PAD explores the value of design in the Mediterranean using two key words: “Making” and “Focus”.

The first part of the call, with the keyword “The Making”, aims to explore the value of design in the Mediterranean on a broader level. Design is a multidisciplinary field in which many characteristics have been adopted from “knowledge-based” disciplines such as engineering, psychology, sociology, history, art and management. However, to this day there are core characteristics that determine the design culture and discipline. This core features also play an important role in regional differences in design language by showing the connection to the roots of culture and tradition in this area through design aesthetics: this is what we now recognize as “local craft” that represents design Heritage and originality and it is and must be seen as a source of inspiration for new design. The materials that are available in the specific environment with the appropriate professionalism and craftsmanship also determine the design features. Some of them also moved through the markets by trading between Mediterranean ports, some did not. What is unexplored today, what is a common basis for the real practical application of “making” under the modern umbrella of new design theories?

The call seeks to examine the various experiences based on both the “core features” and the modern interpretation.

The second part of the call under the heading “The Focus” is to examine training in the field of design. Some educational institutions have been established for a long time, some up to the German Bauhaus. They can look back on their own history. With a view to curricula and design philosophies, new tendencies and techniques in design teaching can be added or incorporated. In addition, there have been design events in many contexts, mostly in the form of design weeks, to promote the value of design among people and to move the economy from craft to mass production. These events are often thematic and try to capture society’s demand to promote design problems in a broader sense. The contributions should provide an overview and an understanding of how design education in the Mediterranean has become autonomous and to what extent there is a balance between one’s own culture and outside influence on these aspects.

In this proposed framework, this call invites witnesses and experiences from these activities in the Mediterranean with a specific approach “how design merges into society through education and events”.

The topics to be covered can be, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Handicrafts are inherited, some then passed on to industry or manufacturing
  • Original legacy that represents the culture considered by new design theories
  • Meeting points of material use and craft techniques between north and south of the Mediterranean
  • Exchange of experiences and workshops between the Mediterranean region – north to south and vice versa.
  • Aesthetics as a discipline that combines theory with concept of design
  • Social responsibility of design through ethics
  • Social and economic aspects as elements that often determine the quality of the design
  • Experiences and witnesses in design philosophies
  • Design education and pedagogical strategies
  • Design weeks and design events promoting design: their reflection on society
  • Narratives for regional stories: the value of design.

To participate we ask you to send:

  • Abstract proposals (from 2000 to 3000 characters, spaces included) beat in English and original languages by February 22th 2021.
  • Full papers, only in English language, will be required to be submitted by April 23th2021 and then be subjected to double-blind peer review. The length of the contributions 20000/25000 characters (abstract, notes and bibliography excluded). Authors’ affiliation and short bios (max 1000 characters, spaces included) have to be attached in a separated word file.
  • Illustrations (maximum 10 per article) must be collected in a .zip folder to be renamed by accompanying the author’s surname and a progressive numbering corresponding to the captions (eg 01_Cognome, 02_Cognome). These should be listed in a document written in the same font as the main text and written on a Word .doc document as follows Figure 1: Author’s name and surname, Title of the work, date. Minimum resolution of 300 dpi, .JPG file.

Abstract submission by mail to
and cc to

The Director of Pages on Arts & Design
Marinella Ferrara

Submission guidelines


Categorie: calls

Lascia un commento