DeSForM 2017: Sense and Sensitivity


10th Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement

October 17-18 Delft, October 19-20 Eindhoven, The Netherlands


Submission Deadlines:

– Papers (Full / Short / Demos): February 10, 2017

– Workshops connecting research and practice: April 21, 2017


This year we celebrate the 10th edition of the DeSForM conference series. In 2005 DeSForM was born in (Eindhoven) the Netherlands with the premise of creating meaning through objects, interactions and people. Over the years, the DeSForM community has explored and designed objects through a multisensorial approach always aiming at enriching users’ experiences with them. Throughout previous editions we have seen the development from digital and mechanical objects that had enriched sensorial presence to adaptive and intelligent objects that feel almost analogous to reality given their increased information processing power and sensory resolution. These are thanks to the recent developments in the material sciences, robotics, information and sensor technology, and improved production techniques. Consequently, the arena that belongs to design researchers and practitioners has gotten more sophisticated by being more technical, but also raises new questions regarding the effect and the impact of the new technologically rich designs. In 2017, DeSForM is returning to its place of birth opening up to a broader audience with deeper insights to debate about the future of dynamic “form” giving and its effects on people and their environment. The conference will be hosted by the industrial design schools of TU Delft and TU Eindhoven.

For the 10th edition, DeSForM will bring you the best Dutch design can offer in collaboration with Design United and Philips Design. Prior to the conference on October 17, business cases will be organized in Delft with leading Dutch design consultancies. Furthermore, participants will have a chance to experience the Dutch Design Week 2017 in EIndhoven, which starts right after the conference on October 21. This international event hosts exhibitions from a great variety of schools, companies and designers.

DeSForM is an intimate, single-track conference that brings together design researchers, practitioners, students, and companies to have in-depth discussions over ongoing projects. It is an excellent platform for making new connections and bridging research interests. Therefore, we warmly invite multidisciplinary perspectives and discussions on current issues addressed in design research. Join us in Delft and Eindhoven and experience the rich and extensive design research and practice tradition that skillfully combines social sciences, arts and engineering to stimulate design-driven innovations!

Accepted submissions of all types will be included in the InTechOpen digital library proceedings. Selected publications will be invited to adapt their publication using the input and discussion during the conference for a special book series that represent and demonstrate the best of design research and practices.

DeSForM 2017

Everyday life offers a range of ordinary to rich experiences facilitated by designed artefacts. There is satisfaction when design contributes to a world full of recognizable objects and familiar experiences, and there is certainly excitement and maybe anxiety when design brings in the ‘new’. Technological developments (discoveries and inventions of bronze, iron, steam, electricity, plastics, computing, connectivity etc.) have always shaken up everyday life. Adapting to change is inevitable as humanity has been reinventing itself in accordance with every technological development. At DeSForM 2017, we are looking for a discussion on how designers deal with some of the challenges that come with this adaptation.

Adaptation to Interactive Technologies

Interactive technologies such as actuators, sensors, chips, lights, smart materials but also social robots and virtual reality, offer a specific challenge that humanity has not faced before. The design of interactive, responsive, and self-evolving artefacts and environments challenges the physical understanding of people’s surroundings and their skills to adapt to it. More than ever before, technologies create a gap between the human senses and the understanding of what is (being) sensed. Therefore, the senses are not to be trusted as much as one was used to. Novel products, interactions, and experiences naturally emerge and question the way users make sense of novelty and interpret its effect on them.

The Perceptual and Experiential Gap

This gap opens up new avenues for designers and researchers to explore the enhanced domain of experience design. First, by exploring the new definition of satisfaction in the realm of novelty. Next, and maybe more exciting, by exploring how the gap can be used to generate new ways of interacting with, interpreting and creating an intriguing new world rather than a mundane one. As a creative community we have reached a crunch point where we are able to shape the future of product, interaction and experience design in an exciting way. Thus, it has become possible to envision a world where people are intrigued by design, have dialogue with designed artefacts, or artefacts that have discussions with other objects. These encounters will move people in surprising ways. The natural design habitat enriches people’s sensory repertoire and deepens the meanings attached to artefacts allowing for, for example, poetry, reciprocity and seduction in relation to designed objects.

Developing Sensitivity

Sensitivity is no longer about ‘knowing the world’ but about ‘being in the world’ and exploring it. This means that people need to continuously adapt to a changing world and give meaning to it in a creative way. The sensitivity of the mind is grounded in the sensitivity of the senses. The question becomes: how do people develop this new sensitivity and how do we design for it? Understanding the process of adaptation sheds light on the working of human body and mind. We are able to tackle sensory and cognitive capacity of users using the knowledge, tools and methods we have been acquiring and building over the years. Designing for sensitivity using these new approaches should result in the creation of unprecedented experiences as well as the envisioning and demonstration of interactive futures.

Design Application Domains

DeSForM explores the range of design from its fundamentals to its application domains. Although technology may challenge people to adapt to all domains of our everyday life, DeSForM 2017 especially calls for examples and initiative in the realm of:

  • Care for our Health
  • Sustainable Well-being
  • Smart and Connected Environments
  • Future of Mobility


We invite to submit high-quality original contributions that face the issue of designing artefacts that explore new materials and technologies (both tangible and virtual) and give rise to innovative interactive forms. The following topics are of particular interest for DeSForM 2017. However, research works addressing more general issues on the topic of meaning, semantics and aesthetics of smart, dynamic and interactive products or systems, are appropriate for the conference:

  • Aesthetics of Interaction
  • Affective Computing
  • Choreography of Interaction
  • Co-creation
  • Tools and Methods for Designing with and for the Senses
  • Design with Interactive Materials
  • Experience-driven Design
  • Generative Design
  • Haptic Interfaces
  • Multisensory Research and Design
  • Senses and Sensors
  • Sensory Experiences (Especially the Tactile, Auditory, Olfactory and Gustatory senses)
  • Tangible Interfaces
  • Wearable Technologies




Papers should be between 2000 and 4000 pages long. Full papers (2000 – 4000 words) address empirical studies, theoretical stand points or literature reviews. Short papers (2000 – 2500 words) describe raison d’être, design process, product description, audio-visual material or activities with participants.

Authors must use the InTech template and submit as a Word or Word compatible file to prepare the manuscripts. PDF’s can be used for the review process. But the camera ready versions must be a Word or Word compatible file.

All papers will undergo a standardized (double-blind) review and publication process. Length must match the contribution, and the same general criteria hold for all papers. Regardless of length, a paper may be presented as a talk, demo and/or poster. All work must be submitted electronically via the DeSForM 2017 easychair conference site at: During submission, authors may propose the presentation format that they feel best suits their contribution, which may include multiple presentation forms. The available formats include:

  • Talk
  • Demo
  • Poster

Please do consider the most appropriate presentation format for your work. In particular we stimulate high quality demonstrators. When submitting your contribution, we want to emphasize that providing a supplementary short video (maximum 2 minutes) for demonstrators will allow the reviewers to evaluate the quality of their design work.

High quality demonstrators will be considered for exhibition at the Dutch Design Week Eindhoven (21-29 October 2017), an event following the DeSForM conference, hosting 2.500 exhibitors and almost 300.000 visitors. This is a unique opportunity provided only for DeSForM participants!

All presentation formats will be included in the conference proceedings and high-quality ones will be considered for an adapted version for the special book series.


DeSForM 2017 will host up to five parallel (half)day workshops on Friday October 20. The aim for these workshops is to translate theoretical perspectives / tools / methods / materials from (design) research to practice. We are interested in workshops that try to explore novel approaches to interaction and holistic experiences involving all our senses and sensitivities in everyday contexts. We encourage workshops to explore applications in healthcare domains. Furthermore, we encourage contributors to seek inspiration in the themes of the conference. The workshops will be organized at the High-Tech Campus Philips Design offices.


A more detailed call for the workshop  submissions will be included in DeSForM second call for papers, expected at the beginning of March 2017. Please keep an eye on for updates.


  • Papers: February 10, 2017
  • Workshops: April 21, 2017

All work must be submitted electronically via the DeSForM 2017 easychair conference site at:


[email protected]


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