October 28-30, 2020 Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia



Hosted by SPbU



'Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth'

St Petersburg University together with HSE Art and Design School and Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University have joined their efforts to host «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» conference in association with Cumulus.

This Online Event is a prelude to an annual Cumulus Conference, which will take place in Russia in June 2022.

Since it is especially important in the post COVID world to stay connected and support each other, 3 Russian universities decided to cancel the participation fee for the conference, which will be held in digital format in October 2020.

'Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth' strives to encourage the Cumulus community to express their opinions on the role of design as a humanizing practice in the context of multidirectional development complicated by COVID pandemic. We invite the participants to explore the issues concerning the design community's involvement in the innovation process. How can design thinking help society overcome its fear of and resistance to our times' challenges? Are there any possible ways to bridge the gap between traditional life patterns and the changes rapidly occurring in all areas of society today? We need a communicative model that would smooth over the differences between the horizontal and the vertical developments. The perpendicular vectors – x and y – shape the space of interpretation, aims, and design objectives. 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, or 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.

SPbU Day will be focused on one of the official conference’s tracks — Inter-Action



The day curated by SPbU will be focused on the communication mediated by digital technologies. During the last several months, a particular combination of circumstances has largely transformed communication processes, reducing the share of direct interpersonal communication. Although most of us have already accustomed to the online mode of communication, the recent events opened up a whole new set of questions. What role can design play in the humanization of virtual communication? How to establish trust within the digital environment? How to better coordinate actions within professional communities? To what extent can we achieve the scene of proximity in the virtual interactive environment compared to offline communication? How digital and material interaction mix? In other words, we would like to look at the future of communication and interaction. We will explore this phenomenon through the experimental formats of interaction and open a discussion that would include different opinions throughout the Cumulus community. 


Contacts & media:

E-mail: desisspbu@gmail.com
FB: @desisspbu
IG: @desisspbu




30 October 2020:

  • Plenary session on Communication and Interaction Design + Q&A
  • Design @ SPbU open doors online
  • Interactive Workshops
  • Screenlife Storytelling

more details will come soon

Questions: desisspbu@gmail.com





Call for Papers

Full paper Submission | Deadline 29 August 2020

Papers for «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» conference will be selected through one phase, double blind peer review process.

Initial submissions must be anonymous and must not contain the name(s) of the author(s) or any reference to their affiliation. This information should be included only in the camera-ready paper after the full paper acceptance notification.

The language of the Online Event is English, and all submissions must be in English.

Submissions that do not comply with the submission rules will be excluded from the evaluation process and proceedings publication.

Accepted papers will be published in the proceedings if (at least one of) the authors register to the Online Event to present the work.

The full paper should not exceed 2000 words, with an additional space provided for bibliographical references. Please omit any references to the author(s) or the institutions they are affiliated with.


Camera-ready Full Paper Submission | Deadline 01 October 2020

After the notification of acceptance, full papers should be submitted according to a template, which will be provided to the Authors. The length of the full paper should not exceed 2000 words (excluding references) and follow APA publication style for in-text citation and reference lists. At this stage, files should be submitted in both MSWord (.doc or .docx) and PDF version. Other formats are not accepted.

At this stage the paper should include the name(s) and the affiliation of the author(s). Please keep the size of each file to less than 2Mb (including your illustrations) and use a file name beginning with the principal author’s last name, followed by the name of the track (e.g.:Smith_Interaction.doc).

Papers which are not presented at online meeting will be excluded from the official proceedings. Therefore, it is needed that at least one of the authors attend the online meeting to present the paper.

COPYRIGHT: By submitting papers for publication in the conference proceedings, authors are allowing for the publication of their work and assigning copyright of the submitted papers to the conference host. Authors’ traditional rights will not be infringed upon by assigning copyright in this manner, as authors retain the right to re-use the content of the papers.


Recommended key words for Track INTERACTION:

Communication / Media / Networks / ICT / Virtual / Internet of Things / Gamification / User Experience / Policy & Ethics


To direct your proposals, please follow the link. 

Call for Workshops

 Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit your proposal for conducting a Workshop. The workshop will be held as a part of «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» conference during the SPbU day (30 of October 2020).

The specific focus of the day, organized by SPbU, is dedicated to the forms and formats of communication mediated by digital technologies.

Therefore, we are looking for the proposal that would unfold a discussion around the issues related but not limited to:

  • humanization of virtual communication by design;
  • privacy, ethics, and trust between the actors of communication;
  • coordination within and beyond the professional community for better efficiency;
  • modes of mixing digital and offline.


Workshops allow bringing together design researchers and practitioners in academia, the public sector, business, and industry for a focused and interactive discussion.

Workshops are interactive sessions where participants collaborate and work on a common topic, where both organizer(s) and participants contribute.

The workshop proposal could be in the format of an experiment, a hypothesis test, or an open interactive discussion.

You will have 80 minutes at your disposal to be used in the online format. The number of participants is up to you. On our side, we would like to offer you a web platform as well as technical and informational support throughout the whole process. Please, let us know if you have any specific requests.

We are looking forward to meeting you online soon!



Submit your proposal of 500 words, the title, and the references excluded.

Describe the focus, the methods, the format, and the expected outcome of the workshop.

Also, please, indicate:

  • requested number of participants;
  • technical requirements to the organizers and participants (e.g., zoom or any other software, microphone);
  • fee if included.

To direct your proposals, please contact us via email desisspbu@gmail.com

The deadline is 20 of August 2020.


Call for Screenlife Storytelling

Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to participate in the online «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» conference and to present your research work using an experimental technology of Screenlife Storytelling. The results will be presented on the event's online platform in the dates (28-30) October 2020.

With this call, we would like to propose to use the technology of Screenlife Storytelling with all its creative potential to reflect on the way we conduct design research online. Surfing the Internet, searching for inspirational ideas, communicating with peers, developing the project with the use of digital tools – all these aspects are invisible. At the same time, they represent a significant part of the workload. Often people focus on the aesthetics of the result and probably don't pay much attention to their digital habits, working culture, and the process itself.

We suggest that looking from the outside and a kind of self-reflection with the help of the screen capture could help observe the design research and design practice from the different angles and provide some insights on interaction in the online mode.

We would like to encourage you to turn your daily routine into inspiration for creating short documentaries on the design process.



Submit your video narrative created with the use of smartphones and computer screens capture.

A full length film must be within 2-5 minutes, the file must be under 800 MB, MP4 format.


To direct your proposals, please contact us via email desisspbu@gmail.com

The deadline is 25 of August 2020.



To register for the event, please, follow the link.



The «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» Conference is organized in partnership with Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (St Petersburg) and HSE art and design school (Moscow) in association with Cumulus.


Hosted by HSE art and design school

A concept of one’s body and it’s capacities get reviewed today due to the development of technologies changing the body structure employing surgery, genetics, and technological correction. As a result, a body becomes a platform of transformation. Today it is an object of design: «extended body» and «morphological freedom» come to the foreground. What new ways of considering one’s body does it imply? How could one adapt to an extended self? What is the new subjectivity of an augmented human?

Furthermore, we can see media extensions that take action today due to the «online shock». As a global lockdown forced both business and personal communication to get totally online, the concept of one’s presence and face-to-face encounter gets a new shape. How could we describe the effect of «extended communication», from now on involving everyone? What are the results of a «mediated» body? How are science, art, and design reacting to online-extensions we are forced to carry on?



Hosted by Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

For over two decades, the term ‘creative industry’ has been widely used to designate an ever-growing economic activity diversity. As such, creativity is an essential human feature necessary for inspiring the innovative development of every industry and science. Should design be a universal instrument capable of embracing the whole range of human activities, or should it just focus on ‘creative industries’ as defined today? How does the project-oriented approach of the industry influence design thinking? And what should contemporary art and design schools be teaching?


Conference will be held online
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