2009 Southwest Fall Conference

October 15-17, 2009 | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Host School: University of New Mexico & University of Texas Arlington
Co-chairs: Tim Castillo, Phillip Gallegos, Kristina H. Yu, University of New Mexico
Brad Bell, Wanda Dye, Kathryn Holliday, University of Texas at Arlington


Understanding the value of “place” and cultural specificity bring a unique design, technical, and economic responses that challenges traditional canons of practice and pedagogy.

The contemporary world is undergoing a major shift in cultural process, global culture is a ubiquitous condition that is a product of media and emerging networks defined by new technologies.  As designers we are asked to respond and shape the future utilizing new tools to create designs that will respond to fluid transformation of built environment.   

As we begin to understand the future of design as a convergence of disciplines, culture and technology, a new paradigm for creating space can emerge.  As schools of design begin to recalibrate, the profession continues to explore the interdisciplinary collaboration as a means of execution.

Shifting design identity intends to explore this new paradigm influenced by culture, context, sustainability and technology while exploring these transformations occurring in pedagogy and practice in the global environment.

Within the context of practice and pedagogy of design, the conference title Shifting Design Identity will seek to address international and regional southwest responses to key questions:

  • Design Identity: Design roles are in a tumultuous world of collaboration, competition, and collegiality with many disciplines.  A principal question to explore is the definition of “design” and “role” where professions have lost much of their force for change to global pressures in the Southwest.

  • Economic: The global economy is shifting its priorities to address depleting resources and environmental conditions.   Designers today are faced with emerging challenges to develop new models for practice and pedagogy that address the needs of our global environment.  

  • Cultural: The Southwest, in particular, and the North American-Latin-Indigenous community, in general, characterize a region of parallel worldviews, cultures, history, contemporary agendas, and contradictions. Can the inconstancy of land, cultural territories, and technologies form meaningful relationships thru design?

  • Technologies:  Given that design is not stable by nature, cans the range of realities: virtual to the real, and the tools that help create it, reconcile shifting sense of space and place?

Keynote Lecturers

James P. Cramer of Design Intelligence (University of New Mexico)
Teddy Cruz of Estudio Teddy Cruz ( University of Texas at Arlington)