2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference: Call for Entries


cumulus heading.jpgFounded in 1990 and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Cumulus aims to promote international exchanges and cooperation among design schools in teaching, research and practice. After more than three decades of development, there are nearly 400 member institutions from more than 70 countries around the world, bringing together the most renowned art and design institutions from around the world, and is the largest and most influential international academic organization in the field of international art and design education. It focuses on the development and innovation in the field of art, design and media, the dialogue and strength of different fields globally, the diversity in teaching, practice and research across regions and cultures, and the social and environmental responsibility of the discipline, and in doing so, advocates for designers and artists to actively build a better world.

It was announced on the evening of April 14, 2023, Beijing time at Cumulus General Assembly that  the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) will host the 2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference. The conference will take place on November 22 - November 24, 2023 at CAFA in Beijing, with Parallel Conferences taking place concurrently across China on November 27-  28, 2023 at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Nanjing University of the Arts, Jingdezhen Ceramic University, Xiamen University.

November 22 - 24, 2023

2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference

November 25 - 26, 2023

Cultural Visits

November 27 - 28, 2023

Parallel Conferences

November 29th

Cultural Visits



"Crisis and Opportunity"

The environmental, health, social, economic and other ongoing crisis facing the world now make it more urgent than ever to re-examine our ecological foundation, lifestyle, production relations, and the meaning of life.  The diverse advancements in artificial intelligence have led to both hope and opportunity, and confusion and choice for human self-understanding and human-machine interaction.

With the increasingly intensifying climate warming, cultural bias, economic fragmentation, and the fast iteration of AI, it has become a shared world-class issue facing the field of art and design to make strategic adaptation, structural reshaping, and value redefinition in terms of the standards of morality, ideas of design, thoughts of art, and methods of education.

"Ideology and Ideality"

Over the ages, "Love", as the matrix of human sensibility and rationality, the enlightenment of ideology and idealism, permeates every aspect of human civilization. Chinese civilization, Greek civilization, Islamic civilization, Indian civilization, Egyptian civilization, and the Maya civilization, among almost all major cultural systems, unanimously cherish and emphasize the importance of 'Love'.

From the symbiosis of humans and nature, the healing of collective traumas, the compatibility of heterogeneous perspectives, the stability of social structures, to the innovation of art and culture, "Love" has always been created, interpreted, applied, and disseminated through a harmonious beauty, providing solace to life and nurturing existence. We firmly believe that in the face of an uncertain future, "Love" will continue to be the immortal energy driving the evolution and progress of human civilization, enduring through the ages and persisting eternally.

"East and West"

Beijing, the capital of China, stands as a profound embodiment of rich historical heritage, serene ecological surroundings, avant-garde fashion districts, vibrant community life, efficient service systems, and endearing folk traditions. These multifaceted elements have forged a distinctive design culture with worldwide influence, making Beijing an indispensable gateway and source of inspiration for global designers, artists, and scholars to understand Chinese culture and the Eastern civilization.

The inspiration for the "Narratives of Love" is the research project at the Global Humanity for Peace institute of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, undertaken by professor Scherto Gill and professor David Cadman.  


2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference


Subtheme 1: Narratives of Love

Location: Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

The concept of "love" will be analyzed, researched, and interpreted from different perspectives such as  technical design, ecological design, cultural design, economic design and social design. The topics include but are not limited to the following: ecological technology, artificial intelligence, scientific ethics; ecological crisis, sustainable design, biodiversity; material culture, spiritual culture, human civilization; social design, public welfare, industrial design; public health, art therapy, civic education.

Subtheme 2: Foresight Plan

Location: Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

From every perspective and speculation, Mankind is undergoing unprecedented changes, prompting the question of how mankind should effectively plan and design a better future. It is therefore vital to inject foresights for today's actions and execute plans.

All submissions must reflect a "foresight" for future design, including but not limited to research reports, research syntheses, design/planning proposals, visualized mind maps, etc.

Submissions may include but are not limited to the following sectors: materials, architecture, food, textiles, electronics, transportation, cities, environment, agriculture, business and finance, energy, etc.

Subtheme 3: Design Flow

Location: Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

"Flow" can be used as a noun to describe things, such as floating population, logistics, stream of consciousness, data flow, etc. It can also be used as a verb to describe the development of things, such as the flow of water, the flow of air……All these concepts imply a state of constant development and change.

The "design flow" refers to the system design methodology, such as service design, system design, design process and so on. It also represents the flowing design thinking for interdisciplinary integration and signifies the building of a platform for the mutual learning of humanities and arts between East and West through exchanges. All of above suggests that design is changing the way we live and think in a ubiquitous manner.


2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference - Parallel Conferences

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Subtheme 4: Ecology in Design

Location: Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing

As human activities inflict increasingly serious negative impact on the environment, more and more designers are beginning to pay attention to the relationship among design objects, design behaviors and the natural environment. How to reduce the negative impact on the environment in design, how to use renewable resources and how to design more environmentally friendly products have become important issues in contemporary design. Design is not only the beautiful and the practical, it should also take into account the impact on nature and ecology. It is the responsibility of contemporary design to consider sustainability in design.

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Subtheme 5: Technology in Design

Location: Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province

With the revolutionary breakthrough of general AI technology and the upgrading of industry, the innovation model of "AI + X" is becoming a new way of working. What changes will technology bring to future design? In the new round of technological growth, how will technology better facilitate cross-field collaboration? How will technology drive innovation and bring new user experiences? How will it further promote sustainable development? What new dynamics will emerge from the collaboration between design and technology? Will future design be more able to apply new technologies to bring about breakthrough development? How will we deal with the ethical issues behind general AI? These are all important topics for the design discipline.

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Subtheme 6: History in Design

Location: Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province

History in Design is a relatively new discipline of the humanities that aims to analyze and interpret design as a socio-historical phenomenon. The "history of design" is the subject of research in the discipline of design history. Design history and art history share a common ancestor, and are both branches of the broader disciplinary of history. It is also closely related to other disciplines, such as anthropology, archaeology, and sociology, as is history itself. However, the terms "design" and "history" have different meanings in different contexts, and therefore need to be studied and investigated in different contexts, cultural backgrounds, and cultural practices, as well as in different times.

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Subtheme 7: System in Design

Location: Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province

Contemporary design is no longer an individual field of research and practice, but emphasizes systematic thinking through interdisciplinary approaches. It focuses on the overall consideration of design thinking in the current interdisciplinary vision and complex social context, on the experimental exploration of new technologies and paradigms in the field of design innovation opportunities, and on the development trends of design in the broad sense of AI and parametric design, spatial prototyping, urban renewal, product trends, etc..

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Subtheme 8: Cultures in Design

Location: Jingdezhen Ceramic University, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province

How to promote the creative transformation and innovative development of traditional culture through design is an important topic of our time. Designers shall not only continue to draw inspirations from traditional culture to produce contemporary works, but shall also promote the innovation and development of culture through innovative design thinking and methods. In the international context, designers also need to consider the differences between different cultures, respect and understand the significances of different cultures, create design projects with cross-cultural characteristics and explore and express the concept of the integration of diverse cultures through design.

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Subtheme 9: Well-being in Design

Location: Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian Province

Today, design is addressing issues related to human health and well-being by integrating humanities, arts, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, sociology, anthropology, and emerging technologies. Design is also increasingly concerned with social equity and sustainability, bringing more opportunities and longer-term benefits to people's lives. Well-being in Design explores how design contributes to human well-being and the role of design in enhancing the quality of life and social welfare. It delves into new approaches and ideas on how design can meet human needs, promote social inclusion, pursue environmental sustainability, and enhance psychological well-being.


Participants can submit more than one paper in the CALL FOR PARTICIPATION - PAPERS page on the official website.

Track 1 - Beijing CAFA Conference


- Narratives of Love

(Central Academy of Fine Arts)

- Foresight Plan

(Central Academy of Fine Arts)

- Design Flow

(Central Academy of Fine Arts)

Track 2 - Parallel Conferences


-  Ecology in Design

 (Sichuan Fine Arts Institute)

- Technology in Design

 (Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts)

- History in Design

 (Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts)

- System in Design

 (Nanjing University of the Arts)

- Cultures in Design

 (Jingdezhen Ceramic University)

- Well-being in Design

(Xiamen University).

Submission Instructions

The 2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference consists of the CAFA Conference and six Parallel conferences. Since the Parallel Conferences will be held concurrently (November 27 -  28), the jury will select up to one paper per participant for presentation at the CAFA conference and at one of the parallel conferences. Please do not submit the same paper to both the CAFA conference and the six parallel conferences.

Submission Requirements

I. Submission Deadline     

Paper Submission Deadline: August 26, 2023 23:59 (UTC+8)

II. Paper Requirements

The conference accepts both Full Papers and Short Papers. The length of the Full Papers shall be restricted to a maximum of six (6) pages (references excluded), and the length of the Short Papers shall be restricted to a maximum of four (4) pages (references excluded) .

Only paper submissions written in English are accepted. Paper submissions shall follow the APA publication style for in-text citations and reference lists. The submission must be unpublished and shall not be submitted to other conferences or journals.

III.Paper Submission

Paper submissions will be received through the submission system on the conference website. For more details and formatting requirements, please refer to the CALL FOR PARTICIPATION - PAPERS page at http://cumulus2023beijing.cafa.edu.cn/.

IV. Paper Acceptance

Announcement of Paper Acceptance: September 15, 2023(UTC+8)


2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference & Parallel Conferences

Track - 1 Call for Teaching Achievements of Cumulus Members

I. Editable documents

[1] Overview of the institution and its key programs

-Text description

[2] Introduction of the excellent courses of the institution(1-2 courses)

-Text Description

[3] Details of the teaching of excellent courses of the institution

-Teaching courseware (5-10 pages)

[4] Outstanding student projects of the institution (up to 3 pieces)

-Text description and corresponding images or videos

[5] Outstanding graduation projects of the institution (2-4 pieces)

-Text descriptions and corresponding images or videos

II. Submission of images and videos

The teaching and research materials and graduation projects, posters and videos of a Cumulus institution should be packaged in one compressed file and submitted electronically (Picture - JPG/PNG/GIF format,  Video - MP4 format. The resolution of the images must be higher than 300dpi, and the resolution of the videos must be higher than 1080p. The compressed file shall not exceed 1G).

Track 2 - Call for works from designers/artists/other creative practitioners

Under the theme of "Narratives of Love", the works of art include poster, video, sound art, performance and other media.

The submission format for the works:

JPG/PNG/GIF files: less than 10M , resolution higher than 300dpi.

MP4 files: less than 100M.

PDF files: less than 20M.

Please do not submit the document in compressed format.


2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference & Parallel Conferences

We are now inviting applications for art and design workshops on the theme of "Narratives of Love" to be held during the Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference 2023.

Workshop proposals should be structured under the following headings:

- Workshop Title

- Workshop Organizer(s)

- Workshop Summary

- Workshop Format

- Workshop timing and ways of interaction

- Expected Outcomes

- Takeaways for teaching practice

- Maximum number of participants

The proposal should be submitted in PDF format(Please do not exceed 20M), A4 size. Workshop proposal submissions will be received through the submission system on the conference website.

August 26, 2023(UTC+8)

Deadline for submission of papers, creative works, workshop proposals

September 15, 2023(UTC+8)

Announcement of acceptance of papers, creative works, workshop proposals

For more information, please visit the 2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference 

website : http://cumulus2023beijing.cafa.edu.cn/

Contact Address:CumulusBeijing2023@cafa.edu.cn

The Academic Committee of 2023 Cumulus Beijing (CAFA) Conference reserves the right of final interpretation.