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Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. (Aldous Huxley)

Welcome to the homepage of the Experience Design-concentration of the Master of Visual Arts (MVA)-programme of the Academy of Visual Arts. This is our home on the web, and here you can find all the recent news and activities in connection with our programme. Please take a look, and make sure to come back.

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Deadline Extended to 31 August 2014!
Call for Abstracts
Designing Experience Conference




“Certain forms of so-called low-brow art, like the circus tableau in which the elephants stand on their hind legs each carrying on its trunk a pretty ballerina in a graceful pose, are unintentional archetypal images of the very same truth we try to decipher in art. Much can be gleaned from such ostracized forms about the intractable mystery of art…” (Theodor Adorno)

In academic and professional discourse the commercial purpose of Experience Design and the cultural practices of the arts are commonly sharply divided; yet this tends to get confused with the methods of shaping and making sense of experience. In practice artists can be – maybe have to be – just as coercive as designers when it comes to manipulating audience response. On the other hand many purely commercial events have, even inadvertently, created shared experiences that lodge deeply in the popular memory.

At the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, we investigate current practice and scholarship in the new field of ‘experience design’. We now wish to expand our explorations by inviting a wider circle of practitioners and scholars to enquire into the ways in which slippery notions of ‘experience’ are shared, commodified, theorized and politicized across the spectrum of contemporary visual arts at an international, interdisciplinary conference to be held in Hong Kong from 27 to 29 November 2014 in association with Hong Kong’s Business of Design Week (BoDW 2014).

Professional case studies, academic papers and experimental presentations are welcomed that engage, or extend the following topics:

· As object and context blur in contemporary visual arts, where are the boundaries for practice in experience design?
· What are the emerging ethical issues for designers and other visual artists who shape experience?
· Is experience design a discipline, or a wider condition for contemporary visual arts practice?

· How might the social value, as well as the economic impact of experience design be quantified?

· Is there a distinct aesthetics for art, architecture and design that concentrates on the shaping of experience?
· If the shaping of experience in the visual arts is necessarily an interdisciplinary practice, which disciplines does it include – or exclude?

· Which case studies or texts are core to an understanding of the shaping of ‘experience’ in contemporary visual arts?
· Is experience design a new phenomenon, or does it offer a wider history
in the visual arts?
· If participation, interaction and co-creation in the visual arts have lost democratic legimization, what political positions now legitimize such practice?
· How does the focus on experience redefine reductive design terms such as ‘the user’, ‘consumer’ or ‘target market’ in design?
· Is a neat division between the commercial and the cultural still adequate if an ‘experience’ is the core of a creative practice?

We welcome your questions about this event, and look forward to you potentially joining our collective discussions in Hong Kong.


Abstract Submission and Review Process
Submissions are invited on significant, original, and previously unpublished cases and research in the above areas. Abstracts should be limited to max. 500 words in English language and a bibliography. All submissions should further include authors’ names and affiliations (contact details, organisation, etc.).

The abstract will be reviewed on a double blind basis. The accepted abstracts will be expected to submit a full paper of max. 4,000 words, and the authors will be invited to give a 20-minute presentation followed by a 5-minute Q&A session at the conference. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in the conference proceedings.

To submit your abstract, please visit our submission template here.


Important Dates:
Deadline for Abstract Submission: 17 August 2014 (Sun)
Extended Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 August 2014 (Sun)
Conference open for Registration: 1 September 2014 (Mon)
Notification of Acceptance: 15 September 2014 (Mon)
Deadline for Final Paper Submission: 16 November 2014 (Sun)
Conference: 27–29 November 2014
Business of Design Week 2014: 1–6 December 2014


More Information:
The online conference system will open for registration on 1 September 2014. For further information about our XD-activities, please visit here. All enquiries may be directed to Mr. Peter Benz at


Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU

Hong Kong Design Centre

Keywords: call for paper, call for abstracts, cfp, conference call