Practitioners, Researchers and Educators (P-R-E-) Days

CUMULUS and IxDA have launched a series of Practitioners, Researchers and Educators (P-R-E-) Days to encourage focused conversations on identifying critical elements that further capacity building for designers, at different stages of their careers, from studies to professional practice to lifelong learning. These meetings take the form of working groups in partnership with institutions, academia, corporations, and policymakers, who are willing to push the global PRE agenda.

The Cumulus+IxDA partnership – with institutions and organisations from different parts of the world – creates diversified and constructed spaces for conversations building on the synergy of education and research expertise, brought by Cumulusians, along with the practitioners’ perspectives brought by IxDA and the local partners.


Rome, Italy
Friday, 11 June, 9:30-10:50

Onboarding Together Alone – Remote transitions from School to Professional Life.

The global pandemic situation has impacted many aspects of design education and of the design practices. In multiple organisations, teams were obliged to go fully remote. Thanks to the wide use of digital tools, it even turns now into a new set of behaviours and habits, inside and outside the digital economy.

For many years, design education institutions have established connections with business and industry through internships and apprenticeship, as a way for young designers to gain experience in their creative skills. The full immersion in a workplace environment was an opportunity to improve soft skills required for young professionals : leadership, team spirit and collaboration, social rules, industry standards …

It’s now 2021, and we would like to discuss the actual meaning and relevance of this very experience of remote internships, both as a first touchpoint with the job market and as a valuable learning experience.

Perspectives will be shared by speakers before interactions with attendees.


  • Dr. Mona Ismail, professor, Scientific College of Design, Muscat, Oman 
  • Sultan Shalakti, interaction designer, Amman, Jordan  
  • Lefteris Heretakis, lecturer, IE University, Madrid, Spain 
  • Mr. Hani Asfour, Dean, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI)


  • Eija Salmi, Cumulus Association, Helsinki, Finland
  • Frederic Degouzon, Ecole de Design, Nantes, France
  • Alok b. Nandi, IxDA and Architempo + Spread Design, Brussels

Register: Design Culture(s) | Cumulus Roma 2021


Cape Town, South Africa
22 September 2020, 3:30 – 5pm

The Cape Town PRE discussion will explore the 2017 Design Declaration through the lens of Culture and Sustainability. The discussion is aimed to initiate a  dialogue between practitioners, academics and researchers within the field.

“Design is an agent for sustainable solutions created for people and supporting the planet on which we rely” 

“Design expresses culture. Designers have a particularly potent role in making, protecting, nourishing, enhancing and celebrating cultural heritage and diversity in the face of globalization.”

Main questions are extracted from the Design Declaration

  • Are we meeting the challenge to produce sustainable solutions?
  • What is a ’sustainable solution’ in our context?
  • How does culture influence manifest itself in design?
  • What should the role of culture be in design?

The session recording will be included in the World Interaction Design Day 2020 programme, and open to participants of the South African Innovation Summit 2020

Facilitated by: Vikki Eriksson (CPUT)

Kolkata, India
23 September 2020, 6-8pm IST

The Future of Creative Education: Join the open conversations around future education for a creative generation of leaders around and beyond design education.

Til a few months back, India seemed to have mapped the design education goals for our imaginable future. Bolstered by the ambitious scope of the National Design Policy (2007) with it’s stated objective of “Making India a major hub for exports and outsourcing of designs and creative process for achieving a design-enabled innovative economy.” However, after being led by the modernist led approach to design education (developed since the ‘70s), design education in India was coming to terms with contemporaneity and an SDG led idea of future mapping (SDG: Sustainable Development Goals – by United Nations). This growth and its acceleration was made possible by a steep rise in students wanting to study design along with their capacities and willingness to pay for expensive privatised higher education.

This structure and its scaffolding has been under attack as COVID 19 began creeping in and eating into our civilizational fiber, killing thousands and attacking some of the most important institutional and structural pillars. Universities and colleges need to be reimagined and remodeled to be able to adapt and grow through these times.

Register now:


Amman, Jordan
28 February 2020, 2-3pm

CRITICAL Thinking – CAPACITY Building – KNOWLEDGE Amplification
A PRE session allows local communities to host roundtables for advancing the aims of the 2017 Design Declaration. PRE aims to enable ongoing dialogue and development between business-industry-practice-education-research by gathering stakeholders outside of their daily agenda. It is a changer for the planet

This workshop took place within Typoday 2020.

Academics and students, practice and corporate.

1. Alok Nandi, IxDA (video): About PRE as an example of IxDA and Cumulus collaboration.
2. Eija Salmi, Cumulus – on Design Declaration – Short intro on Cumulus.

Some thoughts on the need for accelerating dialogue and development between businesses, industry, government, NGOs and education and research.


1. Professor Essam Abu Awah ASU Amman Jordan

Practice & Corporate 
2. A word by IxDA Local Chapter representative
3. A word from a corporate representative in Jordan
What is expected by education and research in design, demands/expectations/ideas e.g.(chamber of commerce or any industry that is or plans to be design intensive…)


Topic: Internship

What are the challenges and positive impact of internship as a tool for ensuring the success of knowledge exchanges for the students ? How internship works as a tool for dialogue and development between a university and corporate ? Splitting into small groups around challenges/questions.

Milan Workshop
3 February 2020, 10am-12noon

The Milan edition took place as part of the 2020 Interaction Design Education Summit, an event held within the Interaction Design Week.

Ahmedabad Workshop
17 January 2020, 2-3pm

Presented as part of Ahmedabad Design Week, the focus was on:

  • mapping topics important for the designers
  • revisit the matrix skills set by IxDA+Cumulus in previous workshops in Lyon and Paris
  • connecting education agendas between different institutions
  • expressing practitioners and educators zones of knowledge amplification

The insights from the IDC Ahmedabad workshop build on previous education meetings in India (i.e. with Nasscom) in order to further the design education roadmap in dialogue with researchers and practitioners.

Bogota Workshop
29 October 2019, 2-5pm

The Bogota Edition was the first in LATAM where the focus was on:

  • mapping topics important for the designers
  • revisit the matrix skills set by IxDA+Cumulus in previous workshops in Lyon and Paris
  • connecting education agendas between different institutions
  • expressing practitioners and educators zones of knowledge amplification

The workshop was a pre-conference event to the Cumulus conference Bogota 2019: The Design After and was free to attend.

Justyna Molik,