Design:Vertical&Horizontal Growth Conference HSE Day



With the Cumulus vision to actively promote exchange of knowledge and design experience on a global and interdisciplinary scale,three Russian schools from St.Petersburg and Moscow — HSE Art And Design School (National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’), St. Petersburg University, and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have joined their efforts to host an online conference in collaboration with Cumulus.

’Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth’ will be a precursorto the official annual Cumulus Conference. Postponed due to COVID-19, this will now take place in Moscow and St.Petersburg in June 2022. Since staying connected is critical in the on-going COVID-reality, three Russian universities decided to make participation free of charge. The conference will be held in digital format in October 2020.

’Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth’ aims to encouraging the art and design community to express their opinions on the role of design as a humanizing practice in the context of multidirectional development complicated by the COVID pandemic. We invite the participants to explore issues surrounding the design community’s involvement in the innovation process. How can design thinking help society overcome its fear of, and resistance to the main challenges of our time? In what ways could we bridge the gap between traditional living 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 processes.

The perpendicular development vectors — x and y — shape the space of interpretation, aims and objectives of design. 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 and 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.

The three-day conference will run from 28 to 30 October 2020. Each day will be covering one of the conference’s tracks: Future Human, Creative Industry, Inter-action. Each host (SpbU, SpbPU, HSE) will be responsible for one track. This approach will present a diverse Russian art and design academic community eager to exchange ideas with colleagues worldwide.
HSE Day will be focused on the track ’Future human’. We invite researchers from all over the world to share their ideas about a human body as a platform of transformations, both morphological and media. HSE Day of the conference will also include a series of cultural activities: digital exhibitions, online fashion shows, sound and theater performances. We are happy to invite all the participants to get to know all the diversity of Russian art and design community. The full program will be announced soon.

Future human


A concept of one’s body and it’s capacities get reviewed today due to a development of technologies changing the body structure by means of 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 a foreground. What new ways of considering one’s body does it imply? How one could adapt to extended self? What is the new subjectivity of an augmented human?

Furthermore, we can see a 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» which is from now on involving everyone? What are the effects of a «mediated» body? How are science, art and design reacting to online-extensions we are forced to carry on?

Keynote speakers

Lev Manovich

Dr. Lev Manovich is the author and editor of 13 books including AI Aesthetics, Theories of Software Culture, Instagram and Contemporary Image, Software Takes Command, Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database and The Language of New Media which was described as «the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.» He was included in the list of «25 People Shaping the Future of Design» in 2013 and the list of «50 Most Interesting People Building the Future» in 2014. Manovich is a Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab that pioneered analysis of visual culture using computational methods. His latest book «Cultural Analytics» will be published by The MIT Press in Fall 2020.

Laini Burton

Dr. Laini Burton is Senior Lecturer at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University where she is the Convenor of Higher Degree Research Programs. Her research interests centre on body politics, bio-art and design, contemporary art practise and criticism, fashion theory, performance and body/spatial relations. Prior to her current role, she was Program Director of Honours Degrees in Design, Fine Art, Photography and Digital Media. She has also been Head of Studio Art, and has developed curriculum and taught and/or convened 1st, 2nd and 3rd-year tertiary courses across art and design. Additionally, Laini designed and delivered the Fashion Major at the Gold Coast Griffith University campus, managing the program from 2013-2016.

Tatiana Rivchun

Tatiana Rivchun

PhD., Professor, Deputy Dean of Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design at HSE University, co-founder of HSE Art and Design School, Executive producer of Telling Stories International Festival.

Liudmila Aliabieva

Liudmila Aliabieva

PhD., Academic Director of The Doctoral Programme in Art and Design at HSE University, Editor-in-Chief of Russian Fashion Theory: the Journal of Dress, Body & Culture (2006 present), editor of the book series Fashion Theory Journal Library, Board member of Fashion Theory: the Journal of Dress, Body and Culture and Fashion Studies, curator of fashion and exhibition programs at the Krasnoayrsk Book Fair (since 2010)

Dmitry Bulatov

Dmitry Bulatov

Dmitry Bulatov is an artist, curator and art theorist. His research focuses on different aspects of interdisciplinary art media, as well as on submediality aesthetics. His artworks have been presented internationally, including 49th and 50th Venice Biennale (2001, 2003), Ars Electronica Festival (ORF, 2002) and many others. He has curated more than twenty major exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including «SOFT CONTROL: Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious» as part of the Maribor — European Capital of Culture 2012. He is the author of books and anthologies, including BioMediale. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture (Kaliningrad, 2004), Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age (Kaliningrad, 1 vol., 2009; 2 vol., 2013). He is a two-time winner of the National Innovation Award for contemporary arts (2008 and 2013) and a Golden Nica nominee from Prix Ars Electronica (Austria, 2014) in the category Visionary Pioneers of Media Art. Since 1998, he has worked as a curator at the Baltic Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts (Russia).

Alexandra Persheeva

Alexandra Persheeva

PhD., Assosiate professor at HSE Communication, media and design faculty, head of theory-based courses at HSE Art and Design School. Researcher specializing in contemporary art, focused on video art and theory of moving image, author of a book «Video art. Viewer’s montage» (2020) and an online course «The art of video» (PostNauka). Since Alexandra and her coauthors from the HSE Art and Design School have been producing online courses devoted to history of art and contemporary culture for the national platform «Open education», these courses have attracted more than 100 000 viewers up to the moment.

more speakers will be announced soon

Call for papers

Scholars, designers, and creative community of Russia invite researchers to join discussions devoted to current design issues. The conference papers will be published online in English with hard copies printable on demand. All the papers accepted for the publication will be provided with ISBN. Online publication is fee-free, printable publication on demand is a payable service.

Full paper Submission Deadline — 1 October 2020
Camera-ready Full Paper Submission Deadline — 20 November 2020


The «Design: Vertical & Horizontal Growth» Conference is organized in partnership with Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and Saint Petersburg State University in collaboration with Cumulus.

Creative Industry
Hosted by Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

Hosted by St. Petersburg University


Cumulus is the only global association to serve art and design education and research. It is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Cumulus consists currently of 340 members from 61 countries. Learn more on

О Высшей школе экономики

40 300
студентов и аспирантов
7 000
преподавателей и исследователей
программ высшего образования

Школа дизайна — подразделение одного из ведущих российских университетов — Высшей школы экономики, которая входит в 35 лучших молодых университетов мира (QS), состоит в большинстве авторитетных международных образовательных рейтингов (QS, THE, ARWU, U.S. News Best Global Universities Subject). Вышка — это не только гигантская научная лаборатория, но и представительная экспертная площадка: сотрудники ВШЭ принимают активное участие в ключевых экспертных дискуссиях, входят в состав многих коллегиальных и совещательных органов при президенте и правительстве России, являются лидерами мнений по важнейшим вопросам в сфере образования, социальной политики, здравоохранения, демографии, рынка труда, транспорта, государственного управления, технологического развития.