Design is ubiquitous; it pervades all spheres of life, and has been around as long as life has taken up the task of purposefully changing the world around it. Research into design and the emergence of a research community in this area has been relatively new. Its development has been influenced by the multiple facets of design (human, artefact, process, organisation, the micro- and macro economy and the ecology by which design is shaped) and the associated diversification of the community depending on the facets of focus or that of their applications. Design is complex, balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders, and requiring a multitude of areas of knowledge to be utilised, and resources spread across space and time.

ICoRD’21 is the eighth in a series of conferences intended to be held every two years in India to bring together the international community from diverse areas of design practice, education and research. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the conference will be held in a virtual mode. It will be held during 7th to 10th January 2021 online. It aims to showcase cutting edge research about design to the stakeholders; aid the ongoing process of developing and extending the collective vision through emerging research challenges and questions; and provide a platform for interaction, collaboration and development of the community in order for it to take up the challenges to realize the vision. The conference is intended for all stakeholders of design, and in particular for its practitioners, researchers, pupils and educators.

ICoRD series was initiated by Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 2006. Since then it has been hosted in 2009, 2011 (both at IISc), 2013 (at IIT Madras), 2015 (IISc), 2017 (IIT Guwahati), and 2019 (IISc). CPDM has pioneered design research in India for the last two decades. IISc is one of India's leading science and technology institutions and is one of the Institutes of Eminence decreed by MHRD, Government of India.

ICoRD’21 is organised jointly by IDC, IIT Bombay and CPDM, IISc Bangalore. ICoRD’21 is hosted online by IDC School of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India. IDC School of Design has overseen the inception of design in a free India for the past 50 years. IIT Bombay is one of India’s leading technological institutions and is decreed by the Government of India as an Institute of National Importance. As a city, Mumbai serves as a home to a variety of technological and service sectors.


The theme of ICoRD’21 is “Design for Tomorrow”.

The world as we know it in our times is increasingly becoming connected. In this interconnected world (see ICoRD’19 Theme: Design for a connected world), design has to address new challenges of merging the cyber and the physical, the smart and the mundane, the technology and the human. As a result, there is an increasing need for strategizing and thinking about design for a better tomorrow. Our theme for ICoRD’21 serves as a provocation for the design community to think about rapid changes in the near future to usher in a better tomorrow.

The online conference will have:

  • Invited/keynote presentations from eminent international experts and practitioners
  • Presentations of refereed papers
  • Industrial sessions to present perspectives from industry and studies in practice
  • Networking sessions for young researchers
  • Workshops