International Conferences on Design History and Studies (ICDHS)

Dr Yuko Kikuchi has convened the 10th Anniversary International Conferences on Design History and Studies (ICDHS) in Taipei on 26-28 October.

Reflecting her expertise in East Asian studies and transnational visual culture, the conference addressed the main theme ‘Making Contemporary Trans/national Design History’. Nearly 200 participants from 32 countries gathered to explore this theme of contemporary relevance.

Three keynote speakers: Prof. Shu-mei Shih (UCLA and University of Hong Kong), Prof. Shigemi Inaga (The International Research Center for Japanese Studies – Nichibunken, Kyoto) and Prof. Wu Micha
(President, Academia Historica), who are leading authorities in transnational theories, provided a pivotal impetus for the conference, captivating the audience with their proposition of transnational strategies from the perspectives of East Asia and inter-East Asia (YouTube videos for these three keynotes are available from

The conference also featured three round table discussions that presented the perspectives of historians, practitioners, and ICDHS executive members : RT1, Trans/national Design Histories and Practices in the 21st Century; RT2, Global to Regional: Connecting Asia and Taiwan to the World; and RT3, The ICDHS: achievement, legacy and future vision. Notably, RT1 was organised by Dr Kikuchi and Dr Sarah Teasley (RCA), chaired by Prof Toshio Watanabe from TrAIN, and featured contributions from leading historians and curators from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK that provided detailed explorations of the main theme of the conference.

This centered on four specific questions on trans/national methodology, ownership and agencies of histories and design histories, and East Asian perspectives. The session created highly productive discussions which were also facilitated by the two keynote speakers, Professors Shih and Inaga, who performed the role of discussants.

Proceedings: Wendy Siuyi Wong, Yuko Kikuchi and Tingyi S. Lin eds. Making Trans/National Contemporary Design History, Sau Paulo: Blucher. (ISSN: 2318-6968) are available digitally ( and further information on the conference is also available in Facebook:

Symposium: ‘Field of Resistance or Space of Negotiation : Who dominates? 對抗場域抑或協商空間:誰殖了誰?’

The symposium ‘Field of Resistance or Space of Negotiation : Who dominates? 對抗場域抑或協商空間:誰殖了誰?’was organised by the Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art at the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan on 31 October as part of a joint initiative between leading Taiwanese artist, Wu Mali, and Dr Yuko Kikuchi. ( Dr Kikuchi was invited to present a keynote address: ‘“Craft” as Resistance and as a Means of Negotiating Histories’ and her PhD students at TrAIN Hiroki Yamamoto and Stephanie Wai Ting Cheung were also invited to present papers on their art practice and curation, ‘Negotiating with Post-colonial ‘Ghosts’: Contemporary Art after Colonialism’ and ‘Participatory Art in Contemporary Chinese Contexts – Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong’ respectively. Throughout the day, common issues specific to postcolonial conditions of East Asia and contemporary political situations repeatedly came up, irrespective of the media in which artists work and the different fields of interest of historians and theorists. The symposium confirmed how productive the outcomes of inter-Asian interdisciplinary collaboration can be.

Monday 12 December, 2016