More than Human Centred Design

Submitting to the Student Design Competition

Student Design Competition

Accepted Student Design Competition 4-page papers will be published in the DIS2020 companion proceedings, part of the ACM Digital Library.

Important Dates

action timeline
Paper submission deadline:
(extended abstract and video) Submissions Extended to
March 13, 2020
(The submission system closes at 17:00 PST)
Paper notifications to authors: April 9, 2020
Student Design Competition: July 8-10, 2020

This is the first year of the DIS Student Design Competition (SDC). While learning from successful SDCs at CHI and other venues, we want to make best use of the creative, multidisciplinary DIS community of designers, artists, psychologists, user experience researchers, systems engineers and many more, and also to place value on the creation and exploration of interactive artefacts, whether physical or digital, as part of a research through design process.

Design often moves forward as a discipline and a practice through student projects, which enable new ideas and perspectives to be explored in a (potentially) safer environment, and inspire or act as references for future work. We believe the SDC can contribute valuably in this respect in providing the DIS community with a growing, multiplying repertoire of possibilities, divergent and generative, as well as enabling students to see and present their work, and get feedback on it, within an academic interaction design community.

Student Design Competition Brief: More than Human-Centred Design

The aim of the DIS 2020 theme "More than Human-Centred Design” is to rethink the research and contributions we make in design and HCI, by exploring non-humanist or posthumanist alternatives. Posthumanism displaces the human at the centre of thought and action, and instead considers a world in which humans and non-humans are bound together materially, ethically, and existentially. As such the overall conference theme is intended to go beyond the horizon of ‘traditional’ human-centred design, and venture into more complex understandings of our future coexistence with other kinds of materials and intelligences that blur the boundaries between humans, non-humans, and technology.

For the Student Design Competition (SDC), we invite students to contribute to this exciting theme by presenting ways in which design may help establish a posthuman coexistence and move beyond human-centredness. This can be through re-centreing nature, animals, plants, fungi, things, objects, robots, cyborgs, non-human technological intelligences, places, the Earth itself or more complex assemblages of human and non-human in thought-provoking designs—or even reconsidering the often-unquestioned individual-centredness of current human-centred design practice. What can considering the more-than-human, or more than just humans, provoke? How does coexistence take place? Is there even ‘centredness’ when designing towards human-technology symbiosis?

In short, submissions to the SDC should respond to the question: What can design offer when we move beyond human-centredness? We are looking for exciting demonstrations that show creativity, inspiration, and critical reflection.

There will be three prizes awarded (attendee voted).

All selected demonstrations will be eligible for early-bird registration.

Submission guidelines

We enable SDC participants to submit current work or existing projects, or to create something new for the SDC. If submitting existing work, you have to reframe and reconsider your narrative to align with the competition and conference theme.

Submissions will be selected by a jury and should include all author names, affiliations and contact information, and are thus not anonymous.

The SDC is open to individual students or teams. Teams can have a maximum of five student members (each should provide evidence of part-time or full-time student status at the time of submission). There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given university or organization. As long as you are a student at the time of submission (even though you may have graduated by the time of the conference), this is within scope of the competition.

Preference will be given to entries that offer a good demonstration or exhibition―we strongly support projects that will engage the audience at the conference.


All work should be submitted through the Precision Conference submission system (PCS). Submissions have to include a paper and a video.

The paper should be up to 4 pages, excluding references, using the SIGCHI Extended Abstracts Format.

  • The paper should clearly frame the submission in the field of posthuman design research, and demonstrate a compelling answer to the aforementioned SDC question. You can include a description of your design or research, your sources of inspiration, theoretical frameworks and how you anticipate to move some of its borders, utopian or dystopian implementations, your taken or proposed design/research approach, and of course your main claims; all to provide the most compelling context for your submission. We encourage authors to make their submission visually compelling and communicative. While using the Extended Abstract template, you may take inspiration from the compelling use of images in the DIS Pictorial format and illustrate your submission accordingly.
  • Any acknowledgements section should indicate whether any assistance was drawn from outside the student team (e.g., from advisors, faculty, domain experts, existing solutions, users, etc.).

The video clip length should be maximum 3 minutes.

  • The video should be uploaded to YouTube/Vimeo – password protected uploads are accepted provided they are accessible to the jury.
  • The video could take a variety of stylistic forms, and could, for example, be a narrated slideshow, a story, or other forms as appropriate. It can be a ‘product video’, but it does not have to be.

Submissions should not contain sensitive, private, or proprietary information that cannot be disclosed at publication time!

You might perhaps also be submitting your project to other DIS formats such as the WIP or Demos. This is allowed, but you will still need to produce and submit a tailored extended abstract and video for the SDC, making sure to address the SDC question specifically. The different kinds of conference submission will be reviewed and handled independently.

Download the SIGCHI Extended Abstracts templates here;

Student Design Competition Selection Process

Each submission will be reviewed by the SDC Chairs and a jury of selected academic and professional design experts.

As said, submissions should NOT be anonymous. However, confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. The title and author information of accepted submissions will be published on the website prior to the conference.

Material to submit upon acceptance

Authors of accepted submissions will be notified on April 9, 2020

Accepted submissions will be shown at DIS 2020 through at least an A1 poster and a video demonstrator. We highly encourage actual artefacts here rather than just posters. During this exhibition, visitors can vote for 3 best projects in different categories.

Accepted submissions should be finalized by preparing the camera-ready revisions of the paper.

At least one author of the selected submissions will be required to present their work at the conference.

DIS2020 Student Design Competition Program Chairs

Dan Lockton
Carnegie Mellon University
Bart Hengeveld
Eindhoven University of Technology