Foundations of Biodesign: Integrating Art, Design, and Biology

Alex Kisielewski's picture
Call for Papers
November 16, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts

The Biodesign Working Group, a partnership of Cumulus Association and Biodesign Challenge, welcomes paper submissions that explore the emerging field of biodesign. Papers will be published in both the Cumulus Conference Proceedings and in Biodesigned, the bimonthly online magazine published by Biodesign Challenge. This Call for papers is the inaugural program of the Biodesign Working Group, which will be hosting meetings and discussions at future Cumulus conferences (both online and in person). The Call welcomes submissions worldwide and is not limited to Cumulus members.


About the Call

Biodesign is an emerging discipline that harnesses biotechnology and living systems to create products and processes, probe humanity’s relationship with biology, and interrogate emerging practices in the life sciences. Practitioners consider relationships among people, the environment, and lifecycles, and attempt to recognize humanity’s part in an intricate ecosystem that binds designed objects to the living world.

The discipline requires academic discourse on which to build new branches of biodesign research. We ask that contributors describe their own ongoing research or review areas of research that are emerging. This Call is open to academic researchers studying the field of biodesign, practitioners, and students of the field.

Questions for Consideration

In addition to their research, authors are invited to respond to any of the following questions:

  1. How do we prioritize behavior that has mutually beneficial impacts on human and nonhuman species? How can human interests be equitable, ethical, and respectful to other species?

  2. How can modern industrial systems evolve to integrate with living systems?

  3. What are the limits of working with biological systems?

  4. How can we further integrate biodesign into academic research and education?

  5. What are new models of collaboration for scientists, artists, and designers and how do we identify their advantages and challenges?

Key Dates

November 16, 2020: Deadline for submissions of abstracts through this [LINK].

March 1, 2021: Deadline for submissions of full paper.

June 1, 2021: Deadline for camera-ready submissions of full paper.


Submit abstracts in English by November 16 through this [LINK].

Call for Papers

Biodesign Working Group papers will be selected through a two-phase, double blind peer review process, which will be used both for abstracts and full papers. Initial submissions must be anonymous and must not contain the name(s) of the author(s) or any reference to their affiliation. This information should be included only in the camera-ready paper after the full paper acceptance notification. The language of the conference is English, and all submissions must be in English. Submissions that do not comply with the submission rules will be excluded from the evaluation process and proceedings publication. Accepted papers will be published in the Cumulus Proceedings only if at least one author registers to the Cumulus conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador at Universidad de las Artes in late 2021 to present the work.

Abstract Submission

November 16, 2020 At first stage, authors are invited to submit an abstract. The abstract should be no longer than 600 words, with an additional space provided for bibliographical references. Please omit any references to the author(s) or the institutions with which they are affiliated within the text.

Full Paper Submission

March 1, 2021 After the notification of the abstract acceptance, full papers should be submitted according to a template, which will be provided to the authors. The length of the full paper should not exceed 4,000 words (excluding references) and follow APA publication style for in-text citation and reference lists ( At this stage, files should be submitted through a Google Form, MSWord, or Google Doc format and should be anonymous without containing the name(s) of the author(s) or any reference to their affiliation. Once reviewed, the accepted submissions will receive comments for necessary revisions for the final camera-ready submission.

Camera-ready Paper Submission

June 1, 2021. After the notification of full paper acceptance, the final (camera-ready) version of the full paper should be submitted in both MSWord (.doc or .docx) and PDF format according to the conference template. Other formats are not accepted. At this stage the paper should include the name(s) and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). Please keep the size of each file to less than 2MB (including illustrations) and use a file name beginning with the principal author’s last name.


Papers will be published in both the online Cumulus Conference Proceedings and in Biodesigned, the online magazine of Biodesign Challenge. Each article will state: “The following paper has been jointly published by Cumulus and Biodesigned.” It will link back to the Biodesigned website, the Cumulus website, and any other Cumulus platforms. Accepted papers will be published in the Cumulus Proceedings only if at least one author registers to the Cumulus conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador at Universidad de las Artes in late 2021 to present the work. The publication will use the Cumulus ISBN.


By submitting papers for publication in this Call, authors are allowing for the publication of their work and assigning copyright of the submitted papers to the conference host and Biodesigned online magazine. Authors’ traditional rights will not be infringed upon by assigning copyright in this manner, as authors retain the right to re-use the content of the papers.

Contact Info: 

Contact Alex Kisielewski