The pandemic situation in Croatia at the beginning of February is not very good. We still have one of the lowest overall vaccination rates in EU and a fatality rate that is very high. For these reasons, we still have rigid restrictions imposed by the state, including tight restrictions regarding public indoor events. It is on the basis of these restrictions that we need to base our decisions about the DESIGN 2022 conference.
As DESIGN 2022 organisers, we hoped to have a more certain situation regarding the pandemic, when we reached this point, namely the communication of our final decision about paper acceptance and opening of the registration for the conference. Our contractual obligation timeline with the planned conference venue (Hotel Croatia Cavtat) and our duty to make the safest decision on behalf of you, our delegates, have led us to the conclusion that we cannot continue to take the risk and continue preparations for an on-site conference. The Organising Committee has discussed the situation in detail, both with the Programme Chairs and the Design Society’s Board of Management (to whom we express our gratitude for respectful support), on the basis of which we have made the difficult decision that we could not postpone any longer.
Thus, DESIGN 2022 will be organised and held as an online conference event. This was a tough decision, knowing that all of us had hoped that we would finally meet in person for the first time in a very long time. But we believe that in the current situation, it is the only responsible and most fair decision towards the whole community and to ourselves and our ultimate financial sponsor, the University of Zagreb, given the different stages of the pandemic, plus the current rules and preferences from country to country, institution to institution, and amongst every one of us, personally.
The conference will be held, as planned, between 23rd and 26th May 2022, and we will do our best to ensure the best possible online conference experience. We remain very thankful to you for your patience and understanding and will keep you posted about further activities and plans related to the DESIGN 2022 programme. We hope that DESIGN 2022 as an online event will be success for all of us – and we of course look forward to welcoming you on-site in 2024.