Design Research Society Special Interest Groups
In 2007, in response to suggestions by its international membership, the Design Research Society initiated Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to provide members with an important forum for their interests, and to help them engage and work actively together around the world. SIGs have developed healthily, steadily increasing in number and breadth of subject.
SIGs lead discussions, organise events and create opportunities for discussion in a number of ways, to facilitate the exchange and development of best practice in the field. Each SIG is organised by a convenor who is supported by an organising group and the SIG members. Dr Kristina Niedderer of Wolverhampton University has been Secretary of the SIGs since their inception and represents the SIGs on DRS Council.
Dr Kristina Niedderer
DRS Secretary for Special Interest Groups
DRS members are invited to join any Special Interest Group to contribute actively to research in the subject area of their chosen group.
DRS members are also invited to initiate new SIGs by making a proposal to DRS Council. If you would like to propose a new SIG, please contact Dr Kristina Niedderer for a proposal form and to discuss your proposal:
Current SIGs and SIG developments:
The DRS currently has nine SIGs which aim to facilitate debate and networking between DRS members, and to produce resources accessible to the research community. Find out more on the individual SIG pages:
- Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group (EKSIG)
- Design for Health, Wellbeing and Happiness Special Interest Group (SIGWELL)
- Design Pedagogy Special Interest Group (PedSIG)
- Objects, Practices, Experiences, Networks Special Interest Group (OPENSIG)
- Inclusive Design Special Interest Group (Inclusive SIG)
- Sustainability Special Interest Group
- Design for Behaviour Change Special Interest Group (Behaviour Change SIG)
- Design Management Special Interest Group (DM SIG)
- Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies Special Interest Group (tentSIG)
Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG)
Convenor: Dr Nithikul Nimkulrat, University of the Arts, Estonia
EKSIG is concerned with the understanding and role of knowledge in research and professional practice in design in order to clarify fundamental principles and practices of using design practice within research both with regard to research regulations and requirements, and research methodology. EKSIG maintains an open discussion list for discussion of current issues related to its theme, and it organises regular conference activities to provide an active platform for its members.
EKSIG discussion list: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/eksig
EKSIG conference 2013 http://www.experientialknowledge.org
Special Interest Group on Design for Health, Wellbeing and Happiness (SIGWELL)
Convenors: Dr Rebecca Cain, Warwick University
Prof Richard Coles, Birmingham City University
SIGWELL is an international platform to bring together researchers, design practitioners, design educators, students and the general public to exchange knowledge about design for health, wellbeing and happiness. Design in this sense can cover products, environments and services. The involvement of doctoral researchers and early career academics in the network is particularly encouraged.
SIGWELL discussion forum at: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/sigwell
Special Interest Group on Design Pedagogy (PedSIG)
Convenor: Prof Michael Tovey, Coventry University
The SIG aims to bring together design researchers, teachers and practitioners, and others responsible for the delivery of design education, to clarify and develop the role of design research in providing the theoretical underpinning for design education. The activities of the Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy for 2013-2014 can be grouped as follows.
Special Interest Group for Objects, Practices, Experiences, Networks (OPENSIG)
Convenor: Prof Tom Fisher, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Comprising artists and designers and social scientists, OPENSiG facilitates engagement with recent work that has emerged in non-design disciplines over recent years, which is relevant to design and in which the term ‘design’ is used. To achieve this, the group’s activities will explicitly draw together work in Design Practice, HCI, Science and Technology Studies, Art Practice, work on Material Culture in Geography, Archaeology and Anthropology and Sociology, Art History, Design History and the Philosophy of Technology.
Special Interest Group on Inclusive Design (Inclusive SIG)
Convenor: Dr Hua Dong
The focus of the SIG is inclusive design research, specifically:
- Building and advancing knowledge for inclusive design research
- Creating and evaluating tools and methods for inclusive design practice
- Developing strategies for engaging designers and the public
- Exploring new territories of inclusive design for the majority world
Current research by the SIG members is published in a newsletter on a fortnight basis, disseminated to an international audience (the newsletters are freely downloadable from www.inclusivedesignresearch.org).
Special Interest Group on Sustainability (Sustainability SIG)
Convenor: Dr Rhoda Trimingham, Loughborough University
The Sustainable Sig broadly promotes the field of Sustainable Design, including global dimensions and the millennium development goals. It aims to build a large sustainable design research group network, raising the level of sustainable design research, link researchers and promote collaborations, provide peer support for research in sustainable design as well as a platform for the dissemination of sustainable design research to industry and vice versa and promote collaborations between industry and academia.
Design for Behaviour Change Special Interest Group
Convenor: Professor Kristina Niedderer, University of Wolverhampton
The research focus is ‘Design for Behaviour Change’. This SIG will take a broad focus on the understanding, theories, mechanisms and applications of design for behavior change across various domains of design. Examples of relevant current research from within the organising group include Design for Mindful Design, Socially Responsible Design, Design with Intent, Persuasive Technology, and other Behaviour Change approaches.
Behaviour change is of increasing interest to design to understand the impact of design on people’s lives as well as on their relationships with each other and the planet. It is timely because of the current focus on design for behaviour change, which already brings together a number of DRS members and will do so increasingly.
Special Interest Group for Design Innovation Management (DIM SIG)
Convenors: Dr Erik Bohemia, Loughborough University; Prof Rachel Cooper, University of Lancaster
The proposed Design Management SIG will focus on the board area of the Design Management research. The SIG aims to bring together members to build a sustainable design management research group network and to create an international forum for discussion and engagement in relationship with other organisations such as Design Management Institute, Academy of Management and the European Academy of Design. It thus seeks to raise the level of design management research, link researchers and promote collaborations, provide peer support for research in design management and a platform for the dissemination of design management research to industry and vice versa and promote collaborations between industry and academia both nationally and internationally.
Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies Special Interest Group (tentSIG)
Convenor: Sarah Kettley, Nottingham Trent University
The SIG is concerned with all aspects of design as it deals with networked and embedded technologies:
- Perceptual qualities of networked and embedded technologies, especially the tangible
- Development of design methodologies for new forms of objects and things (distributed, invisible, emergent)
- A focus on the person at the centre of future networks, and implications for ethics in design and technology
Examples of related research include calls for user centred development of the Internet of Things prepared by the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC; artist and design led projects demonstrated at the TEI conferences (Tangible and Embedded Interactions); and approaches to wearable computing which question the drive for technology to be invisible. This SIG will allow members to engage with the HCI and Interaction Design communities as well as social science approaches to the ‘parliaments’ that generate design outcomes (eg Sociotechnical and Science and Technology Studies).