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Announcing the Newest DRS SIG: Designing Retail & Services Futures

The DRS is pleased to announce the newest Special Interest Group, Designing Retail and Services Futures, convened by  Prof. Dr. Katelijn Quartier of Hasselt University, Faculty of Architecture and Arts and the Retail Design Lab. We recently caught up with Dr. Quartier to learn more about the new SIG! 

What is your SIG about? What are your aims and goals?

We strive to get a better understanding of the value of design in the commercial sector, including closely linked disciplines, such as branding, marketing, and consumer psychology. Design and the value of it has been a subject of study for many years and from many different disciplines (ranging from product design to marketing, business economics, service design, environmental psychology, (interior)architecture, etc), but in a rather fragmented way, and with each their own research methods. Recent developments, that have been accelerated by the pandemic, show that in practice services are becoming a part of retail and vice versa. It all starts from the need of the consumer and to be able to better serve him/her. Whether it be online or offline, for a product or a service or an experience, or all together… It is only natural that the research world follows this trend.  So, the Retail & Service Design SIG aims to: further develop knowledge in the broad field of design and bring insights together leading to a more holistic understanding of the value of design. Last but not least we aim to develop and foster more interdisciplinary research collaborations in design for retail and service design between DRS members and other researchers worldwide.

Who are the SIGs convenors? Why did you decide to start the SIG and how does the SIG relate to your own research?

I started the SIG, together with Dr. Signe Mørk Madsen, VIA University College, Retail Design & Business; Dr. Carmen Malvar, VIA University College  Dr. Francesca Murialdo, Middlesex University; Prof. Dr. Anja Overdiek, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences; Ilse Prinsloo, University of Johannesburg, interior design. I always felt that designing for the commercial sector falls in between chairs every conference, journal, etc. So we started to organise small initiatives ourselves in which we saw that there was quite some interest. That is why we decided to make sure that all designing for the commercial sector would have a shared place to turn to. As most of our SIG organizers, I am a designer and researcher in retail design myself.

Do you have any programs, newsletters, or events you'd like to share with our readers?

We will have our first special track on https://www.drs2022.org/theme-tracks/ DRS 2022 in Bilbao.

Is there any published work from your SIG you'd like to share?

We have published a book : "The Value of Design in Retail and Branding” (by Emerald, 2021).

How has being based with the Design Research Society benefitted your SIG's work and research?

The network and the support are great!

How can people get involved with your SIG? Where can we find more about you or follow you?

You can contact me at Katelijn.quartier@uhasselt.be if you're interested in joining the SIG, and visit our webpage to see our organising committee and current members.