The following constitutional rules were drawn up in accordance with the directive given at the Inaugural Meeting of the Society and by the General Meeting held 24th May 1967. Subsequent amendments have been consolidated in this edition and the rules renumbered. Approved by the AGM, 10th Dec 2010. Amended and approved at the 2014 AGM. Reports from DRS Annual General Meetings are available here. 


1. Society's Objects

The Design Research Society, hereafter referred to as 'the Society', shall be a voluntary non-profit-making body of persons associated for the purpose of promoting the study of and research into the process of designing in all its many fields, and of furthering education and the application of design knowledge through the collection, preservation and dissemination of information by whatever means are deemed from time to time to be appropriate with a view to furthering the development of design skills and knowledge.

Provided that the Society shall not support with its funds any object, or endeavour to impose upon, or procure to be observed by its Members or others, any regulation, restriction or condition which, if an object of the Society, would make it a trade union.

2. Application of Income

The income of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Society's objects and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of profit to the Members:

Provided that nothing herein shall prevent the payment in good faith of remuneration to any Officer or servant or any Member in return for services actually rendered to the Society, or the payment to any Member of out of pocket expenses properly incurred in the service of the Society.

3. Dissolution

The Society shall be dissolved if a Resolution to that effect is adopted at a Special General Meeting convened for that purpose and that a further Resolution is then passed at the same Meeting appointing a qualified accountant to act as liquidator. If upon winding up the Society there remains, after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property or assets, the same shall not be paid or distributed among the Members of the Society, but shall be transferred to some other charitable institution(s) having objects similar to those of the Society, such institutions being determined by the Members of the Society at or before the time of dissolution. If effect cannot be given to the aforesaid, then the assets shall be transferred to some charitable object.

4. Membership

A Member shall be a person engaged in designing, design research and/or desirous of supporting the Society's objects who is on the Society's Register. Application for Membership shall be made on the official form or via the Web Site. The Membership Secretary shall examine all applications for Membership and shall act as advisor to the Council on Membership matters. The election of all Members shall be vested in the Council, whose decision shall be final.

From time to time, the Council shall determine categories of Membership, subscriptions and means of collection of subscriptions.

A Register shall be kept containing the full names, addresses and descriptions of all Members, and a Membership List, based on this Register, shall be provided to each Member from time to time as the Council may direct. No person shall be entered in the Register and thus enjoy the privileges of Membership unless the first annual subscription has been paid.

Members may resign from the society by giving notice to the Membership Secretary.

Any Member whose subscription is more than six months overdue and who has been informed of this fact by the Membership Secretary shall cease to be a Member, unless the Council have decided to take note of any special circumstances.

The Council may terminate the Membership of any Member whose conduct is considered, in the opinion of the Council, to be not in the interests of the Society: Provided that the Members of Council shall have been given 14 days' notice of such a proposal, and that such Member shall have the right to be represented at such meeting and the right to appeal to Members at a Special General Meeting.

Any person who has been a Member of the Society and whose Membership has terminated, may apply to the Membership Secretary for reinstatement. The Council may, at their sole discretion, and without assigning any reason thereto, grant or refuse such application.

5. General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting of members (AGM) shall be held every year to i) approve the accounts for the previous year, ii) receive reports on the previous year's activities iii) elect officers, iv) elect ordinary members of council and v) transact any other business which has been included in the agenda made available to members before the meeting.

A Special General Meeting (SGM) may be called by the Council when they think fit, by the Hon. General Secretary with the support of any two Council Members, or by any Member forwarding a statement to the Hon. General Secretary, signed by 12 Members, giving the reason for requiring such meeting.

A quorum at any General Meeting shall be 20 Members. In the event of a quorum not being obtained within 10 minutes of the time fixed for the commencement of a General Meeting, the Meeting shall stand adjourned to a time and place in the following 21 days designated by the Hon. General Secretary, when the Members present, whatever their number, shall constitute a quorum.

The Hon. General Secretary shall give 14 clear days notice of all General Meetings, stating the place, day and hour of the Meeting and the business to be transacted. Such notice shall be given to all those entitled to attend. The method of voting shall be determined by Council in advance of such meetings or Council may delegate decisions on voting to the Chair of a specific meeting.

The President shall normally chair General Meetings. Otherwise the Chair or Vice-Chair of Council will preside. In their absence, the Members present may appoint a Chair from among their number.

The Chair may adjourn a General Meeting if necessary, but when continued no business shall be transacted other than that for which the adjournment took place.

Reports of DRS Annual General Meetings are available here.

6. Officers

The Officers of the Society shall consist of

(a) the Chair and Vice-Chair of Council who together with the President shall be elected or re-appointed by the Council.

(b)  The Hon. General Secretary and Hon. Treasurer, elected by members.

(c) Up to a maximum of five Organising Secretaries to perform such duties as Council decides. These may include but are not limited to:

Membership Keep the Membership database up-to-date, see that all applications for Membership are examined and be responsible for the collection of members' subscriptions.

Events. Under the general direction of the Council and WHERE REQUIRED, with the guidance of a sub-committee, organise and plan the Society's conferences, seminars and other events

Internationalisation. Advise Council on international strategy and participation, and liaise with the International Association of Societies of Design Research

Communications. Under the general direction of Council and, where required, the assistance and guidance of a sub-committee, edit and organise the presentation of such formal communications, both on paper and electronic, as shall be required from time to time.

Special Interest Groups. Encourage new SIGs and advise Council on applications for SIG status and external collaborations. Liase with SIG convenors to coordinate and monitor operations, and oversee arrangements for SIG strands at DRS conferences. 

The editor of the Society’s Journal, Design Studies, shall be an officer, ex officio.

The Chair on ceasing to hold office shall be known as Past Chair and shall be entitled to attend Council Meetings until the next AGM.

The Hon. General Secretary shall perform such duties as the Council may from time to time prescribe and shall keep all records of the Society, the Minutes of Meetings and deal with the day-to-day correspondence of the Society. The Secretary shall be the person to sue or be sued on behalf of the society

The Hon. Treasurer shall perform such duties as the Council may from time to time prescribe; keep accurate accounts of all monies of the Society, deal with such monies in accordance with the direction of Council and report at Council and Annual General Meetings on the financial state of the Society.

The Council shall have power to fill any officer vacancy that occurs between AGMs.

The Chair and Vice-Chair of Council shall normally be elected for the coming year by the Council at its first meeting after an AGM.

The Chair relinquishing office shall be termed the Past Chair and shall be entitled to attend Council Meetings until the next Annual General Meeting.

The Council may as it sees fit, appoint a person to the post of President of the Design Research Society. The invitation shall normally be for a period of two years, which may be extended by re-invitation at the discretion of the Council.

The President shall have no voting rights on Council but shall be entitled to receive copies of Council minutes and associated papers and to attend Council meetings.

The President shall not be counted in calculating the total membership of Council. The President relinquishing office shall be termed Past President of the Design Research Society.

If possible, the President shall chair the Council Meeting on the occasion of the nomination and election of the Chair and Vice-Chair, preside over the Annual General Meeting and perform such duties as shall be agreed with the Council.

In the absence of the President at the election of the Chair and Vice-Chair, the Hon Secretary shall oversee that part of the meeting.

7. The Council

The business of the Society, other than that dealt with at General Meetings, shall be transacted by the Council which shall consist of the Officers and up to 13 Ordinary Members elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting or by some other means as determined by council with their election being confirmed by the AGM. The transactions of the Council shall be minuted.

The Council shall have powers to borrow and invest money in the names of selected Officers provided that such transactions shall be in accordance with the regulations for small charities. Members of Council are Charity Trustees within the meaning of the UK Charities Act 1993 or subsequent acts.

The Ordinary Members of Council shall be elected or re-elected for a period of two years with half the number plus vacancies being elected every year. Members listed as standing for election to Council shall have been nominated by another Member on the basis of personal knowledge and shall have signified their willingness to serve if elected.

Members of Council who do not participate in at least three Council Meetings during their two-year period of office shall not be eligible for re-election.

The Council may co-opt Members of the Society to the Council whenever considered necessary, providing that such Members are willing to serve.

A quorum at a Meeting of Council shall be three Ordinary Members of Council and two Officers, personally present.
The Hon. General Secretary shall give 14 clear days notice of a Meeting of Council to all those entitled to attend.

8. Expenditure

Officers of the Society shall not normally incur any but minor expenditures without the authorization of the Hon. Treasurer. Expenses incurred without such authorization may, however, be paid at the discretion of the Hon. Treasurer, or the Council (depending upon the amount and circumstances), if these are deemed to have been incurred in good faith in the execution of the Officer's duties.

9. Accounts

The Council shall cause proper books of account to be kept with respect to all sums of money received and expended by the Society, all sales and purchases by the Society and all assets and liabilities of the Society.

At each Annual General Meeting the Council shall present to the Members of the Society an account of income and expenditure for the preceding year together with a balance sheet.

The accounts shall be inspected by a suitable person appointed by the previous AGM and the accounts together with a report by the inspector shall be made available to members.

10. Indemnity

The Members of the Council, the Officers of the Society for the time being, and any Trustees who may be appointed to act for the Society shall be indemnified out of the funds of the Society against all costs, charges, losses, damage and expenses which they shall respectively incur or be put to on account of any act, deed, matter or thing which shall be executed, done or permitted by them respectively in good faith in or about the execution of their respective offices.

11. Changes in the rules

Alterations or additions to these Rules may be effected by a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote at a General Meeting, such proposals having been made known to all Members at the time of giving notice of the said General Meeting.

Such changes, having been approved, shall become effective from the time that the Membership has been formally advised of the changes.



The Design Research Society is a Membership Organisation, started in London, UK in 1966.