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CfP: Call for Papers for Inaugural Designing Retail and Service Futures Colloquium, March 2023

09 Jan 2023 (All Day)

Registration for this event has passed

Theme: Reimagining the future for retail and service design theory and practices

Call for papers submission date: 9 January 2023

The Special Interest Group (SIG) Designing Retail and Service Futures from the Design Research Society (DRS) was established in 2021 under the guidance of the Design Research Society. The SIG strives to gain a better understanding of the value of design in the commercial sector, including disciplines, such as interior design, architecture, retail and hospitality, branding, marketing, strategic design, design management, and consumer psychology. Design and its value have been a subject of study for many years and from many different disciplinary perspectives (ranging from product design to marketing, business economics, service design, management, environmental psychology, (interior) architecture, etc.). However, these perspectives have been developed in a fragmented way with discrete research methods and results that present limitations to practically applying these findings holistically across the inter-related fields of design, retail, and services.

Recent developments, that have been accelerated by the pandemic and the current economic crisis, show that in practice, services are becoming integral to retail and vice versa. The consumers’ needs and the dedication of retailers to serve these needs have sparked new approaches that unite both service and retail design. Whether it be online or offline (or both), for a product or a service or an experience, or all together… It is only natural that the research community support the development of this field through furthering insights. This colloquium focuses on bringing together various disciplines to contribute their related knowledge and insights with the objective of calibrating terms and meanings that strive for consensus across disciplines related to retail and service design. This is to work towards knowledge and practice-based contributions that strive for a more holistic and encompassing retail and service design future.


This two-day colloquium will bring together scholarly experts and practitioners in the areas of retail design, service design and hospitality design to share their knowledge and experiences with fellow academics and practitioners. Scholarly, conceptual, empirical and practitioner papers are welcomed, especially those that address the proposed colloquium themes:

  • Contemporary retail spaces online and offline
  • Designing for the Metaverse
  • Towards responsible retail design and services, championing sustainability, inclusion and diversity
  • Embedding customer experience into retail design and services
  • Phygital (physical and digital) retail spaces
  • Human-centred retail design and services
  • Intersection between retail design and services
  • Restorative retail design and services
  • Reimagined future retail design and services
  • Defining customer experience, exploring whether all disciplines are aligned
  • Co-creative processes in retail design and services
  • Innovation in retail, service or hospitality design
  • Experience design


The event is hosted by London College of Fashion, UAL's Fashion Business School. The first International Colloquium of the SIG Designing Retail and Service Futures will be held from 30 - 31 March 2023, featuring presentations by leading academics and practitioners in this field at London College of Fashion, Oxford Circus, in the heart of central London. It will be the first colloquium to be organised by the Special Interest Group Designing Retail and Service Futures of the Design Research Society (DRS). In this way, we envisage opening up our international ambition.


This interdisciplinary colloquium welcomes academic papers from researchers in any field of design, management, marketing, and also related areas of the humanities and social sciences as long as design is studied.

Doctoral students are particularly welcome. We will host a PhD-eventexploring (new) methods and approaches to retail and service design research.

The colloquium organisers also extend an invitation for collaborative papers between academics and practitioners.

Submission guidelines

Papers of up to 4000 words (excluding references), with up to 6 keywords, and which may include images, will be subjected to a peer review process to be then published in the colloquium proceedings (with ISBN number). The proceedings will be included in the DRS online library.

Papers should be submitted to in the following format:

  • Microsoft Word document, Times New Roman 12 font, double-spaced, justified paragraphs
  • Margins: 1 inch top, bottom, and sides
  • Authors’ names and affiliation should be included on a separate page (i.e. title page)
  • Any references should use APA referencing style
  • Images may be included if relevant


The fee for the colloquium is £300, including light breakfasts lunches, coffee and tea breaks, and conference dinner. Tickets will be released on UAL's e-Store shortly.

We also welcome master students who pay a fee of £30 for attending the colloquium (excluding food and drinks). Universities or design school can choose a bundle fee of £300 for up to 15 students.

Key dates

  • Submission of papers: Midnight 9 January 2023 (CET)
  • Notification of acceptance: 30 January 2023
  • Registration opens: January 1, 2023
  • Colloquium: 30 - 31 March 2023

All accepted papers will be published in the Colloquium’s proceedings (with ISBN number). A selection of papers presented at the colloquium will be invited to submit a full paper to be reviewed for publication in a special issue and/or an edited book.

Please submit all abstracts to

More information and registrations (from 1 January 2023) coming soon. Please check back on this page for the latest updates. Any inquiries about this colloquium can be directed to

We hope to welcome you to London in March 2023!

09 Jan 2023 (All Day)

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