• Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Overview of the DRS InclusiveSIG symposium at Brunel University London see more

    Conference Report: DRS InclusiveSIG Symposium 2019

    In June 2019, the DRS Special Interest Group 'Inclusive Design Research' (InclusiveSIG) organised a half-day symposium on inclusive design and making at Brunel University London. The event was hosted by Dr. Busayawan lam and Dr. Youngok Choi from Brunel University. It had about 30 attendees from the UK, China and Turkey.

    The symposium included presentations from local and international inclusive design researchers. The image above shows the speakers and symposium hosts. InclusiveSIG Convenor Prof. Hua Dong from Loughborough University spoke about the historic evolution of inclusive design. She also introduced a new book Inclusive Design: Chinese Archive (Tongji University Press, 2019), which addresses the 6Ps of inclusive design research: principles, processes, projects, pedagogy, people and publications.

    Above: Photo from the inclusive design symposium in London

    From Brunel University, Dr. Eujin Pei introduced disruptive ideas on additive manufacturing for inclusive design and Dr. Vanja Garaj spoke about a newly funded project on inclusive design of immersive reality. Dr. Christopher McGinley from the Royal College of Art presented recent case studies in the field. Finally, Dr. Abdusselam Selami Cifter from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University gave a superb talk on a web-based platform that promotes accessibility in design.

    As a whole, the symposium highlighted current thinking on inclusive design research and practice in China, Turkey and the UK. Applications of new technology and community collaboration emerged as important topics. To follow-up, the DRS InclusiveSIG is planning another symposium at Loughborough University in October.



    Hua Dong, InclusiveSIG Convenor

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The latest insights in design for wellbeing education, with a special focus on ethics see more

    Report: DRS SIGWELL Conference 2019

    In April 2019, the DRS Special Interest Group 'Design for Wellbeing, Happiness and Health' (SIGWELL) organised a one-day conference on Design for Wellbeing Education at the TUDelft Teaching Lab. The conference explored the latest insights in design for wellbeing education, with a special focus on ethics. It had about 70 attendees - a nice group for our first renewed SIGWELL event! We used different presentation formats to inspire the audience. This included keynote presentations, workshops and a series of short presentations.



    After opening words by SIGWELL Chair Ann Petermans, the day started with a keynote lecture by Prof. Dr. Peter-Paul Verbeek titled ‘Designing Wellbeing: Responsible Design and Value Change’. Next, Prof. Dr. Pieter Desmet and Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl led a workshop on tools and methods for design for wellbeing, and Jet Gispen led a workshop on ethical reflections toward design for wellbeing. After the workshops, Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer gave an informative talk entitled ‘A flourishing University – Designing Systematically for Academic Wellbeing.’ She stressed that we need to develop a better understanding of creative methods and practices to address today’s complex societal challenges.

    After lunch, we had short presentations with five contributors: Armin Nagel discussed his Happy Waiting project, Stefan Persaud talked about education for happiness, Dr. Mathieu Gielen spoke about co-design with kids, Pelin Esnaf examined empathy as a design skill, and Chiel van der Linden discussed 'the holy grail' of worldwide wellbeing. The day ended with a keynote presentation by Andrew James, assistant principal at Mount Waverley North Primary School in Melbourne, Australia. He explained how positive design and principles from positive psychology were explored and applied in his school with children aged 10-12.

    Although the conference is over, we're looking forward to some great upcoming events. Many SIGWELL members have contributed to an upcoming design for wellbeing book with Routledge. And, of course, we hope to be present at DRS 2020!



    Ann Petermans, SIGWELL Chair

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Fun fact about the Learn X Design 2019 logo see more

    Learn X Design 2019 Logo

    The DRS Learn X Design 2019 conference started today in Ankara, Turkey. Here's a fun fact in honour of this big day.

    Have you noticed the conference logo? It's the red and green 'X' (see image on left). The design is particularly meaningful and was inspired by colourful geometric figures in Turkish carpets and kilims. The 'X' also represents the in-betweenness of Turkey, crossing continents and bringing together diverse cultures.

    Follow the event on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more info and updates. Best wishes for a great conference!

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Activities for delegates during Learn X Design 2019 see more

    All Work and No Play at Learn X Design 2019?

    Learn X Design 2019 kicks off on July 9th at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. METU has lots of celebrate—it’s the 50th anniversary of their first ID course and the 40th anniversary of their separate ID program. In honour of Learn X Design and these milestones, conference chairs Naz A.G.Z. Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyıldırım have planned some fun activities for participants.

    There's a welcome reception on July 9th in the METU Faculty of Architecture garden. This will be followed by the PhD Pit-Stop party at Hayal Kahvesi in downtown Ankara (pictured above). The following day, there's an optional traditional Turkish dinner at the Kınacızade Restaurant and a Turkish bath experience at the Şengül hammam. The conference dinner will be on July 11th at Wyndham Ankara, and delegates will have the chance to try out their belly dancing skills!

    More information about Learn X Design social events is available here

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The fifth biannual DRS Learn X Design conference takes place next week at METU see more

    Plans for the Learn X Design Conference 2019

    Excitement is building for the  fifth biannual DRS Learn X Design conference, which takes place next week at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Learn X Design conferences focus on research in design education and are organised by the DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) and the host institution. The theme this year is insider knowledge, which refers to knowledge and experience that build into collective practices.

    We’re thrilled to announce three keynote presenters, Gabriela Goldschmidt, Zeynep Çelik Alexander and Halime Demirkan. They’ll address topics like disciplinary knowledge, Bauhaus traditions and learning styles. In addition to the keynotes, there will be a PhD Pit-Stop event, workshops and three days of paper presentations. Check out the conference program here:

    The conference has broad participation—attendees are expected from 65 institutions and 27 countries around the world! Learn X Design conferences also have good gender  balance. We’re avoiding the dreaded ‘manels’!

    Follow the conference on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates.

  • Michael Tovey posted an article
    DRS Design Education Research Conference set for 2019 in Ankara see more

    DRS LearnXdesign 2019

    5th International Conference for Design Education Researchers


    Will be held:


    9-12 July 2019

    Middle East Technical University





    Theme: Insider Knowledge


    More details to follow.

  • Michael Tovey posted an article
    Next LearnXdesign conference see more

    Following the successful Ravensbourne LearnXdesign Conference we are seeking a host for the next conference. This would be scheduled for 2019.

    We have had very successful conferences in Paris, Oslo, Chicago and now London. Each of them has focused on design education research and been supported by the DRS Design Pedagogy Special Interest Group. Throughout they have also been supported by CUMULUS and the last two have also enjoyed the support of DESIGN-ED.

    If you are interested in hosting the next conference, then please contact Mike Tovey (, so we can discuss it.

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    LearnXDesign 2017 Conference prvided a future vision of design education see more

    The fourth international DRS / CUMULUS / ED-DESIGN Conference on Design Education - LearnXdesign 2017 - was held at the end of June 2017 at Ravensbourne in London, UK.

    The opening keynote by Susan Orr (@Susan_K_Orr) superbly summarised the current landscape in design education, focusing on significant aspects of core design pedagogy and noting how these are being understood in our own discipline(s) as well as how they could transfer to other subject domains. Looking into the near future, she described design as continually developing, where “students are the definers of the discipline”.

    On Thursday, keynote Jo Twist (@Doctoe) demonstrated just how significant the games industry in the UK is - both economically and as a discipline and professional endeavour. She observed that “play allows you to fail” before calling for even greater integration between the Arts and traditional (but unhelpfully segregated) STEM subjects that often lead game design.

    The closing Keynote was given by Dori Tunstall (@Dori_Danthro) presenting how OCAD U are continuing to decolonise their curriculum and implement Respectful Design across their studios and processes. Echoing Orr’s Keynote observation, that the widening of design curricula must be a focus of design education in the coming years, Tunstall presented a positive and optimistic interpretation of how this can be achieved inclusively and without the ‘race to the bottom’ some may think it entails.

    In between these keynotes were the usual range of interesting and well-researched presentations of papers, positions and works-in-progress from across the world. Anyone who has attended a LearnXdesign event will understand that it’s usually a group of really committed and passionate practitioners, coming together to share and expand their personal and collective knowledge in design education. In summing up the conference, Ravensbourne’s Gary Pritchard and Linda Drew reflected what delegates were thinking - it was, as always, the people who made the event.



    A huge thank you to all of the Ravensbourne organisers and support staff who made the event so successful.

    The conference proceedings will be available in the next few weeks.

    The location for the next LearnXdesign conference in 2019 has yet to be confirmed so if any DRS members are interested or have any ideas for this then just get in touch with PedSIG lead Mike Tovey (


    • Derek Jones Just to add a personal note of thanks to the organisers for the way in which they welcomed and included all attendees.

      Thank you all!
      2 years ago
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    LearnXdesign Call for Papers now OPEN! see more

    The call for papers for the LearnXdesign 2019 conference in now open:

    The deadline for paper submissions has been extended to 30 December 2018.

    The call follows confirmation of the final 18 tracks themes, covering an incredibly diverse range of topics in design education and pedagogy. These range from 'Intercultural collaboration' right through to 'More than human prototyping', highlighting the range and diversity of contemporary design education research.

    You can find details of each track theme and instructions for submission here.


    This will be the 5th International LearnXdesign conference and will be hosted by Middle East Technical University (METU). The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first course on industrial design offered in Turkey at METU Faculty of Architecture by the American industrial designer David K. Munro. 2019 also is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Industrial Design as a separate undergraduate programme at METU. 

    Past events have established LearnXdesign as one of the key conferences in design education research. It hosts a particular intersection of educators, practitioners, and researchers across all levels of education and practice, and it’s unique character emerges from this passionately engaged community.

    The Conference theme for LearnXdesign 2019 is Insider Knowledge and major track themes are Learning Spaces; Learning Cultures; and Emerging Skill Sets and Mindsets. This firmly places the discussion within the discipline of design pedagogy itself reflecting the continued emerging confidence of design education researchers across the globe.

    Informed discussion around the purposes, modes, and motivations of design education have (arguably) never been more important. There is an emerging confidence in design pedagogy research - not simply as a different subject of study, but as a form of study in itself: one that has particular ways of knowing. Recent works are tackling the ‘messy space’ between the subjective and objective, demonstrating that it is possible to make progress in such areas and establish a growing knowledge base.


  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Recent Call for Track Session Themes attracts record submissions from the design research community. see more

    With 85 proposals for Theme Tracks, DRS2018 is off to a great start!

    The volume and range of topics submitted suggests that DRS2018 in Limerick will build on the success of last years 50th Anniversary conference in Brighton. There have been three times as many theme track proposals compared to 2016!

    The topics are spread across the entire design research spectrum - often overlapping but offering subtly distinctive framings of familiar themes and demonstrating the scale, depth and variety of design research around the world.

    The DRS2018 programme committee are currently reviewing all proposals and the outcomes will be made public in the coming weeks.

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Design Research Society 2018 Conference track themes confirmed, revealing research patterns. see more

    The track themes have been announced for the DRS international Conference 2018 and the response was overwhelming from the design research community - 89 proposals submitted, a significant increase compared to the previous conference.

    The incredible energy of the design research community evident in DRS2016 is still very much there.

    24 themes were selected and organised by the academic committee and these show some interesting developments in topic since the 2016 conference.

    As Nigel Cross (1999) pointed out, as academics we tend to focus on the theory and thinking around design at the expense of the objects and tangible processes. This was reiterated in Alexandra’s student bursary project keynote at DRS 2016. Several of the themes this time round focus on the materiality of design and the physical process of designing - definitely an interesting move and one to look forward to in these themes:

    \ Tools of Design
    \ Physical and Digital Materials in Creative Design Practice
    \ The (Act of) Drawing in Design (Research)

    Having noted the point about the materiality of design, let’s not forget that the community of design theorists is most definitely still very active. Back on the list again are ethics and philosophy of design - these are topics that are often assumed within other themes so it will be particularly interesting to see what emerges by bringing these back into focus in DRS 2018. Look out for:

    \ Ethics, Values and Designer Responsibility
    \ Philosophical tools in Design Research: From empirical turn to practical

    Information design not only remains for 2018 but has been expanded to two sub-themes, perhaps reflecting current trends in Big Data, analysis, design and use of information. Interestingly, the design research community's reaction to the human (social, tangible, emotional, political, speculative) seems to continue to emerge - both in response to this specific topic as well as ongoing contexts of challenge. Again, another very interesting set of topics responding to wider themes:

    \ Designing with Data, Democratisation through Data
    \ Design, Technology and Society
    \ Designing for Transitions
    \ Deepening Systemics and Complexity in Design Research

    Another welcome inclusion is that of alternative perspectives in both the objects and subjects of design. At DRS2016, centrisms in research practice as well as the subjects of research were questioned, leading to continuing debate and adaption of ideas in the design research community. So it's great to see this represented in several themes in 2018 - look out for the following tracks:

    \ Design, Research and Feminism(s)
    \ Not just from the centre - multiple voices in design
    \ Designing social innovation in cultural diversity and sensitivity

    Interestingly, 3 of the DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have sub-topics, perhaps highlighting recent trends in research topics:

    Design Research for Wellbeing, Health and Happiness (SIGWELL)

    \ Design for Subjective Wellbeing
    \ Health and Wellbeing by Design

    Design Pedagogy (PedSIG)

    \ Design Education for the General Public
    \ Design Education: Catalysing Design Capability

    Design Innovation Management (DIMSIG)

    \ How Organisations Employ Design as Vehicle for Change
    \ The Role of Design in Open Innovation

    Finally, as already mentioned, the DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have their own themes:

    \ Experiential Knowledge (EKSig)
    \ Objects, Practices, Experiences and Networks (OPEN Sig): Material-Enabled Changes in Design Research and Practice​
    \ Inclusive Design (Inclusive Sig)
    \ Sustainable Design (Sustainability Sig)
    \ Design for Behaviour Change (Behaviour Change Sig)
    \ Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies (TENTSig)

    Remember, the call for (full) papers in now open with a deadline of 6 November 2017. Papers can be submitted through the DRS2016 conftool system here:

    And you can find the template, full instructions and details of all the DRS 2018 tracks on the conference website here:

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    DRS2018 Paper submission deadline extended to 14 November see more

    The full Paper Submission Deadline for the DRS conference 2018 has been extended to midnight on the 14 November 2017.

    Further information on submission can be found on the DRS website :

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    DRS Conference 2018 - Calls for Conversations, Workshops and PhD by Design see more

    DRS2018 Limerick, 25th-28th June 2018.

    The final submission date for Workshops, Conversations, and PhD by Design to the DRS 2018 Conference is 15th February 2018.


    All submissions should be made through the DRS2018 ConfTool website:



    Call for Workshops

    Submission Deadline: 15th February 2017

    Workshops are half and full day sessions which provide an opportunity to learn in a practical and engaged way about the latest tools, methods and techniques of Design Research, Practice, and Education. They aim to bring together design researchers and design practitioners in academia, in the public sector, and in business and industry. Workshops will take place over the four days of the conference, though most will take place on Monday 25th June 2018. Further information and Workshop Template is available on the website.

    If you have queries please email


    Call for Conversations

    Submission Deadline: 15th February 2018

    Conversation is the DRS2018 format for sessions conceived as alternative to the traditional paper/presentation format, with the ambition of providing innovative venues for project-based research and work that is not easily captured or conveyed by the scholarly paper. A Conversation can be a structured discussion or experimental session format that advances dialogue around emergent forms of design research. The aim of the Conversation format is to engage a limited number of attendees in open exchange in arriving at new understandings about a topic. Each Conversation is facilitated by convenors who will produce a concluding document from their Conversation discussion. Dissemination results will be featured on the DRS2018 site following the conference. Further information and Conversations Template is available on the website:
    Any enquiries about Conversations should be directed to:


    Call for PhD by Design

    Submission Deadline: 15th February 2017

    PhD By Design will hold a one-day event at DRS2018 to vocalise, discuss and work through some of the many issues of conducting a practice-based PhD in Design. This event will be made up of informal presentations of work as an opportunity to explore what the future holds for practice-based PhDs. It will bring together designers undertaking practice-based doctoral research, as well as supervisors, MRes students, and MPhil students within and out with Design Departments. On the day we will produce an Instant Journal documenting discussions and outcomes and available during the conference. Further information on PhD by Design Limerick is available on the website. Information about past events is available at: Any enquiries about PhD by Design should be directed to:


    Contact Us

    Any enquiries about the conference should be directed to: Conference website: For regular updates follow us on Twitter: and Facebook:

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Submissions closed for DRS2018 Conference in Limerick see more

    The final submission deadline for DRS2018 has passed and with 50 proposals for conversations and 63 for workshops submitted, the response has, once again, been incredible. These submission join the 559 papers submitted and 900 reviews that have taken place.

    Paper authors are reminded that revised papers are due for the 6 March deadline. Notification of Final Acceptance is scheduled for 27 March 2018. 

    Registration for the DRS2018 Conference is now open and further information can be found here.

    Look forward to Limerick and check out the Discover Limerick site and the conference website for information on the venue and location of the conference.


  • Derek Jones posted an article
    DRS2018 Keynote Debates announced see more

    Anyone who has attended a DRS conference will know that the Keynote Debates have always provoked debate an acted as catalysts and prompt for wider discussion in the design research community. The DRS2018 conference debate themes look set to continue this with some superb speakers, moderators and topics.

    Here's the full line up:


    Design Research & Industry Impacts

    (Tuesday 26 June 2018)

    Moderator: Prof. Alex Milton

    Participants: Lorna Ross, Paul A Rogers, and Mariana Amatullo

    'Design Research & Industry Impacts' explores the changing nature of design research and practice within academia and industry.

    Design is moving beyond merely being an instrumentalised tool for industry, and becoming an altruistic agent for, and of, change as well as a force for social innovation.

    More information...


    Social and Public

    (Wednesday 27 June 2018)

    Moderator: Dr. Simon O'Rafferty


    'Social and Public' will explore the changing contexts of design research and practice through the intersections between design for policy and social design.

    The debate will critically examine intersections between existing and emerging trends around design for policy, social design alongside other emerging perspectives such as systemic design, transition design and public service design. By exploring these intersections the debate will open a discussion in the relationships between the research, practice and education domains.

    More information...


    Whose Design?

    (Thursday 28 June 2018)

    Moderator: Dr. Andrea Botero

    Participants: Sadie Red Wing and Arturo Escobar

    'Whose Design?' poses questions around the sharing of counterpoints to the traditional design gazes.

    In asking “Whose Design?” we seek to explore diverse understandings and counterpoints to dominant design gazes, both from the perspective of design as a noun (what is it that particular designs do in the world?) and as a verb (how should we go about designing our way out of the current mess?).

    More information...