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  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The Society has just launched our call for proposals for the 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence! see more

    The Design Research Society has just launched our call for proposals for the 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence! The DRS Festival of Emergence ( optimistically looks towards a post-pandemic future. As we emerge from the emergency of these uncertain times into new ones, what have we learnt as a design research community? How has this challenge transformed our research interest areas? What do we need now? And where do we go next?


    2020 and 2021 have overturned the formats of academic conferences and whilst papers can still be written and content can be shared digitally, the need for connection and the space to share, talk and connect with the wider community is stronger than ever. We are looking forward to DRS2022 in Bilbao which will be a physical and virtual hybrid event, while in the interim, our sense of a need to provide a platform for connection, and also a place to experiment with new formats within our community is strong. So with some time and space to have fun in 2021, we are proposing a new, and experimental format to explore together the current and future impact of design research.


    The DRS Festival of Emergence is envisioned as a new type of DRS event. Not as formal as a conference, more interesting and unpredictable than a meeting, something which transcends timezones and geographies, allows people to ‘drop in’ when they fancy, and built upon novel, original and experimental participant-generated content.


    We imagine a Festival, which runs over a series of weeks in September. The festival is made up of a series of ‘moments’ situated over space and time. Moments can be whatever the participants want them to be – lasting from between 1 hour to half a day. Formats might include: talks, presentations, showcases, debates, panel discussions, workshops, interviews, coffee breaks, social moments … whatever is possible with Zoom or other digital means!


    Content is key, and we particularly encourage Moments which have the potential to probe into and create energy around new and emerging areas of design research. With the normal academic conventions of conferences removed, the Festival may therefore have particular appeal to those who are thinking of submitting a theme track to DRS2022, but want to explore their ideas in an informal way first. We hope that this Festival will generate key theme-tracks for the DRS2022 hybrid conference. With this new type of event we also seek to establish and experiment with pathways towards arranging future events and conferences, open up pathways for groups and local communities not quite yet at the stage where hosting a major conference is feasible, but where a Moment and a later theme track could be the first steps.


    We invite participants to propose a format and a theme for a Moment, and to be provocative and experimental with their approach. Proposals will be reviewed by the Festival Production Team and will be selected based on their potential to engage, and the quality of the content. The Festival Production team will select the highest quality and engaging proposals and curate the programme. 


    The Festival will be hosted online through the DRS website and moments will take place using Zoom.


    All events in the Festival will be accessed with a single Festival pass, which is £40 for DRS members, and £100 for non- members (includes 1 year DRS membership) and £80 for students and DAC country members (includes 1 year DRS membership). Note: you do not need to pay for a festival pass in order to submit a proposal for consideration.



    Proposals are submitted in the form a two-page extended abstract, using the template provided. Please submit your proposal here.

    The template includes the following sections:

    - Title

    - Moment proposers; list of the people organising the Moment.

    - Summary: a short (150 word) description of what the Moment is about and an outline of its format, aka ‘abstract’.

    - Description of the Moment: meant to provide potential participants with a sense of the purpose, background, format and intended outcomes of the Moment, including its main theme, topic or big questions. Please include references if applicable. Please indicate if this is meant to become a theme track at DRS 2022.

    - Digital tools needed to participate: short description of what technical means are necessary, including what platform will be used (the default is Zoom, but if other alternatives are preferred state them here).

    - Practical details: such as language, time zone, maximum number of participants (if applicable – we encourage open sessions).


    The deadline for proposals is midnight BST 20 June 2021.

    The Festival will take place between 6 September - 17 September 2021.

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Join us at the Guggenheim in Bilbao for DRS2022! see more



    Extended Programme: 25th June - 3rd July 2022

    Main Conference: 27th June – 1st July 2022


    We are living through extraordinary times where design in many forms is necessary to counter the enormous problems we face in the challenges of our coexistence. 

    How has the discipline of design research responded? Can design and design research bring the insights and methods needed for transformation and collaboration? 

    Join us at the Guggenheim in Bilbao for DRS2022, a hybrid conference with unique participation opportunities and a showcase for the best in design research. Whatever your orientation to design research we encourage you to participate, to show the true diversity and potential of our discipline. 

    DRS2022 is hosted by the city of Bilbao, in Northwest Spain, in association with the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) and the wider ecosystem of local academic and design institutions. In 2014 Bilbao became a member of the UNESCO City of Design network. As such, it hosts a permanent Design and Creativity Council with a mission to promote design-oriented urban policies and to integrate goals related to the cultural and creative industries into local development plans. Bilbao recently joined the Global Destination Sustainability Index with a commitment to meet specific guidelines for the development of more sustainable conferences. 

    DRS2022 is also hosted online in a hybrid mode, with opportunities for new interactions between the place-based and online conferences. The extended conference format will give you the chance to experience the energy and creativity of Bilbao wherever you choose to participate from. 



    Participation for DRS2022 takes a number of different formats. Theme Tracks aim to capitalize on emerging and specialized research networks. Research Papers can be submitted to an open call or theme-track. Conversation Sessions provide an opportunity for structured discussion exploring emerging themes. Workshops provide practical experience of methods and research outcomes, and Labs offer an opportunity to conduct design research through engagement with local organisations. A PhD Researcher event will help develop the next generation of design researchers through building new capabilities and critical thinking.



    To capitalize on emerging research networks we welcome proposals for theme-track sessions of full papers related to any area of design research not already covered by existing Special Interest Groups.  These sessions will be managed individually by sub-chairs as part of the general paper submission, peer-review, and final programme.  Sub-chairs will be responsible for suggesting and allocating reviewers and curating conference sessions. 

    Proposals should consist of a title, a proposed sub-chair for the session, a list of 2-3 key people who will oversee the review process for theme-track submissions, a theme context and outline (up to 250 words), and a small number of references to indicate theme scope.

    To allow us to publicise additional theme-tracks prior to the full-paper deadline, theme-track proposals should be submitted to the conference submission system by the deadline of July 26th 2021.  

    Theme-track proposals will be reviewed by the programme committee with sub-chairs informed of outcomes within two weeks of the deadline.  Successful proposals will be publicised as part of the conference call.

    Paper submissions for successful theme-tracks will take place via the online submission system alongside the open call for paper submissions. 



    DRS2022 invites new paper submissions in an open call or theme-track. We embrace research looking at and using design in the widest possible sense, with interdisciplinary work particularly encouraged. Further details about theme-tracks will be announced in due course.

    Submission is for full papers only up to 5000 words, including abstracts and references, and should adhere to the conference paper submission guidelines, available in August on the conference website. All submissions must be in the English language.

    Authors of accepted papers are required to register and present their work at the conference, either physically or virtually according to the hybrid nature of the event. All accepted papers will be published in the DRS Digital Library and available to view approximately one month before the beginning of the conference.

    Paper submission system will be open from 1st September 2021 and full papers must be submitted by 24th November 2021.  



    In past conferences the DRS Conversation format has proved a valuable and high quality format for structured discussions that advance emergent forms of design research and will form part of DRS2022.  DRS Conversations provide an innovative venue for work that is not easily captured or conveyed by the scholarly paper.  Proposals will be peer-reviewed with accepted Conversations becoming published in the DRS Digital Library Further details about the submission of proposals for Conversations will follow in the coming months with deadlines in February 2022.



    DRS Workshops have become one of the most valued aspects of DRS conferences, providing a space for practical engagement and experimental sessions for conference participants to experience. Workshop proposals will be peer reviewed. Further details about the submission of proposals for Workshops and Experimental sessions will follow in the coming months with deadlines in February 2022.



    A new format for DRS2022 is DRS Labs. With this format we would like to encourage design researchers to engage with local organisations in a defined project. In this way the conference can bring direct benefit to the local region and demonstrate the potential that design research can bring.

    DRS labs can be projects of any size. Partner organisations will list potential projects at the beginning of 2022. These can range from architecture and planning to societal and sustainability problems, governance or product/service design. A number of longer term residences for more sustained local engagement will also be available.

    Further details about the DRS Lab projects and residences will be available at the beginning of 2022.



    DRS2022 will feature an innovative PhD Researcher event with the objective of vocalising and discussing theoretical and practice-based doctoral work through many of the topical issues of conducting a PhD in design research. The event activities will be designed to generate knowledge about cutting-edge practices and resources for doing a PhD, and will feature mentoring by research leaders. The event aims to provide a supportive and engaged environment in which to share practices, experiences, dilemmas, failures and doubts in order to contribute to the wider PhD design research community. 



    Deadline for theme-track session proposals: 26th July 2021

    Deadline for full papers: 1st December 2021 

    Notification of accepted papers: February 2022 

    Deadline for Conversations, Workshops, Labs: February 2022 

    Conference Dates: 25th June - 3rd July 2022



    Any queries about the conference should be directed to:

    Conference website:

    For regular updates follow us on Twitter:

    The Design Research Society is a multi-disciplinary learned society for the design research community worldwide. DRS was founded in 1966, and since then has established a record of significant achievements in contributing to design knowledge. 

    You can visit the DRS website at:

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Caroline Häger's research on the future of academic conferences. see more

    Caroline Häger is a recent graduate of TU Delft's master's programme in Design for Interaction, having just completed her thesis project exploring the future of academic conferences, using the DRS as a case study. Noting the relevance of her research to our upcoming hybrid conference in Bilbao, Häger has been a regular attendee at DRS2022 planning meetings, and we are pleased to now be able to share her research with the DRS community.  We caught up with Häger to ask her a bit more about her background in design research, the goals and aims of her thesis project and the impact of her findings.   


    Häger created a short video explaining her research and outcomes.  


    What is your background in design research?

    I started my design research journey with my bachelor’s in Industrial Design Engineering at The Hague University of Applied Science. Afterwards, I was intrigued to learn more about how to gain a deep understanding of people’s thoughts, experiences, and behavior in relation to a specific context in order to design products and services in future that are meaningful to people and their environment. Because of this, I decided to start my master’s in Design for Interaction at the TU Delft, which has greatly helped me to fill in the gap of understanding people’s perceptions through design thinking and methodology.


    Tell us a bit about the story behind your project.  

    Our society and the environment in which we interact with one another is in a fast pace. Being faced with constant social, political, technological, economical, and environmental changes affects the way we live and interact within this world. It is our responsibility to respond to these changes and adapt accordingly in order to create a better future. This also applies to academic societies, like the DRS, and their conferences. The past solution space of the DRS conference offered great opportunities for the facilitation of discussions, exchanging and creating knowledge, and for its members to socialize and connect. However, conferences also come with costly and wasteful consequences, affecting the carbon footprint with excessive amount of travels and usage of resources. Also, current conference formats do not address different needs of people from diverse backgrounds for an inclusive space. 

    Due to recent developments in climate change, inequalities, pandemics, and diverse work-life situations, and especially due to its internationality, the DRS can highly benefit from a design vision that investigates future needs. The DRS wants to address these different needs and act responsibly by offering a hybrid space, providing members with face-to-face and online interactions. My graduation project explored the possibilities of scientific conferences’ future evolvement and involvement by looking at future developments and needs in our society as well as investigating how and to which extend hybridity should be incorporated for a redesign of the overall interaction space.


    What do you think the future is like for hybrid conferences? 

    Through interviews with design researchers and conference organizers as well as studying existing literature on scientific conferences, I identified three main driving forces that play a role in the development and purpose of conferences in the future:

    1. Relevance and awareness of inclusion in which we need to provide safe and flexible spaces for people to be and feel included.
    2. Relevance and awareness of impact as academics in which we need to stimulate responsibilities of academics.
    3. Enhancing this inclusion and impact through technology by making people aware of other people and content with better becoming algorithms, multi-modal systems, and tracing of activities.

    Due to these opportunities that arise from the three main driving forces, the goal for the new conference experience is to provide people with a visual space and format that supports lively, flexible and spontaneous participation on the one hand and inspire people with an overview of content, thoughts, and people, using hybrid technology. This does not only provide an inclusive space for diverse people to participate but also stimulates people to look at the bigger picture of valuable thoughts, insights and issues during the conference in order to consider aspects beyond their personal and professional bubble.


    How do you think your research will impact DRS2022Bilbao? 

    As I was able to join the meetings with the organizational team in the past seven months, I could inspire them with my research outcomes along the way. I don’t think that my concept can be fully realized for the DRS2022 but parts of it can be developed gradually with each conference. For the DRS2022, I think some principles of my ideas can be applied, such as making the experience more visual, providing flexible admission, or creating sessions in which participants are able to reconnect with the real world, such as dialogues with design practitioners.


    You can find Häger's full thesis at this link.

     November 29, 2021
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The 6th DRS EdSIG Conference on Design Education, LEARN x DESIGN 2021 was held in September 2021. see more

    The 6th International DRS EdSIG Conference on Design Education, LEARN x DESIGN 2021 was held in September 2021, hosted by Shandong university of Art & Design, China.

    The 2021 Conference was a great success, particularly considering the challenges facing the organisers. Shortly after the announcement was made that Shandong would host the conference, the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty around all aspects of the conference and arrangements. Credit for bringing all of this together has to go to the organisers and especially, Erik Bohemia, with incredible support from Shandong University of Art & Design.

    Despite these challenges, several innovations were trialled and introduced for this conference. For example, the pre-conference symposium provided a new way to explore and develop tracks with international academics. In addition, this year saw the introduction of the ‘Little Fish’ track, giving student members a chance to develop and manage a track of their own conception (look out for Track 09: Futures of Design Education when the proceedings come out). In addition, the 2021 conference offered the opportunity to submit visual papers for the first time and these are well worth taking a look at for anyone interested in a more designerly way of communicating research (look out for Track 07 when the proceedings come out).

    This is not to single out any particular track – there was a lot on offer and like many past conferences, it was sometimes quite hard to choose which presentations to attend. Overall, there were 11 main tracks presenting contemporary work in design education, from Critical Design Literacy to Design Educators as Change Agents. Looking over the themes and content of tracks there continues to emerge a more critical turn in design education: both in terms of our positions as design educators as well as how to include this meaningfully in curricula for students.

    The Conference Proceedings are being finalised now and will be available shortly.

    In between tracks the social side of the conference made up for the lack of physical proximity by proving introductions to Tai Chi, lectures on Confucianism, and several types of tea-related meetups to suit a range of global palettes. Organising the ‘in-between’ elements of any online event can be incredibly difficult and congratulation have to go to Erik for welcoming everyone and keeping us on track through the event.

    The energy of the event was apparent to delegates and, as was observed on the first day, the fact that we all had to be kicked out of the final Zoom room (so they could sweep up) showed that, to paraphrase Confucius, “welcoming friends from afar is a great pleasure”.

    Scale and Ambition

    Links with China have never been more important in design education. China has already begun to realise a radical ambition to expand and promote design education. As the President of Shandong University of Art & Design writes in the welcome (in press):

    Since 2016, more than 2,000 of institutions have been delivering design programmes. Every year more than 540,000 students enrolled into Design programmes. The number of students studying design and related majors in the school now exceeds 2 million.

    The position of institutions such as Shandong University of Art & Design as strategic centres for design education are critical. Shandon has both a history of design education as well as being a centre for the study of this culture, incorporating this into contemporary design curricula (more on this will be available in the Conference Proceedings, out soon).

    However, this legacy is not seen as a static entity: several of the papers at the conference explored the present and future state of design and design education in China. Shandong aims, not only to be an institution of education, but of research and the creation of new knowledge. It is perhaps this focus on design education research, taken seriously as an area of study in itself, that is perhaps most exciting for the future of design in China.

    10th Anniversary

    It’s been 10 years since the first Conference on Design Education, held in Paris in 2011. Over this time there have been two important legacies.

    Firstly, the body of knowledge produced. With the 2021 conference, around 500 papers are now available to design educators – all of which have been double blind peer reviewed as part of any DRS conference event. This body of knowledge is a rare collection of material that both focuses on design education explicitly, but that also explores this topic across a very broad horizon of study (you can find all past conference proceedings on the DRS EdSIG page:

    Secondly, the community and social legacy should not be ignored. Design educators every often have a double passion in both education and design, making the design education community a very dedicated and engaged group. This is evidenced in the connections and relationships that have formed and lasted over the last 10 years.


    Overall, LEARN x DESIGN 2021 was a great success despite the challenges faced by the organisers (and all design educators) over the past couple of years. On behalf of everyone who attended, the EdSIG Convening Group, and the DRS itself, I’d like to thank the organisers, host institution and everyone in the background who helped make the event run smoothly.

    Thank you!

    Next events

    The next LEARN x DESIGN conference will be held in 2013 and the location is to be confirmed. If anyone is interested in talking about hosting the conference then please get in touch (

    The next big event will be DRS 2022 in Bilbao ( As always, there will be a number of education themed and related tracks, in particular:


    FUTURES Of Design Education:

    DESIGN Literacies:

    If you can’t wait that long then don’t forget that the Futures of Design Education discussion series is still going and we have three great speakers lined up for Autumn 2021, starting with Sucharita Beniwal, talking about material practices and education at the National Institute of Design in India.

    You can find details of the events and sign up here: 

    Finally, if anyone in interested in getting in involved in EdSIG or has any ideas for what we could do to support and help members then please just get in touch with us (

     October 11, 2021
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Welcome to the 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence! see more

    The Design Research Society is thrilled to welcome all of our attendees to the 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence. Our production team has created this short video to greet everyone and provide some insight on what to expect and how to make the most out of your experience of the Festival. 

    If you have not yet registered for the festival, there is still time! The festival runs through the 17th of September, and there are plenty of Moments still to come.  See all of our festival Moments—around the world and across time zones here: and head to this link to register:

    Questions? Get in touch at 

     September 08, 2021
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence Programme is now available! see more

    The 2021 DRS Festival of Emergence Programme is now available! See all of our festival Moments—around the world and across time zones—at this link. If you haven’t yet registered for the Festival, there’s still time! Not only will you have access to each of the Moments, but also to our members-only Slack space. You’ll want to join because there are a number of informal Moments not included on the programme that will be advertised by organisers on our DRS Slack channel.

    Registration for the festival can be found here: 

    If you have any questions, please reach out at

     September 01, 2021
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Reflections on DRS2020 and link to conference papers and presentations see more

    Conference Report: DRS2020

    DRS2020 took place last month on 11-14 August, hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. It was the first entirely online DRS conference. The transition from an in-person to online conference happened quickly. It required big adjustments by the organising team and fundamentally changed the highly anticipated biennial event.

    DRS2020 had nearly 150 paper presentations and 35 conversations and workshops, including multiple events hosted by DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Sessions explored a wide range of topics including design transitions, mobility, games, co-creation and health. Organisers and attendees were creative and resourceful; there were impromptu Zoom meetings between delegates and a Slack group formed within the DRS2020 community.

    DRS2020 taught us the benefits and challenges of online conferences. Certainly, they’re more accessible, enable easier participation and have a lower environmental footprint. Pre-recorded virtual presentations are also easy to share and re-watch. And—the stakes are lower if you miss a great presentation or need to choose between sessions. Many presentation videos are available on DRS YouTube and you can contact Isabel to add yours (

    However, there are important challenges to overcome. As conference attendees noted, it’s hard to be physically and mentally present at a virtual event. Traveling to a conference provides a dedicated block of time to slow down, listen and discuss. Attending a conference from home comes with other commitments like meetings, teaching and childcare. Opportunities for feedback and networking also come less naturally and easily.

    Regardless of these hiccups, we’re so pleased with the great design research presented at the conference and to have the opportunity to meet despite these challenging times! There are lots of design research ideas and insights on online events to carry forward.

    DRS2020 papers are available for download in the new DRS Digital Library. Be sure to check them out!

     September 24, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS conference session at CAA 2021 see more

    What is Design Research in 2021?

    The DRS is hosting a session at the CAA 2021 Conference entitled What is Design Research in 2021? The College Art Association (CAA) is a well known visual arts organisation in the USA. Their large annual conferences are an opportunity to share research and creative work in art and design. CAA 2021 will take place 10-13 February as an online or hybrid event with potential activities in New York City. There are multiple sessions on design and design research including our event.

    The DRS session explores the meaning and scope of design research in 2021:

    The Design Research Society (DRS) is a learned society committed to promoting and developing design research. Founded in 1966, the DRS is the longest established international and multi-disciplinary society for the design research community. Despite this history of activity, the DRS typically avoids defining the field of design research, viewing this openness as a strength.

    Of course, there is a long history of writing on the definition and scope of design research and its shifting focus over the years. This includes work by authors like Nigel Cross, Bruce Archer, Richard Buchanan, Kees Dorst, Rachel Cooper, and Clive Dilnot as well as more recent writing in Design Studies, the journal of the DRS, such as “Developing Theory-Driven Design Research” by Philip Cash (2018).

    Despite its strengths, there are limits to this canon of writing and contemporary design research includes many practices and approaches. For instance, on decolonization (Ansari), governmentality (Tunstall), women’s perspectives (Prochner) and writing from different linguistic and cultural traditions represented in the recent DRS special interest group conference PIVOT. The current Chair of the DRS, and Editor-in-Chief of Design Studies, recently called for more critical, detailed, and discourse analytic approaches to the design research field (Lloyd 2019).

    This session calls for proposals that explore the meaning and scope of design research in 2021. This includes both presentations that explore the canon and those that push its boundaries. We are especially interested in presentations that explore lesser-known theory, contradictions in design research and critical contemporary issues.

    Conference and submission details are available at

    We are accepting proposals until 16 September 2020. Complete the CAA proposal form and send submissions to Isabel Prochner

     August 24, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS2020 starts in just a few hours on 11th August see more

    Welcome to DRS2020

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 starts in just a few hours on 11 August. DRS2020—hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia—is the first entirely virtual DRS conference. It features three keynotes, 48 paper sessions, 22 conversations, 30 workshops and a Postgraduate Research Day for graduate and doctoral students.

    Visit the DRS2020 website for more information about the event and follow @DRS2020Brisbane and @thisisDRS on Twitter.

     August 10, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Learn X Design 2021 will take place 24–26 Sept. 2021, hosted by Shandong University of Art & Design see more

    Learn X Design 2021 Announcement

    The DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) is delighted to announce that Learn X Design 2021 will take place 24–26 September 2021, hosted by Shandong University of Art & Design, China.

    Learn X Design: International Conference for Design Education Researchers is a biennial conference series from PedSIG. This will be the 6th Learn X Design conference. It follows the 2019 event hosted by METU in Ankara.

    Full Paper, Workshop, and Case Study submissions for Learn X Design 2021 are due 23rd March 2021. More details will be available on the conference website as the event approaches:

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Pivot 2020 aimed to generate learning and conversations around the Pluriverse see more

    Conference Report: Pivot 2020

    Pivot 2020 invited participants to consider how to design a ‘world of many centers and voices.’ We asked questions like: What does a world in which many worlds fit look like? What is needed to create this reality? Who is needed to support this change? Pivot 2020 aimed to highlight diverse voices, perspectives, epistemologies, and ontologies with an emphasis on design and social innovation.

    The event was initially planned as an in-person conference in New Orleans, USA. This location felt appropriate given the city’s diversity, history, and proximity to the Caribbean, Latin America and ‘other worlds.’ Then COVID-19 arrived and forced us to change our plans and adapt to an online format. We worked through the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic and invited people to join us for a day of virtual conversations. We always wanted to host a more inclusive conference and the online format helped us achieve this goal! It allowed for greater diversity of participants: we had presenters and stories from many countries—e.g., Indonesia, India, Kenya, Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Japan, Canada, several European countries, the Middle East, and the United States.

    Above: Screen shot of participants from across the world

    The event took place on 4th June 2020 on Zoom. We had a full day of presentations and discussions—8 sessions and more than 40 presenters stretched over 11 hours. Since we chose not to have parallel sessions, everyone watched the presentations together and engaged in conversations. The sessions covered themes such as ‘the Pluriverse is now,’ ‘decolonizing design education,’ ‘unlearning hegemony,’ ‘digital and emerging tech,’ ‘decentering futures,’ and more.

    There was significant debate among the presenters and audience about the need to create epistemologies and methods for design theory, practice and education that can help design move away from its traditional Eurocentric approach and move toward more plural forms of participation. Conference attendees proposed new courses for a pluriversal design education, challenged each other to diversify their references, and shared suggestions for a more diverse reference list. These ideas and discussions will be made available through the Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group.

    One of our biggest challenges when planning the event was to simulate a conference atmosphere. In our view, the social and interpersonal aspect at conferences is almost as important as the presentations—it enables new connections, meaningful encounters between people thinking along the same lines, and the formation of a community with shared interests. To support this social aspect, we divided Pivot 2020 participants into occasional breakout rooms to chat and meet each other. We also had a very active chat-box where some of the most meaningful connections were formed. We were positively surprised by the level of engagement in these chat-box discussions!

    Many of the presenters sent us pre-recorded video presentations. These videos are available on the DRS YouTube channel and the Taylor Center’s webpage, enabling further post-conference engagement. Pivot 2020 conference proceedings will be published later this year.



    Dr. Renata M. Leitão, Conference Co-chair and Pluriversal Design SIG Convenor; Instructor, OCAD University

    Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel, Conference Co-chair and Pluriversal Design SIG Convenor; Associate Director for Design Thinking for Social Impact, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation & Design Thinking, Tulane University

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Early bird rates apply until 22nd June see more

    Early Bird Registration for DRS2020

    Registration is open for DRS2020 and early bird rates apply until 15th June 22nd June (extended deadline). DRS2020 will take place online from 11-14 August 2020, hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. DRS conferences are a major biennial event for the Society. The theme this year is Synergy–the coming together of people and disciplines in design research to create positive impact.

    The switch to an online conference makes DRS2020 easier than ever to attend. We encourage DRS members to participate whether presenting at the conference or not. You can register for DRS2020 here.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020 see more

    Announcing DRS2020 in Brisbane, Australia

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020. The conference will be hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. As with previous DRS conferences, DRS2020 will be a major global forum to present and discuss design research.

    The conference theme is Synergy, a powerful force where voices in design research become stronger together. We invite research papers and conversation and workshop proposals related to this theme. DRS2020 will also host a PhD Day, a forum for PhD students to discuss their work and get feedback from senior researchers.

    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the DRS Interim Advisory Council, said "DRS2020 promises to be another high-quality design research event for the community and I’m very much looking forward to it. The conference will also be important for the Society as we hope to bring in a new governance structure for the DRS to allow us to develop into a more international organisation and better meet the needs of our members."

    DRS2020 Conference Chair Ming Cheung spoke about the host city, conference theme and conference goals: "With some of the world’s most talented researchers and practitioners from around the globe and across disciplines expected to meet in Brisbane and address synergy in design research, DRS2020 will see the city and Griffith University take the lead in promoting research excellence. The conference delegates will appreciate the city’s commitment to innovation and a strong knowledge economy on the one hand and experience its welcoming nature and leisure appeal on the other.” 

    See below for more information about the conference theme and calls for participation.



    DRS2020 Conference Theme

    DRS2020 explores Synergy – the coming together of people and disciplines in design research to create positive impact. While we champion the uniqueness of disciplinary knowledge and creativity, we are also optimistic about how the coming together of different mindsets, backgrounds and perspectives can realise transformative visions of the future. Synergy in design research provides exciting possibilities for answering multi-faceted problems, supporting stakeholder initiatives and participation, and transforming existing situations into desirable ones.

    As the influence of design research grows in academia and society globally, we question what new opportunities there are for us to work together, within and beyond our field.  How do disciplines work together in design research? What new methods and tools of design do we need to realise synergistic working? But also, when might Synergy not be desirable? How do we balance the tension between design research specialisms and the new experience design, interdisciplinary design and transdisciplinary design research spaces we find ourselves working in?

    While design research is always future focused, 2020 is also a time for us to reflect on what social, cultural, economic, environmental, technological and policy impact the Synergy within and beyond disciplines has had on our evolving field. DRS2020 invites contributions including, but not limited to, the following sub-themes:


    Design researchers increasingly collaborate and co-create with other fields such as healthcare, engineering, political science, social sciences and with a wide variety of societal stakeholders and issues such as wellbeing, as well as addressing developments such as networked, embedded and intelligent technologies. How does design research engage with other fields and support new interdisciplinary ways of working?


    Topics of interest include roles, expertise and multiple voices, inclusion, experience, participation and power distribution, the role of communities and public and private organisations, innovation and management, and the building of partnerships in and for design research.


    How is design research situated in cross-disciplinary collaboration, navigating cultures, diversity, ethics, sense of place and sense of materials, and the habits of different design communities? Under which conditions does design research flourish and is it able to help create positive impact? What are the dynamics between design research, governments and industry contexts?


    Topics include the value, significance and dimensions of design research and design efforts and how to increase, assess and measure them, responsibility among stakeholders including users, types of impact such as sustainability or economic impact, and scale and locus of impact such as human-object interactions.


    How does design education change and need to change? How do working designers and design researchers update their skills to meet the challenges of the present and future?


    Calls for Participation

    There are lots of ways to participate in DRS2020. See below for details on submission types and deadlines.

    Call for Papers

    Extended submission deadline: 9 December 2019 16 December 2019

    Full original papers (up to 5000 words) are sought that respond to the DRS2020 conference theme of Synergy and its sub-themes, or present emerging design research.

    Call for Conversation Proposals

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    Conversations engage a limited number of attendees in open exchange in arriving at new understandings about a particular topic. Conversations provide an environment where a constructive dialogue can take place about issues of importance in design research, particularly to promote exchanges about topics not easily captured by the scholarly papers.

    Call for Workshop Proposals

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    Workshops are half or full day interactive sessions aiming to convey research results hands-on and to bring together design researchers and practitioners in academia, in the public sector, and in business and industry. 

    Call for PhD Day

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    DRS2020 will comprise a participatory event offering PhD students a forum to present, share and discuss with each other and with senior academics the issues they encounter in doing a PhD in design research.


    Need more information? Visit the DRS2020 website at or follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter.

    Contact the program team at if you have questions about submissions. Contact the conference team at with other enquiries about the conference.

     September 18, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS2020 statement on bushfires and the impact of the coronavirus & extended deadline announcement see more

    DRS2020 Extended Deadlines: 24 February 2020

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020. The conference will be hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. As with previous DRS conferences, DRS2020 will be a major global forum to present and discuss design research.

    Conference organisers have issued an announcement: 

    "The bushfires in Australia and the coronavirus outbreak in China have recently received ample media coverage and captured global attention. These natural disaster and global health events have raised our concerns once again about what we can do to assist in preventing and combating them. In light of this, DRS2020 would like to encourage design researchers to consider submitting proposals to convene Conversations or Workshops at DRS2020 that address, among other topics, the challenges of and solutions for climate change as well as global health and safety. To provide our design research community with more time to prepare their proposals, DRS2020 is now extending the submission deadline to Monday, 24 February 2020. For details on how to submit your proposal, please visit

    At the same time, the deadline for submitting an expression of interest to participate in activities of the DRS2020 Postgraduate Research Day (PG Day) has also been extended to Monday, 24 February 2020."

     February 14, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    LxD 2019 took place last year on 9-12 July 2019 see more

    Learn X Design 2019 Proceedings Now Available!

    The fifth DRS Learn X Design International Conference for Design Education Researchers (LxD 2019) took place last year on 9-12 July 2019. Full proceedings are now available on the conference website and on Google DriveThe proceedings include all 87 papers presented at the main conference and 22 short papers from the PhD Pitstop session. You’ll also find track theme introductions, a summary of the keynotes and an editorial by the conference organisers Naz A.G.Z. Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyıldırım. These sections give a flavour of current and upcoming research interests in design education. To top it off, the book is wrapped up in the fantastic LxD 2019 visual identity, courtesy of Dalsu.

    Group photo from LXD 2019

    Learn X Design is the biennial conference series of the DRS Pedagogy Special Interest Group (PedSIG). LxD conferences have been running since 2011. LxD 2019 took place in Ankara and explored 'insider knowledge' through thematic areas: approaches and attitudes, educational milieu, tools and methods, and making and prototyping. These subject areas show the variety of topics in design education research. Case studies and reflections are common in this work, but there are alternative methods and topics as well. For example, conference presenters discussed dramaturgy as an approach to understand the studio and human-squirrel interaction as an adapted mode of design studio practice. A full conference report is available here.

    The next Learn X Design conference location will be announced shortly. Join the PedSIG Discussion Group to find out first!



    Derek Jones, PedSIG Convenor; DRS Interim Advisory Council Member; Senior Lecturer, The Open University, UK

     January 30, 2020