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Design pedagogy

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Interview with Gjoko Muratovski, author of "Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice" see more

    "Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice", published by SAGE, is the second edition of Gjoko Muratovski's popular book, which was first published in 2016. The new edition features a Foreword by Ken Friedman, a co-authored Preface with Don Norman, an Afterword by Steven Heller, and a reflection by David Kusuma, the President-Elect of the World Design Organization. We asked Muratovski, a DRS Fellow, a few questions to get some insight into his new book and what impact it might have on design research.



    What is your background in design research?

    Short answer: I hold a PhD in Design Research and I am a Fellow of the Design Research Society. I do typical academic research – I write and publish – but I also work on industry-sponsored research projects. 

    Long Answer: I have a multidisciplinary design background. I came to academia from industry. Over time, I realized that that practicing design, without research to inform it, can be very ineffective. This is the reason why I went on undertaking a PhD in Design Research, which I completed in 2010. In 2011, I was commissioned by SAGE Publications to write their first design research textbook. They wanted someone who can approach this topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives and help standardize the way research for designers was taught. I spent the next five years working on this book. This became the first edition of the book “Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice”


    Tell us a little about your new book. What has changed from the first edition?

    The premise of the first edition was primarily focused on advocating for design research. But more importantly, the book was focused on introducing research methods to design students and practitioners in a way that seems less intimidating and more approachable. Most of the design research literature at the time was aimed at senior academics and as such, it was very difficult for newcomers to the field to embrace it. I tried to demystify the topic of research. I envisioned the book as a simple guide, offering step-by-step advice to those that may be studying these things for a very first time. 

    Since then, much of the things that I was advocating for in the first edition become widely accepted. The second edition of this book includes a new outlook for the future of the field (with focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution), some content expansion, and minor revisions in some areas. The second edition also features a suite of exclusive case studies, introduced via expert interviews that highlight how design research can be used to its full potential. Some of the topics covered include how military intelligence officers use design research to combat nuclear terrorism; how ethnographic research became a tool for decolonizing design in Africa; how Johnson & Johnson revolutionized the medical devices design research process; how a company such as Tupperware Brands started a design partnership with NASA and the International Space Station; how the world's largest consumer goods company Procter & Gamble uses AI to drive design research; how the White House uses design to drive innovation in the US Federal Government, and more.

    The fundamental research principles and methods that were featured in the first edition have not changed much. They were primarily based on the “gold standard” of research found in social sciences, and as such they didn’t require much revision. However, some of the context surrounding them needed an update so that the overall discourse stays current. 

    The book also features a Foreword by Ken Friedman, a co-authored Preface with Don Norman, an Afterword by Steven Heller, and a reflection by David Kusuma, the President-Elect of the World Design Organization.

    For me, it was important to make sure that the book also looks good. After all, the primary audience for this book are designers. So, on this occasion, I invited Michael Bierut from Pentagram to design a new cover and visual identity for the book. He did an amazing job. His incredible body of work includes visual identity solutions for clients such as The New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, MasterCard, Benetton, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 


    How do you think your book will impact design research? 

    The first edition of the book has been put into practice by many universities and professional organizations who tested its relevance and usability. The book has proven to be a helpful tool for both students and teachers, and it has served as a handy resource during high-level industry projects as well. So far, the book has been used either as a core textbook, supplementary, or recommended reading at over 500 universities from around the world. The book can also be found in the corporate libraries of leading companies such as Apple, Amazon, IBM, Nike, Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, and General Motors. The book has even been used at the White House and by the US military, and due to popular demand, it has also been translated into Chinese by Tongji University Press. 

    Interestingly enough, students from many non-design disciplines have also found this book useful while writing their research theses. This has been in part due to the accessibility of the writing style, the allure of the field of design as a driver of innovation, and the universal applicability of some of the research methods featured in the book. 

    While originally intended to be a resource that helps designers develop critical thinking skills by learning fundamental research principles, this book is now much more than that. More than ever before, the world needs professionals capable of understanding complex issues, while facilitating collaborative, iterative practices, and dialogues with highly diverse stakeholders. The knowledge that this book provides is now seen as essential for anyone with the aspiration of becoming a human-centric leader.


    What do you think the future is like for design research? Why is design research important now?

    I think that the future of design research is bright. Design research is no longer on the fringes of academia. Over the last decade we have seen a widespread use of design research – in the corporate sector, the government sector, hospitals, and even the military. And the need for highly trained design researchers will only grow further. However, the question is, are we prepared to teach design research at the scale that is now needed? With this book, I hope to enable us to scale the way we teach design research. 

    But beyond this, future challenge for designers will not be to recognize obvious problems after they occur and then to solve them, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place. A systematic evidence-based research approach can help us create better-informed design practices and may even help us envision new kinds of design careers that are yet to be introduced. 


    Where can people find out more about you and your work?

    Some of my work can be found on my profiles on and ResearchGate. But if anyone would like to learn more about me and what do I do, then it might be best for them to join me on LinkedIn. (

    Link to the book:

    Link to my profile on the SAGE website:


     December 12, 2021
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Teaching resources from PedSIG and The Open University Design Group see more

    Distance Design Education Resources

    The DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) is working with colleagues and institutions to support design educators continuing to move to distance and online teaching in response to the events of 2020 and the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This transition to distance education is a particular challenge for design educators, since design curriculum often relies heavily on physical and proximate teaching and learning, particularly in the studio.

    PedSIG, in collaboration with The Open University Design Group, have developed shared teaching resources available on the Distance Design Education website. The site features recipes, articles and resources about teaching, learning, staying connected and collaborating at a distance. It includes all the recordings from the series of Distance Design Education Meetups, where colleagues from around the world share their experiences and practices.

    You will also find the open education resource Creating Distance Design Courses, which outlines some of the approaches and ideas used at The Open University in the UK.

    In 2021, the site aims to continue support and is keen to hear from colleagues with suggestions of what would be most useful in supporting educators.

    If you want to contribute material or take part in future events, then please get involved or stay in touch. Over the past year the community has learned from one another regardless of knowledge or experience: everyone has had something valuable to share.

    As always, best wishes from the DRS—stay healthy and safe.

     March 17, 2020
  • Peter Lloyd posted an article
    The Call for Papers for Learn X Design 2021 is now open! see more

    The Call for Papers for Learn X Design 2021 is now open!


    Deadline: 23 March 2021



    The 6th International Conference for Design Education Researches, Learn X Design, will be hosted by Shandong University in September 2021.


    This is a call for Papers, Case Studies, Workshops and Visual Papers in the following Track Themes:


    Track 01 | Design Thinking to Improve Creative Problem-solving

    Track 02 | Empowering Critical Design Literacy

    Track 03 | Alternative Problem Framing in Design Education

    Track 04 | Collaboration in Design Education

    Track 05 | Co-creation of Interdisciplinary Design Educations

    Track 06 | Learning Through Materiality and Making

    Track 07 | Sketching & Drawing Education and Knowledge

    Track 08 | Educating Data-driven Design Innovation

    Track 09 | Design Learning Environments

    Track 10 | Futures of Design Education

    Track 11 | Design Educators as Change Agents


    You can find further details on the call and track themes here:

    The deadline for submissions is 23 March 2021.


    Learn X Design is the DRS Pedagogy SIG biennial conference and the 2021 conference in Shandong University will be the 6th in the series, with a conference theme of Engaging with Challenges in Design Education.

    Over the past months a group of international design education researchers have been preparing the track themes as a peer group. This approach has led to 11 tracks with very clear and focused themes, reflecting contemporary issues in design education research.

    Details of past Learn X Design conferences can be found here.

     January 09, 2021
  • 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:

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Conference report: LearnXdesign 2019 Conference a great success! see more

    Conference Report: Learn X Design 2019

    The fifth annual DRS Pedagogy SIG Learn X Design conference, Insider Knowledge, was held July 9-12 at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

    The conference hosted 150 delegates from 81 institutions in 31 countries, highlighting the continued interest in design education research around the world. In all, 87 papers and 6 workshops were presented. It was a busy conference, but one that allowed the community to reconnect, create new links and engage in discussion.

    The conference started (unofficially!) with a one-day PhD Pitstop event, where 24 PhD students presented their work, interspersed by short lectures by Owain Pedgley, Peter Lloyd, Gülay Hasdoğan, and Gülsen Töre Yargin. During the 'pitstop' itself, students had the chance to visit four tables to grill the 'experts' on PhD-related issues. Quite a few good ideas for design PhD researchers came from this event (and not just from the experts…), so keep an eye on the DRS PhD Discussion board for more on this in the coming weeks. The day ended with a traditional Academic, Live-Band Karaoke with double-blind peer review singing...

     The papers presented over the three days demonstrated the range and rigour of contemporary design education research. In all, there were 27 presentation sessions organized into 18 Track Themes and the topics ranged from core design education themes (such as student development, modes of learning, and studio praxis) through to emerging practices in teaching as well as between education and society.

    The range of research methods was similarly broad: from large-scale statistical analyses of large data sets through to rich description and dramaturgical approaches of analysing the Studio. Questions from delegates on methods and approaches were as common as queries on results.

    And, of course, the range of subjects of study expanded the anthropocentric to include, for the first time, both cats and squirrels…

    The Keynote presentation on day 1 was given by Gabriela Goldschmidt, who presented her work on design cognition and its inherent spatiality through theories such as Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Goldschmidt argued strongly for the value of such spaces to develop design expertise – not simply design-like behaviours and actions.

    Day 1 ended with a visit to a traditional Ankara hammam for a Turkish bath. A comparative, auto-ethnographic, reflexive study was conducted and concluded: "What goes on in the hammam stays in the hammam"

    The second keynote was presented by Zeynep Çelik Alexander, who gave an in-depth and fascinating analysis of the pedagogical roots of the Bauhaus, arguing strongly that the design curriculum that has influenced nearly all contemporary design education had prior pedagogical research roots (aesthetic feeling, drawing, designing). Yet another reason to join the DRS Pedagogy SIG - it all started with education research!

    Thursday ended with the conference dinner, which, again, took a purely Turkish turn - before the first food arrived, everyone was given a hip scarf, the band started, dancers arrived, and off we went. As with the hammam, you had to be there…  

    The final keynote was given by Halime Demirkan on the subject of learning styles and their applications to student-tutor interaction. This work highlighted the unique position of design education research in the intersection of theory, research, practice and design itself.

    The conference ended with a panel session considering the future of design education and research, comprising Emre Çaglar, Aykut Coskun, Ípek Akpinar, Yasuko Takayama, and Stanley Reucker. The panel noted several emerging themes throughout the conference, including the continuing maturity of design education research and the growing body of work produced, and referred to, by the community. A follow up article on the discussion and themes will follow.

    The conference was closed by Naz AGZ Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyildirim, the conference co-chairs, outlining the design process and organisation behind the event. The theme of the conference, Insider Knowledge, was reflected throughout the event in discussions and, in particular, through communication about design education and its value as a mode of education.

    The visual identity for the conference was inspired by the intersections of cultures, peoples and ideas that represent Turkey's past and present. This identity worked really well across all the conference materials and was a reminder of the diversity and plurality  of speakers and participants.

    Overall, this was a fantastic conference with a lot of good work brought together by a passionate community of practitioners and researchers. The design research education community has incredible Insider Knowledge and a growing maturity of practice and research.

    So, thank you to everyone who helped make Learn X Design 2019 such a great event: to Naz, Fatma, and Dalsu for guiding the design; to all the volunteers and helpers who made it work; to Middle East Technical University for supporting it; and to all the contributors, delegates, presenters, authors and speakers.

    After a well-deserved rest, the conference team will complete editing the proceedings, which will be available in September on the conference website and PedSIG page on the DRS website.

    The next Learn X Design Conference will be held in 2021 (location still to be confirmed). If you are interested in hosting the next LearnXdesign conference in 2021 then get in touch with  



    Derek Jones, PedSIG Convenor

  • 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
  • DRS Administrator posted an article
    Call to Host Learn X Design 2021, the DRS Pedagogy SIG Conference see more

    Call to Host Learn X Design 2021

    The Design Research Society Pedagogy Special Interest Group (PedSIG) invites proposals to host the next PedSIG biennial conference Learn X Design 2021For an application pack and guidance on making a proposal, please email the PedSIG Convenor Derek Jones ( 

    +++UPDATED+++ The updated deadline for proposals is 12:00 noon BST on 14 November 2019.

    The PedSIG Convening Group will review proposals and schedule interviews (if required) by late November. A final decision will be announced in early December.

    Above: Photo at the closing of Learn X Design 2019

    PedSIG is the largest SIG in the DRS and includes members from institutions around the world. The SIG has held biannual conferences since 2011. The 2019 conference took place in Ankara and welcomed over 150 delegates from 81 institutions and 31 countries. Read more about the DRS Pedagogy SIG hereFurther information on past conferences is available in the application pack.

    Contact Derek Jones ( with any further questions.

     September 27, 2019
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    LearnXdesign Call for Papers now OPEN! see more

    Call for Papers: LearnXdesign 2019

    The call for papers for the LearnXdesign 2019 conference in now open and the submission deadline 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.

     August 05, 2018
  • DRS Administrator posted an article
    Would you like the opportunity to take on the leadership of PedSIG or Sustainability SIG? see more

    Call for DRS Pedagogy SIG and Sustainability SIG leads

    Would you like the opportunity to take on the leadership of PedSIG or Sustainability SIG? Last year the convenors of these two SIGs stepped down and we have had acting SIG leads in the interim period. DRS members are invited to nominate themselves with a convening group to lead PeDSIG (Design Pedagogy SIG) and SustainabilitySIG (Sustainable Design SIG).

    The DRS  Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a vital part of the Society, bringing together communities of design researchers with a common interest in a particular area of design research. SIGs organise conferences and events to create opportunities for discussion around the world. The last two International DRS conferences have hosted themed tracks by both Sustainability and Design Pedagogy SIGs. The Design PedSIG also organises the biennial LearnXdesign conference series. Each SIG is led by a Convenor and supported by an organising group.

    What to do next

    If you are interested in either leading PedSIG or Sustainability SIG, please complete the application form and send to by April 1, 2019.

    The applications will be reviewed by the DRS International Advisory council, and feedback will be given as required to refine the proposals. The confirmation of new SIG convenors will be subject to approval by the DRS International Advisory Council.

    For further information please contact the DRS Administrator Linda Anderson

     March 03, 2019
  • 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
    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' in the image on the 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
    The fifth biannual DRS Learn X Design conference takes place next week at METU see more

    Plans for Learn X Design 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.

  • 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.

     November 23, 2017
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Jony Ive appointed RCA Chancellor see more

    Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, has been appointed Chancellor of the Royal College of Art. Ive joins the RCA at a critical point in its evolution, expanding its research and knowledge exchange centres into the domains of computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility. As Chancellor for a five-year term, Ive will advise the College during a period of expansion.

    Announcement on RCA Website


  • Derek Jones posted an article
    IB seek insight from university design professionals see more

    (Original text from

    This notice is for University academics working in Design education.

    The International Baccalaureate (IB) are currently reviewing their Diploma programme Design technology curriculum and are looking to gain insight from University professionals on the content and requirements of the course.

    This is one of a number of surveys being used to inform the development and review of the course. The target audiences of this series of surveys are:

    • University academics in design-related fields
    • IB Diploma Programme Teachers
    • IB Diploma Programme Design technology alumni
    • Design professionals working in a design industry or with a design association

    The results of this survey will be shared with curriculum developers for Design technology at meetings held at the IB Global Centre, The Hague, and with teachers via the online curriculum centre (OCC), and online discussion forum.

    Responses by individual professionals are encouraged, and we ask that you share this post with colleagues in your establishment and network who also work in a design-related field.

    This survey must be completed and submitted online. Please find the link below: