DRSelects: Juan Montalvan Lume on Decolonial, systemic, and critical studies in design and design researchDRS IAC member Juan Montalvan Lume on decoloniality and design research. see more
To share research interests, put faces to names within the DRS governance and highlight contents of the Digital Library, the Design Research Society has launched a series called ‘DRSelects’. As part of this series, a DRS International Advisory Council or Executive Board member will share a selection of pieces from the Digital Library that relate to any subject of their choosing. Through their exploration, they will share a few words about the works they’ve chosen and how it relates to their research and broader DRS initiatives. In this edition, we have reflections from International Advisory Council Member Juan Montalvan Lume.
Decolonial, systemic, and critical studies in design and design research in times of socio-natural and pluriversal thought
I wanted to approach this edition of the DRSelects by relating it with my current questionings and thinking towards the future, in a way/attempt of sharing with the community how the Digital Library functions for me as a means of engaging with the contemporary discussions in our field, from which to enrich my own work.
I think most of us are pretty aware that the years to come are going to be generously challenging ones, a big part of it due to intertwining geopolitical and socio-natural tensions, in what some call the era of the ‘Anthropocene’, or, as Donna Haraway frames it, the ‘Chthulucene’ (2016). Amidst this scenario, it feels fitting, even fair, to ask oneself: ‘Are we going to make it?’, ‘Is change actually possible?’.
I believe one –of multiple– ways forward in design research in relation to the above implies a transformative process expanding our understanding of what our community within the DRS is, involving a critical revisitation of what ‘global’ and ‘the globe’ means and implies in contemporary times –a collaborative endeavour required to open up to a diversity of practices, knowledges and visions of what design(s) is/are in different territories, enriching us all and the quality of our work in the process. We are not there yet, but I am positive this is possible considering that the inherent complexity embedded in the challenges of the future we are already facing today requires us to embrace –or at least come to terms with– complexity in our own thought and practice.
It is due to these questions that I embarked on a dialogue of sorts with the DL, looking for spaces-in-between diverse critical work, in an act of relating or weaving reflections over design theory, decolonialization, systemic design, nature-societies and ancestral thought. My first piece is a recent article by Philip Cash (2020), available on the DL through the link to the journal Design Studies. It brings up the question of the state of theory development in design research through a review of articles in the same journal, from 2004 to 2018, evidencing a consistently low level of engagement in theory building and testing, among other 5 revealing insights. Now, it is helpful to think about these findings in the landscape of not just Design Studies, but the scope of the Digital Library –and a revisited global context– from which the reflection over theory in design, could become the reflection over theories of designs. An article by Kambunga, Smith, Winschiers-Theophilus & Otto (2023) helps on this matter by opening up the landscape, addressing pluriversal and decolonial theories in design, and the valuable task of exploring the means through which to bring them into practice. Hence the concept of ‘safe spaces’ is proposed as a way to enact dialogical engagements and collective creations of knowledge, in Namibia.
Continuing with this critical reflection, one could argue that expansion and complexity do not necessarily imply positive outcomes if the question of how to approach them is not asked. This next article by Edeholt & Joseph (2022) reflects upon the fate of the design disciplines in a context of constant expansion of design as a response to pressing systemic challenges in the age of climate change. Through a dynamic and critical engagement with perspectives expressed in the book ‘Design in Crisis: New Worlds, Philosophies and Practices’ by Tony Fry and Adam Nocek (2021), the article reflects upon the coexistence of an ‘ecology of disciplines’, ultimately urging all disciplines –whether in design or not– to rethink 'how' they contribute to 'what' in order to collectively succeed as a species amidst this global challenge. In relation to which, research done by Serpa et al. (2022), and their critical pedagogy drawing from the Latin American tradition of critical thinking in Education, Arts, and Sociology, offers concrete examples of how the emerging discipline of systems design can take the form of network and community creation, reframing the ‘how’ of co-design, and enabling a possible new ‘what’ in the form of a transdisciplinary community in which designers become members/enablers/weavers, fostering agency and freedom, and at the same time contributing to the theories of designs towards new possible ontologies or ‘beings’.
Finally, my last pick is dedicated to acknowledging the fact that the DL not only showcases articles in English, but also it is possible to search for articles in Spanish and Portuguese thanks to the remarkable work of members of the Pluriversal Design SIG who organize the PIVOT Conference, which promote inter-cultural and pluralistic conversations over design. Within the last edition of the conference, this article by Lucía Garcés (2021), which title could be translated as ‘Ancestral Laboratory: Participatory design and Kichwa knowledge in Ecuador’s Amazon’ does a remarkable work in intertwining pluricultural knowledge production in design, guided by Andean philosophy and the work of Ecuadorian anthropologist Patricio Guerrero Arias, enriching its theory and practice.
If anyone curious about similar work but challenged by language, the journal Diseña offers a bridge over this matter by publishing in both Spanish and English, opening the discussion and contributing to the accessibility of knowledge being produced in Latin America to researchers in other geographies, while at the same time remaining accessible locally to many people in the region.
Hopefully in the near future, articles in this journal could be accessed through the Digital Library as well. Certainly, the DL is one of those much-needed spaces where design researchers and practitioners can engage with the current discussion on not just these, but several of the most relevant matters in contemporary debate, traversing and engaging multiple geographies and traditions performing research in designs –understood in a broader pluricultural sense. Hence its potential to be a space where nuances in approaches, voices and narratives can be sensed and reflected upon.
Juan Montalvan Lume is professor of Critical Latin American Design Studies and Design Theory and Methodology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and the former director of the Industrial Design Program at this university. His work cuts across transdisciplinary research and practice linking socio-natural systems and systemic design, science and technology studies, philosophy of knowledge, decolonization, design studies, space design and bioastronautics. Within the DRS International Advisory Council Juan is currently working at the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group on a project called ‘Global Forums’ consisting on a series of events to be held in multiple geographies and languages aimed towards engaging with the DRS community to tackle a profound question linked to the very constitution of the DRS’ evolving identity: “What it means –and what it implies– to actually become a ‘global’ design research community?” Juan trusts this initiative could potentially expand and enrich our practices, knowledge and narratives over what design –and design research– is, collectively nurturing us all and the quality of our work in the process.
Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press.
Cash, P. (2020) Where next for design research? Understanding research impact and theory building. Design Studies, 68(2020), 113-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2020.03.001
Kambunga, A., Smith, R., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., & Otto, t. (2023) Decolonial design practices: Creating safe spaces for plural voices on contested pasts, presents, and futures. Design Studies, 86(2023), 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2023.101170
Edeholt, H., and Joseph, J. (2022) Design disciplines in the age of climate change: Systemic views on current and potential roles, in Lockton, D., Lenzi, S., Hekkert, P., Oak, A., Sádaba, J., Lloyd, P. (eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao, 25 June - 3 July, Bilbao, Spain. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2022.365
Fry, T., and Nocek, A. (2021) Design in Crisis: New Worlds, Philosophies and Practices. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge.
Serpa, B.O., van Amstel, F.M., Mazzarotto, M., Carvalho, R.A., Gonzatto, R.F., Batista e Silva, S., and da Silva Menezes, Y. (2022) Weaving design as a practice of freedom: Critical pedagogy in an insurgent network, in Lockton, D., Lenzi, S., Hekkert, P., Oak, A., Sádaba, J., Lloyd, P. (eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao, 25 June - 3 July, Bilbao, Spain. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2022.707
Garcés, L.(2021) Laboratorio Ancestral: Diseño participativo y sabidurías Kichwas en la Amazonia de Ecuador, in Leitão, R.M., Men, I., Noel, L-A., Lima, J., Meninato, T. (eds.), Pivot 2021: Dismantling/Reassembling, 22-23 July, Toronto, Canada. https://doi.org/10.21606/pluriversal.2021.0045
Alejandra Poblete Pérez reflects on early DRS conference proceedings in the Digital Library. see more
To share research interests, put faces to names within the DRS governance and highlight contents of the Digital Library, the Design Research Society is launching a new series called ‘DRSelects’. As part of this series, a DRS International Advisory Council or Executive Board member will share a selection of pieces from the Digital Library that relate to any subject of their choosing. Through their exploration, they will share a few words about the works they’ve chosen and how it relates to their research and broader DRS initiatives. In this edition, we have reflections from International Advisory Council Member Alejandra Poblete Pérez.
Introducing myself and my “arriving” to the DRS
I am a graphic designer, with almost forty years of professional practice and undergraduate design teaching, as well as a researcher for twenty years, starting within the PhD Programme at the University of Barcelona.
This research path drove me to the DRS in the first decade of this century, when I realised that the DRS is the oldest multidisciplinary academic society of design research (since 1966), promoting design theories, methods and practices and, understanding research and its relationship to education and practice.
In these six decades, the DRS has embraced the theoretical concerns of the discipline, providing a space for the dissemination of research work, methodological proposals and reflections, case studies, etc. That’s why the research results from DRS Conference proceedings are the subject of my own studies, as the conferences bring together the theoretical effort of design.
My connections with the DRS Digital Library
In a way, what I am about to relate could be considered a prequel to the DRS Digital Library.
In 2015 I applied for a DRS research grant offered as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the DRS. Three researchers received the grant that year, with the commitment to present our research results at the special anniversary session in DRS2016 Brighton Conference:
Søren Rosenbak, from Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden, presented his work “Fifty Years of Failures”, reflecting on design as a process of learning from failure.
Darren Umney, from The Open University, UK, presented his study of the networks of design research in a reconstructed review of themes and actors in the DRS papers.
My presentation was "DRS Conferences: a barometer and a mirror of theoretical reflection of design discipline - a review and a discussion", examining the theoretical development of design research, through the papers published over 50 years.
That was completely in line with Darren’s work, giving us the opportunity to dialogue and collaborate with each other, so I shared with him all the material I had been digitising from the early pre-DRS conferences (1962, 1965, 1967), the printed proceedings of the DRS (1971, 1976, 1980) and partial (or pre-print) material collected from various sources (1973, 1978 and 1984).
That was the beginning of the Digital Library, driven by Darren Umney, backed at that time by Peter Lloyd, and continued by DRS in a systematic way, committed to open knowledge.
My selected readings
I recommend the reading, and “re-reading”, of those early DRS proceedings, where key methodological concepts emerged, reflecting the concerns of society at that time, anticipating problems or phenomena that we still experience today, as a society and as designers.
Examples of that are concepts such as "participatory design" (DRS 1971), dealing with user participation in decision-making, also addressing disability, and therefore, inclusion.
The 1973 DRS conference, “Design Activity”, gathered research papers from fifteen countries, addressing topics within design activity, such as the nature of design decision-making, the process and the objectives of design, "the who, the why, the how", in Tom Maver's words.
The DRS 1976 conference, "Changing Design”, addressed the changing role of design in society, taking into account the changes that society was experiencing at the time. Thus, this notion of change opened up new thinking on issues such as design education, technology assessment, and the human context of designing.
DRS1980 "Design: Science: Method" proposed a deeper epistemological reflection, perhaps as a kind of reaction, or rejection, of previous methodological approaches, where this new emphasis lies on design research and “designerly inquiry”, in Archer’s words.
It is also essential to mention the 1978 Conference –led by Professor Nigan Bayazit (RIP) and Mine Inceoglu– which for the first time was held outside of Europe (in Istanbul), opening a space for another kind of reflection.
Although in the Digital Library, only the index of topics and titles of research articles of DRS 1978 is available, it is inspiring to see the topics addressed, such as “Human consequences of design”, “Psychological determinants in the design process”, or the very recent concept at that time, “Design Thinking and methods”.
Finally, my synthetic view is that the open access that the Digital Library is offering to researchers, teachers, and students –belonging or not to design discipline– constitutes an opportunity to have enough perspective –and context– in understanding the development of design research.
Bayazit, N., and Inceoglu, M. (eds.) (1978) Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference, 1978: Architectural Design, Istanbul, Design Research Society. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/5
Cross, N. (eds.) (1972) Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference, 1971: Design Participation, London, Design Research Society. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/1
Design Research Society. (eds.) (1973) The Design Activity International Conference, 1973, London, Design Research Society. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/2
Evans, B., Powell, J., and Talbot, R. (eds.) (1982) Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference, 1976: Changing Design, Chichester, John Wiley. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/3
Jacques, R., and Powell, J. (eds.) (1981) Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference, 1980: Design: Science: Method, Guildford, IPC Business Press Limited. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/4
DRS elects new chairs, Prof Rebecca Cain and Dr Anna Vallgårda. see more
The International Advisory Council has elected its new Chairs.
Professor Rebecca Cain from Loughborough University, in the UK, is the new DRS Chair and Chair of the DRS Executive Board.
Dr Anna Vallgårda from the IT University of Copenhagen has been elected as the new Chair of the DRS International Advisory Council.
Rebecca Cain has a record of long service with the DRS, having been a council member since 2009, when she held the role of Honorary Secretary. She was one of the leading members in transitioning the society to the new, international governance structure that exists today, and for the last two years has held the role of the Vice-Chair of the DRS Executive Board.
Rebecca founded SIGWELL, the DRS Special Interest group on Wellbeing, Happiness and Health, and co-chaired the DRS2020 Conference. In her time as Vice-Chair, Rebecca has been active in community building, through mobilising the creation of new SIGs and co-produced the experimental online conference format – the DRS Festival of Emergence, in 2021.
In her other roles, Rebecca is a Professor of Transdisciplinary Design in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University, where she also holds the role of Associate Dean. She is Director of a Transdisciplinary Doctoral Training Centre, which is using a cohort approach to creatively rethink experiences of home and homelessness. She is also active within the UK Research Funding Councils, is a member of the Learning Committee at the Design Museum in London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).
Upon her election to DRS Chair, Rebecca said “It is truly an honour to serve the Design Research Community as the new Chair of DRS. The DRS has been a central part of my academic life for over thirteen years, and over that time, it has been hugely rewarding to be part of the growth and transformation of the society into the international body it is today”.
On future plans, she added. “Over the next two years, I look forward to working with our new Executive Board and International Advisory Council to build a diverse and inclusive society which serves the global design research community and furthers the field of design research. In the challenging times we live in, there has never been a more pressing need for design disciplines to come together as a collective force to make change. I am passionate about building communities across disciplines, working in partnership and supporting the next generation of design researchers.”
Anna Vallgårda, the incoming Chair of the International Advisory Council has been an active member of the DRS Executive Board for the last two years, and has been a leading figure in the operationalisation of the DRS’ new Digital Library. The goal is that the DRS Digital Library becomes the primary repository for all design research related publications. For instance, last year we were happy to include the entire back-catalogue of the Nordic design conference series NORDES. While Anna steps down from the Executive board she will continue in the working group devoted to develop the library towards its goal.
In her other roles, Anna is Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and head of the IxD lab which she founded in 2012. Anna conducts research in the intersection of materials, interaction design, and domestic healthcare.
Upon her election to Chair of the IAC, Anna said “I am looking forward to working with our expanded International Advisory Council over the next two years. I especially look forward to developing a culture around working groups within the council to support the tasks of the executive board and thus activate the impressive variety of knowledge and experience the council covers. This, I believe, will strengthen the global relevance of the DRS.”
President of the DRS, Professor Rachel Cooper added “ I am extremely happy to be working with Rebecca and Anna who have already given significant time and expertise to the Society. It has been a pleasure to work with Peter Lloyd who has been a driver of change for the good. Paul Hekkert has led the development of the International Advisory Council to a sound and significant position, I thank them both for their past contributions and I look forward to further transformations of the Society led by Rebecca and Anna.”
Anna and Rebecca alongside Rachel Cooper, representing the new DRS leadership.
Nominations for DRS Elections 2022 are Open! see more
Design Research Society International Advisory Council Elections 2022
Nominations to stand for election to the International Advisory Council of the DRS, are now open.
The DRS seeks an additional ten design researchers to join the current DRS International Advisory Council and actively contribute to taking forward the mission of the Society in progressing the field of design research.
The benefits of serving on the International Advisory Council include:
- Influencing the field of Design Research;
- Being part of a leading network of design researchers;
- Access to financial support to progress initiatives;
- Eligibility to stand for a role on the Executive Board;
- Career development that enhances your CV;
- DRS Conference fee waiver.
We encourage DRS Members from all parts of the world to consider standing for election, particularly those with a vision about how design research should develop, and awareness of the Society’s ambitions.
We particularly welcome nominees from areas of the world which are underrepresented on the current International Advisory Council, including the UK, Asia and the US.
About the International Advisory Council
The International Advisory Council (IAC) is the main advisory body within the DRS Governance Structure and works with a 5-person Executive Board, formed from the International Advisory Council, in delivering the mission and aims of the society. The IAC operates through working groups, online meetings and liaising with the Executive Board, throughout the year, and aims (when conditions allow), to meet in-person once a year, including at the DRS biennial conference.
IAC members are experts in their area of research and undertake a range of work for the DRS. IAC members help develop policy, work on specific projects, and enhance the range of activities offered by the DRS to strengthen the network of existing design researchers and nurture the development of new design researchers.
IAC Members are elected for a period six years initially, with the possibility of a two-year extension. Following election, IAC Members are eligible to stand for the Executive Board who will manage the week-to-week working of the Society. The Executive Board consists of: Chair of the Society, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and one other Member. IAC Members are also eligible to stand for the position of Chair of the International Advisory Council.
Standing for Election
To be eligible for election you must:
- Be a full member of the DRS;
- Be nominated by one other full member;
- Have institutional support.
To complete your nomination, you should submit a candidate statement (200 words), along with statements of institutional and DRS member support, that:
- Outlines your vision for the Society;
- Provides an overview of your design research experience;
- Explains how you would contribute to the DRS;
- Confirms your commitment to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive practices in design research.
Nominations must be sent to the DRS Administrator, Clare Readman (email@example.com) by 5pm (anywhere in the world) on Thursday 18th May 2022
Voting will take place with registered members between 25th May to 8th June 2022.
Election results will be announced early in June and confirmed at the Biennial General Meeting at the DRS2022 conference in Bilbao (25th June – 3rd July 2022).
If you are interested in becoming a member of International Advisory Council and would like to know more, please contact the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Executive Board (Peter Lloyd or Rebecca Cain), via firstname.lastname@example.org
The DRS seeks to cultivate diverse populations and perspectives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of design research. To do so, we seek to build a vibrant community, composed of individuals diverse in identities, experience, ideas, discipline, and research and teaching approach, and to create an environment where each individual can reach their full potential. The DRS is proud to promote equal opportunities in all the activities that it organises and supports.
2022 Annual Report
Rules of the Society and Transition Plan 2020-2028
IAC Member Role Description
EB Member Role Description
Keep reading to find out more about Catalina's work in Latin America & with the IAC. see more
With DRS Board and International Advisory Council (IAC) elections coming up, we sat down to speak with IAC Member Catalina Cortés about her work and her role as part of the Council. Keep reading to find out more about Catalina's work in the Design and Research in Latin America Network and the IAC.
How do you do design research? What is your work about?
I work as part of the research team at the Design School of Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile. The projects I lead are related to the influence of design processes and resources in facilitating teaching and learning.
Currently, I am working on the design of a tangible interface to teach complex concepts to school children by incorporating the findings of studies on embodied cognition into the design of the learning experience.
What is your role as part of the International Advisory Council? What initiatives are you part of?
I think that my main role is to represent the region of South America and our vision and experiences about design research. I have participated in various initiatives. Last year I was part of the production team of the first version of the Festival of Emergence and presented a moment about health and design in Latin America. We formed the DILA network (Design and research in Latin America) as a way to gather Latin American design researchers together, which also includes people worldwide interested in knowing more about our projects and context. Today we are working with the Global Health SIG and Imagination Lancaster on the design of a new edition of the Little Health Book collection dedicated to design and health in Latin America where we will present cases of design projects from various countries of the region. I am also working as the chair of the workshops section of DRS2022 Bilbao and looking forward to the conference in June!
How do you see the IAC evolving in the next few years?
I imagine the IAC being more diverse in terms of its participants' geography. and culture and incorporating more visions about design and design research from industry, organizations, and policymakers. I also think that as time passes, the IAC members will assume more responsibilities in the DRS and lead a larger number of initiatives.
Why would you encourage other DRS Members to join the IAC?
I would say that it is a great opportunity to get to know amazing people and be involved in interesting and motivating international collaborative work. It is a good platform to contribute to design research and to position design as a relevant discipline in countries in which design is not yet well understood.
Where can people find out more about you and your research?
Design History Society posted an articleThe DRS Annual Report 2020 now is available for download. see more
The DRS Annual Report 2020 now is available for download. It includes the Chair’s Report from Peter Lloyd, as well as reports on governance, finance, membership, communications and DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
Following a vote to change our constitution in January of 2020, we held elections in May to vote on a new International Advisory Council (IAC) of 18 members, which is now chaired by Professor Paul Hekkert. At the first meeting of the new IAC, held in July 2020, five members of the IAC were elected to the new Executive Board, and Peter Lloyd was elected to the position of Chair of the Society to lead the DRS over the next two years. We held our biennial conference, DRS2020, which was originally due to take place in Brisbane, Australia, online due to the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In December, we launched our Open Access Digital Library, which has publications from virtually all previous DRS conferences and can be used as a resource for the field of design research.
The DRS Festival of Emergence will be a major event this year, alongside promotion for the DRS 2022 Conference in Bilbao.
For full details, please download the DRS Annual Report 2020 below.
Election of new DRS Chair, Executive Board Members and IAC Chair see more
First Meetings of the New International Advisory Council
Following the DRS elections in May this year, the newly formed International Advisory Council (IAC) met online for its first annual summit at the beginning of July. Over three productive meetings with breakout sessions IAC members began to map out the future priorities of the Society.
The meetings ended with the election of a new DRS Chair, Executive Board Members, and Chair of the International Advisory Council who will together lead in taking this new agenda forward. More details will follow in due course.
DRS Chair & Chair of Executive Board
Peter Lloyd, TU Delft
Executive Board Members
Rebecca Cain, Loughborough University
Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie Mellon University
Anna Vallgårda, IT University of Copenhagen
Heather Wiltse, Umeå University
Chair of the International Advisory Council
Paul Hekkert, TU Delft
The new leadership team will be supported by a strong administration team of three people.
DRS Executive Board: https://www.designresearchsociety.org/team/executiveboard
DRS International Advisory Council: https://www.designresearchsociety.org/team/internationaladvisorycouncil
DRS Administration: https://www.designresearchsociety.org/team/administration
Recent DRS news see more
Chair’s Update, June 2020
The speed of recent global events has given us a new sense of the world we live in and its complex and often invisible interconnections. This presents both new challenges and new opportunities for design research. In this light I’m looking forward to DRS2020 where we can begin to map out some of these issues in the online workshops and conversations that are being planned. A recent article by Bruno Latour on the coronavirus crisis1 laid out some provocative thinking in this respect, ending with very simple but pertinent questions with which to think about how design research can help shape our common future.
The past couple of months have been busy ones for the DRS with elections taking place and the formation of the first International Advisory Council with members from all over the world. 18 successful candidates will now work together to take the DRS forward over the next few years. The first meetings of the new Council will take place over the coming weeks. I’m sure they will result in exciting ideas to develop the Society and the field of design research. I would like to thank all the members of the Interim Council who will not be continuing, but have done so much in getting the Society to this positive position.
I’m also pleased to report that the new DRS Digital Library is taking shape using Elsevier’s Digital Commons platform. Once up and running, the Digital Library will become a repository for all DRS publications and archival material and also offers the possibility of hosting related design research publications This will increase our impact on the research landscape with more visibility in citation searches. Publishing the papers for DRS2020 is our first priority and we hope to launch the Digital Library in the weeks leading up to the conference.
Finally, our newest Special Interest Group, Pluriversal Design, held its first major event this month. With exceptional timing the PIVOT conference explored how we can design a world with many centres. With over 40 presentations and multiple breakout discussions, it was an inspiring online event for those who attended. A conference review will be coming soon.
I wish everyone a safe and successful summer, and look forward to meeting some of you at DRS2020.
Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of DRS
The Interim Council is waving goodbye and saying hello to the new IAC see more
Goodbye and Hello: Thank You to the DRS Interim Council
The DRS is preparing for the changeover from the Interim Council to the newly elected International Advisory Council (IAC). The Interim Council formed in January 2019 to manage the transition to the new governance structure. Though some Interim Council members were not elected, the final meeting on 15th May was very positive, with the outgoing council looking forward to strategy and leadership from the new IAC.
DRS President Rachel Cooper and Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the Interim Council, thank outgoing council members: Tom Fisher, Emma Dewberry, Hua Dong, Derek Jones, Tracy Bhamra, Martyn Evans, Robert Harland, Robin Roy, Ming Cheung and Emmanuel Tsekleves. Their work over the past 17 months has prepared the DRS for a strong future. Interim Council members Peter Lloyd, Rebecca Cain and Stella Boess have been elected to serve on the new IAC.
In the screenshots from the last meeting, the Interim Council is waving goodbye and saying hello to the new IAC. DRS President Rachel Cooper, Administrator Linda Anderson and Online Editor Isabel Prochner are also shown.
Emmanuel is recognized for his work on community health and the international focus in his research see more
This Much I Know (About Design Research): Emmanuel Tsekleves
This Much I Know (About Design Research) is an interview series that profiles members of the DRS. In this edition, we spoke with Emmanuel Tsekleves about his design research and current projects. Emmanuel is senior lecturer in design at Lancaster University, associate director for international research at ImaginationLancaster, DRS Interim Advisory Council member and co-convenor of the DRS Global Health SIG. He is recognized for his work on community health and the strong international focus in his research.
What projects are you currently working on?
My collaborators and I just finished a project on inclusive policy for seniors in Malaysia in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. We explored how design research methods can help governments anticipate change and engage the community.
Can you give an example?
Sure—we focused on training civil servants and community champions in the use of speculative design. These partners ran speculative design workshops with senior citizens to imagine new approaches to public transport for seniors.
What’s next for you?
I’m still involved in 5 other research projects! And I’m busy with a new book Design for Global Challenges. It’ll be part of the Design for Social Responsibility series at Routledge.
What drives your research?
Face-to-face meetings and connections with people—being able to work with my research partners in communities all around the world. Sadly that’s gotten a lot harder lately.
Who are your research partners?
We’re a multidisciplinary and international group with design researchers and folks with expertise in health, epidemiology, developmental sciences and social science. We've been working with local partners and communities in Ghana, Angola, Cameroon and Malaysia to tackle sustainable development challenges related to health. Another important partner is the Women Economic Imperative—we've worked together on a project looking at gender health and women’s health as an economic value.
Do you have advice for other researchers?
I once asked a research participant what he needed from a project and he said: “for you to come back.” Think long term in your research and make sure it can have a lasting impact for your participants.
You’re also heavily involved with the DRS!
Yes—it’s an important community and a way to collaborate for the common good. Expanding the Society's international agenda and engaging health and design researchers beyond the Global North to the Global South are the main reasons I joined the DRS community and created the Global Health SIG.
Any parting words to share with our members?
We need to push ourselves to innovate, find new ways of doing things, and find new ways to make an impact. I strongly believe that’s our responsibility as designers and as researchers.
Find out more about Emmanuel and his work at http://imagination.lancaster.ac.uk/person/emmanuel-tsekleves/
Interested in getting involved in this interview series? Tell us about your work or nominate another researcher. Contact Isabel at email@example.com.
18 elected candidates will form the new Council see more
Election Results: The New DRS International Advisory Council
Voting for the new DRS International Advisory Council (IAC) closed 4th May with a total of 2262 votes cast. Of the 41 nominees, 18 elected candidates will form the new Council. The elected IAC members will develop policy, work on DRS projects, and enhance the range of activities offered by the DRS to strengthen the network of existing design researchers and nurture the development of new researchers.
We would like to thank all candidates who stood for election and look forward to an exciting future with this new Council. Election results and more information about DRS Elections 2020 are available here.
41 candidates were nominated to stand for the new DRS International Advisory Council see more
Nominated Candidates for DRS Elections 2020
Voting for DRS Elections 2020 opened this week on Monday. We’re pleased to announce that 41 candidates were nominated to stand for the new DRS International Advisory Council (IAC). Candidates come from 17 countries across 5 continents and range from PhD candidates to internationally recognized design research leaders.
You can download the statements of all candidates, including their vision for the DRS and their research background, along with their nominator's statement here.
The IAC will advise on the future direction of the Society and help develop the range of events, services and activities we offer to our membership and to the design research community more generally. Each DRS member is invited to vote for 8-18 candidates to fill 18 IAC positions.
DRS members received an email with a link to the Opavote voting platform earlier this week. If you have questions or didn’t receive your invitation, contact DRS administrator Linda Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting will continue until 4th May and election results will be announced shortly after.
The DRS enters 2020 in a good financial position and with growing followers see more
DRS Annual Report 2019
The DRS Annual Report 2019 is available for download below. It includes the Chair’s Report from Peter Lloyd, acting chair of the DRS and a report from Honorary Secretary Rebecca Cain. There are also reports on finance, membership, communications, events and DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
2019 was a significant year for DRS leadership with the proposal of a new governance structure in January. Design Studies, the academic journal of the Society, celebrated its 40th year and announced an increased impact factor, reinforcing its high ranking in the field of design research. Although there was no DRS biennial conference, there were many exciting SIG events. This included PedSIG’s Learn X Design Conference, the EKSIG 2019 Conference and the OPENSIG book launch for Tricky Design: The Ethics of Things.
The DRS enters 2020 in a good financial position and with growing website visitors and social media followers. The DRS Elections and the DRS2020 Conference in Brisbane will be major events this year.
Nominations to stand for the first International Advisory Council are now open see more
DRS Elections 2020: Call for Nominations
We are pleased to announce that nominations to stand for the first International Advisory Council (IAC) of the DRS are now open. The DRS seeks 18 ambitious design researchers to form the new IAC and contribute to creating a truly international and inclusive Society to progress the field of design research. We encourage DRS Members from all parts of the world to consider standing for election, particularly those with a vision about how design research should develop, and awareness of the Society’s ambitions.
The benefits of serving on the IAC include:
- Influencing the field of Design Research;
- Being part of a network of design research leaders;
- Access to financial support to progress initiatives;
- Entitlement to stand for a role on the Executive Board;
- Career development that enhances your CV.
Nominations must be submitted by 5 pm BST on Thursday 9 April. Further details about the 2020 DRS Elections and the nomination process are available here.
The DRS celebrates and supports diversity for the benefit of our members, our services, and our community. The DRS is proud to promote equal opportunities in all the activities that it organizes and supports.
Announcing changes that will make the Society more inclusive, international, and influential see more
DRS Votes 'Yes' to New Governance Model
Following a unanimous vote at Tuesday's Special General Meeting, the DRS will undergo structural changes that will make the Society more inclusive, international, and influential. In a first for the Society the General Meeting was held entirely online which allowed members to join from as far away as Australia, Chile, and the US.
The DRS Council will now become an International Advisory Council (IAC) of 30 members from which 5 members will form an Executive Board. Liaising with the Executive Board, IAC members will form working groups in strategic areas to further the aims of the Society and progress the discipline of design research.
Additional changes include term limits for Executive Board and International Advisory Council positions and an emphasis on virtual meetings. The DRS Administration team will also grow, adding to current Administrator, Online Editor and Publications and Archive Editor roles.
This restructuring follows discussions with members at the Future DRS meeting (DRS2018) and votes at the 2018 AGM. It reflects the future vision of the Society defined by DRS members and the current Interim Advisory Council. The structure of the DRS has changed little since its inauguration in 1966 and we feel it is time to evolve in response to current needs and the changing nature of the design research discipline.
More news will follow about the new roles that will be available, the upcoming elections, and the transition to the new structure.