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  • Anna Talley posted an article
    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.

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    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 ( 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). 


    Further Information

    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


    Equal Opportunities

    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.


    Reference documents

    2022 Annual Report 
    Rules of the Society and Transition Plan 2020-2028
    IAC Member Role Description 
    EB Member Role Description
    Nomination Form

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    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 article
    The 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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.


    Further Information

    DRS Executive Board:

    DRS International Advisory Council:

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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



  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.



  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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

    Interested in getting involved in this interview series? Tell us about your work or nominate another researcher. Contact Isabel at

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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

    Voting will continue until 4th May and election results will be announced shortly after.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.


    Equal Opportunities

    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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Vote on proposed rule changes for the Society see more

    Special General Meeting of the DRS, 21st January 2020

    A Special General Meeting (SGM) of the DRS will be held on Tuesday 21st January 2020 from 11:30-13:30 GMT. 

    DRS Members voted in favor of a new governance structure at the AGM in January 2019. This new structure will allow the DRS to become a more effective, inclusive, and international organization. 

    The purpose of the upcoming SGM is to vote on the proposed rule changes that will enable the new governance structure to come into force.

    For the first time we will be holding a general meeting entirely online to enable remote participation for as many DRS members as possible. The meeting is an important milestone that affects the future of the Society. All members are encouraged to attend and place their vote.

    Visit the SGM event page to register, view the agenda, and download meeting documents.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS news from September-December 2019 see more

    Chair’s Update, December 2019

    At the DRS AGM in January this year members voted to adopt a new governance structure to allow the DRS to become a more effective, inclusive, and international organisation. Since then an Interim DRS Advisory Council has been meeting regularly to map out the future activities of the DRS and develop the constitutional rule changes necessary for this new structure to come into place.

    Happily we now have a proposed new set of rules, but these will need confirmation by members at a Special General Meeting to be held on 21st January 2020 at 11:30 am (UK time). We will be holding this meeting online to allow wide participation for as many members as possible. At the meeting we will outline our present position, the proposed future for the Society, and the rule changes that will mean we can work together to better develop the field of design research.

    Please put this date in your diaries! We would like to encourage as many members as possible to join the meeting not only to vote, but also to find out about the future of the DRS. An official announcement about the Special General Meeting with further details will be made in the coming weeks.

    I am also pleased to say that the regular work of the DRS continues as well. In the past months we have launched new SIGs (Global Health SIG and Pluiversal Design SIG), have had new Fellows join us, awarded nine student research bursaries, and appointed a new Publications and Archives Editor. We are also working on a report about funding for design research in different countries around the world to help members understand the international funding landscape and learn from each other.

    The paper deadline for DRS2020 (9th December) is rapidly approaching and we look forward to receiving submissions for this. We will shortly be putting out the call for expressions of interest to host the DRS2022 conference.

    Finally, Design Studies, the journal of the DRS, celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year and in the latest volume Nigel Cross has edited a special issue of invited contributions reflecting on 40 years of design research and the growth of the ‘discipline of design’. There are some thoughtful and analytical contributions which are well worth reading.

    I wish you all a great festive season and look forward to an important year for the DRS in 2020!



    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the Interim DRS Advisory Council