DRS council

  • 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

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Update from Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the DRS Interim Advisory Council see more

    Chair’s Update, August 2019

    Summer is conference season and I had the pleasure of attending the Learn X Design conference in Ankara this July. This is the biennial conference for our Pedagogy Research SIG (PedSIG). What a fantastic experience it was, both in the research that was presented, the people that came from all over the world, and the outstanding social events. Talking about design education research in a Turkish Hammam was a particular highlight. So a big thanks to Naz Börekçi, Fatma Korkut, and Dalsu Özgen Koçyıldırım and all at METU for their excellent organisation and hosting. You can read more about the conference here.


    Above: Photo at the closing of Learn X Design 2019

    In September I look forward to meeting some of you at the IASDR conference in Manchester. IASDR connects different societies of design research across the world and is a great opportunity to forge new collaborations and partnerships. In other news, the improved governance model for the Society is reaching the final stages of approval by Council and will make us a more international and inclusive Society. Further information about this will be available in the coming months. We hope also to officially launch the DRS2020 conference in Brisbane in the coming weeks.

    Above: DRS2020 logo

    I’m also pleased to announce that the journal of the DRS, Design Studies, has increased its impact factor in the past year, rising to 2.78 and keeping us right at the top of design research journals. Finally, I would like to encourage members who have made significant contributions to the design research field to apply for Fellowship of the Society, this recognises important contributions of individuals and can enhance your external profile.



    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the DRS Interim Advisory Council

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Future DRS see more

    Future DRS

    As announced in the May DRS Member's Newsletter, a DRS Special Session will be held at the 2018 DRS Conference in Limerick. This will take place on the last day of conference - Thursday 28 June, 12:45 - 14:00 in room KBG12. All DRS Members are invited to attend this session, where Council will report to members and begin discussion on the future of the DRS.

    To be an international and representative community committed to promoting and developing design research, DRS Council believes the Society needs to engage in a more interactive and participatory way in setting future directions. However, the challenges in achieving this in contemporary contexts need to be recognised. As a starting point we propose to focus on four themes and conversations that will begin at the Special General Meeting.

    So please come to this Special Meeting and help influence the future direction of the Society! If you're not coming to Conference (and even if you are), we encourage you to give us feedback directly using the online form.

    Future DRS Feedback Form

    You can also comment on the Future of DRS discussion Forum or email us directly: admin@designresearchsociety.org

    Look out for further opportunities to engage during conference by following us on Twitter.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS is currently in good health and focussing on an extended range of aims and objectives! see more

    Chair’s Update, May 2019

    2019 begun with fundamental changes for the DRS. At the Annual General Meeting in Manchester in January those present voted in a new governance structure that will mean we can properly represent our international membership and allow us to work on a wider range of issues and challenges for design research. 

    At the Council meeting following the AGM the previous Chair, Tracy Bhamra, signalled her intention to step down and, after a vote, I was happy to be elected as Acting Chair of an Interim Advisory Council while we work towards formalising the new structure. When this is complete, later this year, we will put out a call for members to stand for election. I would like to thank Tracy for her excellent leadership of the DRS over the past couple of years and she remains as part of the Advisory Council.

    Following the AGM a number of other people have stepped down from Council and I would like to thank them all for their dedicated service: Kristina Niederrer, Arno Verhoeven, Nithikul Nimkulrat, and Keelin Leahy.

    In their place I would like to welcome two new members to Council: Ming Cheung, Professor of Experience Design at Griffiths University, Brisbane, who is the conference chair for DRS2020 (details to be announced soon) and Emmanuel Tsekleves from Lancaster University, convener for the new Global Health Special Interest Group. Welcome both!

    We are currently looking at bringing PhD Researcher representation to council by co-opting two student members. This will mean we will begin to cater for what is becoming an increasingly large part of the DRS, the student membership body.

    Above: Photo from the AGM, January 2019

    In March the DRS contributed to a second meeting of the Montreal Design Declaration, a worldwide consortium of design organisations focussed on working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Alongside other design research organisations, such as IASDR and the Design Society, we put the case for design research to be an integral part of meeting these challenges. Partnership working will be key to the success of the DRS over the coming years and it is our intention to be present at more events like this in promoting the value of design research.

     Above: Photo from the second Design Declaration Summit, April 2019 

    The DRS SIGs continue to be a healthy area of development for the society. In the past month we have approved two new SIGs: Global Health and Pluriversal Design and now offer an annual fund for SIG development activity. Three well established SIGs have been involved with significant events. SIGWELL recently held a well-attended event at TU Delft, OpenSIG is launching Tricky Design, a book conceived at our DRS2016 conference, at the Design Museum in London, and we look forward to Learn X Design, the biennial conference for PEDSIG at METU Ankara, Turkey in July.

    Above: Photo from the SIGWELL Conference, April 2019 

    So I’m happy to report that the DRS is currently in good health and focussing on an extended range of aims and objectives. I will be at Learn X in Ankara and hope to meet any other members that are attending.



    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    2018 Annual General Meeting 2018 see more

    2018 Annual General Meeting

    The 2018 DRS Annual General Meeting took place in Manchester on Tuesday 15 January 2019. The meeting heard reports from DRS Officers (available here) and then approved the proposed new Governance Structure by a vote of 19 for, 1 against, with 1 abstention.

    Following the AGM a further meeting was held to confirm an Interim Advisory Council (IAC) to manage the transition arrangements as the DRS works towards implementing the new structures whilst maintaining existing operations. Peter Lloyd was elected as the Acting Chair of the Interim Advisory Council.

    The vote marks a significant change to the operation of the DRS. We believe it will allow the society to properly represent its international membership and further develop the field of design research.


    We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation and discussion and we look forward to a productive future for the DRS.



    Rachel Cooper, DRS President
    Tracy Bahmra, Outgoing Chair of the DRS
    Peter Lloyd, Interim Advisory Group Chair

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    2017 DRS Election results see more

    The 2017 election process was organised online for the first time, leading to a threefold increase in the number of members taking part.

    The new DRS council for 2017-2018 now looks like this:


    President Prof Rachel Cooper OBE, Lancaster University, UK
    Chair Prof Tracy Bhamra (2017) Loughborough University, UK
    Vice Chair Prof Peter Lloyd (2016) Brighton University, UK
    Hon. Secretary Dr Rebecca Cain (2017) University of Warwick, UK
    Hon. Treasurer Prof Tom Fisher (2017) Nottingham Trent University, UK
    Membership Secretary Dr Emma Dewberry (2017) Open University, UK
    Events Secretary Dr Erik Bohemia (2017) Loughborough University, UK
    Communications Secretary Mr Derek Jones (2017), Open University, UK
    Internationalisation Secretary Dr Tiiu Poldma (2017) University of Montreal, Canada
    SIGs Secretary Prof Kristina Niedderer (2017) Uni of Wolverhampton, UK


    Dr Stella Boess (2017) TU Delft, the Netherlands

    Prof Hua Dong (2017) Tongji University, China

    Prof David Durling (2017) Coventry University, UK

    Prof Martyn Evans (2017) Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

    Dr Robert Harland (2017) Loughborough University

    Dr Keelin Leahy (2016) Limerick University, Ireland

    Dr Vicky Lofthouse (2017) Loughborough University, UK

    Prof Nithikul Nimkulrat (2016) Estonian Academy of the Arts, Estonia

    Prof Robin Roy (2016) The Open University, UK

    Prof Michael Tovey (2016) Coventry University, UK

    Dr Arno Verhoeven (2016) Edinburgh University, UK


    Co-opted member:

    Dr Rhoda Trimingham (2017) Loughborough University, UK

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Rachel Cooper OBE announced as new DRS President see more

    The Design Research Society is delighted to announce that Professor Rachel Cooper OBE has been named as its new President. Rachel is the Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books 'Designing Sustainable Cities' and 'The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment'. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy. She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design.


    On being appointed, Rachel said;

    “I am extremely honoured to be the new DRS president. As the longest established learned society for the design research, DRS have been a constant force throughout my career, enabling me access to contemporary theory and practice in design research and  to work with colleagues across the world. As DRS enters into its next 50 years I look forward to supporting and promoting the purpose of DRS and design research in a global context that offer so many opportunities for this discipline to make a difference to our lives and our planet.”
    Outgoing President Professor Nigel Cross commented;

    “I have been a member of the Design Research Society for 50 years - from soon after its founding in 1966 - and I have been its President for the last 11 years. The society has never been in a stronger position than it is today, and on a truly international scale. I am delighted to have been associated with this growing success, which is due to the efforts of many people, but especially the active members of its Council in recent years. I have been honoured to be President, and I am very pleased to be handing over to Rachel Cooper as the new President. I wish the Society continued success."

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    The DRS is holding its annual elections for council members and council officers. see more

    The DRS is holding its annual elections for council members and council officers. 

    Council members

    The council is the main vehicle for running and developing the DRS.  Council members are experts in their area of research and they also undertake a variety of work for the DRS, for example in forming groups to steer the development of new activities.

    Each year half of the members of the DRS council are elected to serve for two years and this year we have to elect 8 members.

    We welcome people who have something to contribute across the whole remit of the Society’s activities, and this year we are also particularly interested in people joining us to take on an active role in the following areas:

    \ Helping with our new online presence and communications strategy.

    \ Representing the design research PhD community.

    Council officers

    These people take the main responsibility for running the DRS and in addition to the Secretary and the Treasurer, are responsible for membership, communications, events, SIGs and internationalisation. These roles are elected annually.

    To stand for election you must be a paying member of DRS and you must be nominated by another member.  You will also need to provide a statement about yourself in the following format:

    1\ Outline your experience in design research (max 250 words)

    2\ Explain how you will actively contribute to the society (max 250 words).

    The nomination form can be downloaded below.

    Nominations must be sent by email to the Hon Secretary, Rebecca Cain at R.Cain.1@warwick.ac.uk  by 12 noon BST on Tuesday 2nd May 2017. 

    The election will then take place and the results announced at the DRS Annual General Meeting at Nottingham Trent University on 26th May 2017.

    If you are interested in becoming an elected council member and would like to know more, please contact the Chair of the DRS Council, Prof Tracy Bhamra at admin@designresearchsociety.org