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DRS Executive Board

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    DRS Announces new Executive Board Members see more

    In addition to electing its new chairs, the DRS International Advisory Council has also elected new members to the Executive Board. Laura Forlano, Dan Lockton and Paul Hekkert will be joining the board while Peter Lloyd steps down as Chair to join the Board as Treasurer, and Anna Vallgårda and Rebecca Cain become Chairs of the International Advisory Council and the Executive Board, respective. 

    Read more below from the new members of the Executive Board about what they are looking forward to achieving in their roles.

    Having served as Chair of the past three years and overseen the governance transition of the DRS, it is important that new leadership takes the Society forward in a more distributed way. My aim is to provide support to the new Chair to ensure the financial sustainability of the Society in meeting its strategic objectives. - Peter Lloyd, TU Delft

    I'm honoured to be elected to the DRS's executive board, after two years on the international advisory council collaborating with some wonderful people. I intend to use the role—as well as supporting my colleagues—to explore two main possibilities for the DRS. One is around the more practical aspects of design research: the projects, prototypes, experiences, and so on which are central to the work of many in our community, from research through design, to workshops, to craft and making, of technologies and tools but also events, exhibitions, and encounters. I want to investigate (with participation of the DRS membership, and other members of the IAC and EB who are also interested in these kinds of questions) how we can better represent and provide a higher profile venue for this kind of work within the DRS conferences, and a durable (and citeable) home in the new Digital Library. The second area I would like to work on is around how the DRS could itself become a project collaborator or participant, for example in funding applications around developing design research expertise networks and capabilities internationally. I believe we could participate in networks and projects (and collaborate with other organisations) in a strategic way, securing funding which would perhaps enable researchers who have fewer opportunities for funding design research (for example in countries where this is less available, or simply due to the precarity of academic careers) to gain access to new opportunities, with the support of the DRS. I'm looking forward to starting to develop these themes. - Dan Lockton, Eindhoven University of Technology

    I’m thrilled to join the DRS Executive Board in order to continue the strong trajectory that the community has launched in recent years. I will focus on the intersections between DRS & other like-minded, interdisciplinary communities in the social sciences and humanities in particular, those communities that already have activities focused on showcasing design and creative practice. I will also support the DRS digital library in terms of exploring ways of publishing prototypes, projects and creative works in addition to traditional papers. I will seek to broaden membership in DRS in North & South America.
    - Laura Forlano, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

    After serving DRS for two years as chair of the Advisory Council, I am honored to join the executive board. I look forward to further define the fundamentals of design research and reach out to all international design organizations to jointly bring our field to a next level.
    - Paul Hekkert, TU Delft


     August 01, 2022
  • 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.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Townhall meetings will explore a core future topic for the DRS see more

    DRS Town Hall Meetings

    The DRS Executive Board is hosting Town Hall meetings in early 2021. Each meeting will explore a core topic for the DRS: PhD research, future conferences, design research leadership, publishing, and DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The Town Halls are an opportunity to get to know the new DRS leadership, meet other members, and get involved with the Society. You might also boost your design research know-how in the process! All events are free and also open to non-members, but registration is required.


    Upcoming Town Hall Meetings:

    Special Interest Groups of the DRS: A User Guide
    30 April, 12:00-14:00 (UK Time)

    Register for this Event


    Fostering Worldwide International Collaborations
    21st May, 15:00-17:00 (UK Time)

    Register for this Event


    Previous Town Hall Meetings:

    Next Generations: Connecting the DRS PhD Research Community 
    14 January 
    Further Information

    Designing DRS Conferences of the Future
    28 January

    Further Information

    Developing a Design Research Leadership Pipeline
    11 February
    Further Information

    Publishing Design Research within the Society and Beyond
    26 February
    Further Information

    It's Always 5 O'Clock Somewhere: International DRS Virtual Coffee Break
    29 March, multiple time zones

    Further Information


     December 22, 2020
  • 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: