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DRS fellow

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS Fellow Chuck Owen died on 17th October 2019, aged 86 see more

    In Memory of Professor Charles Owen, 1933-2019

    We lost another outstanding design researcher and DRS Fellow when Charles ("Chuck") L. Owen died on 17th October 2019, aged 86.

    He was one of the pioneers of design research, joining the Institute of Design at IIT Chicago in 1965, having studied both product design and computer science. At IIT he founded and directed the Design Processes Laboratory, and for many years published and distributed the Design Processes Newsletter, which was one of the ways research news was disseminated all those years ago. I met him for the first time when he came to Europe in the early 1990s on a study tour of PhD design work, prior to establishing the PhD programme at the Institute of Design. Several DRS Members and Fellows around the world are former students of his.

    Chuck Owen was a prolific researcher, working in design theory and methodology and computer aided design across domains from product design to urban planning. Perhaps his most significant research contributions were in linking design and systems studies in new approaches to complex systems design. He published several papers in Design Studies, the most recent being "Evaluation of Complex Systems" (2007).

    Some of his projects with colleagues and students at the Institute of Design made important contributions in environmental and urban planning. This includes Project Phoenix, which began in 1988 and gained international attention. The project investigated and proposed how to mitigate the global effects of greenhouse gases. Another example is the Future Living project, a systems study of housing design to support good standards of living while maximising environmental standards and economic self-sufficiency.

    In 1997 Charles Owen was elected an Honorary Member of the Japanese Society for the Science of Design, and the IIT Institute of Design honoured him by establishing an endowed chair for design research in his name in 1999. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of DRS in 2007.



    Nigel Cross, Emeritus Professor, The Open University, UK

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Recent passing of Professor Victor Margolin and Professor Charles L. Owen see more

    Victor Margolin and Charles L. Owen

    We were deeply saddened to hear about the recent death of Professor Victor Margolin, one of our Honorary Fellows and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the DRS in 2016 for his huge contribution to design research. His outstanding scholarship in design criticism, theory and history will be deeply missed by the research field and our thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this time.

    Victor’s passing follows the recent death of Professor Charles L. Owen, who was made an Honorary Fellow of the DRS in 2007 and served on the Editorial Board of Design Studies for many years. Charles’ ground-breaking and widely published research using computers to analyse and support design processes has provided inspiration to many present-day design researchers. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues.

    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the DRS said “Victor and Charles were two huge figures in making design research the field it is today and the DRS was proud to honour their achievements. They will both be deeply missed."

    Victor's funeral will take place on Tuesday December 3rd. Arrangements can be found in the attachment and messages can be sent to Victor's daughter:

    Charles L. Owen:

    Victor Margolin:

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The DRS is proud to announce three new Fellows: Gjoko Muratovski, Hua Dong and Teal Triggs. see more

    Announcing Three New DRS Fellows

    The DRS is proud to announce three new Fellows: Gjoko MuratovskiHua Dong and Teal Triggs.

    Gjoko Muratovski is Director and Endowed Chair at The Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design, University of Cincinnati (USA). Gjoko gained his PhD on Design Research and Corporate Communication Strategies from the University of South Australia (Australia) in 2010. Prior to his post at the University of Cincinnati, Gjoko worked at Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand) and Swinburne University of Technology (Australia). He is currently Seed Consultant to Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, Stanford University (USA) and Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (USA). His research interests cover evidence-based design research, human-centred design, communication design, transportation design, mobility and branding. He has published extensively on these topics.

    Hua Dong completed her PhD in 2005 at the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre. In the last 15 years, she has conducted research related to design at the University of Cambridge, Brunel University,  Tongji University and now Loughborough University as Professor of Design. Hua has published widely and served as a reviewer for many international journals and conferences. She has won grants from research councils in the UK and a number of research grants and prestigious fellowships from China, including the Thousand Young Talents Fellowship and EastChina Scholar Fellowship. Hua’s research focuses on inclusive design and she is coordinator of the DRS Inclusive Design Special Interest Group (InclusiveSIG). Hua is also a member of the DRS2020 Programme Committee. 

    Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design and Associate Dean at the Royal College of Art School of Communication. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Reading Department of Typography & Graphic Communication in 2006. Teal has been an academic champion for research and teaching in Graphic Design for over thirty years and has authored numerous publications on many aspects of graphic design. She was awarded a lifetime membership in ico-D for her contribution to graphic design research and education. Teal has also co-curated exhibitions on graphic design as a lead researcher collaborating with colleagues from the Royal College of Art (UK) and RMIT (Australia). Teal has been an editor and an editorial board member for a number of international academic journals and continues to champion graphic design globally.

    Gjoko, Hua and Teal were granted DRS Fellowships in autumn 2019. The DRS Fellowship program recognises an established record of achievement in design research, and attainment of peer recognition as a researcher of professional standing and competence. More details about this honour are available here.

    Contact DRS Administrator Linda Anderson if you’d like to join this important network. Applications are reviewed by the DRS Council.



    Rachel Cooper, DRS President 

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Discussion with Alpay Er, a DRS Fellow see more

    This Much I Know (About Design Research): Alpay Er

    This Much I Know (About Design Research) is an interview series that profiles interesting DRS members – and, in this case, a DRS Fellow. In this edition, we spoke with Alpay Er about his research on industrial design in developing economies and his thoughts on design society memberships. Er works at Özyeğin University in İstanbul and is chair of the Department of Industrial Design.


    How did you start out in industrial design?

    I received my first degree from the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey in ’88. I went on to work in a department of furniture manufacturing at another university in Ankara, and as a research and teaching assistant.

    Then graduate school?

    Yes, I studied at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) in the UK. My PhD research explored the development of industrial design industries in newly industrialised countries. My design experiences in Turkey really inspired me!

    What was your experience during those early years in Turkey?

    There was a mismatch between our industrial design education imported directly from industrialised market economies, and our own economic realities in Turkey. We were trained to work in a fully competitive market – that simply wasn’t the situation in Turkey.

    Do you still explore these issues in your research?

    Absolutely I study development economics to understand relationships between design industries and regional/local contexts. Social and economic factors are so important in the formation of design industries!

    You’ve held some impressive academic positions – can you tell me about them?

    I’ve worked at several universities in Turkey: Hacettepe University, Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and now Özyeğin University, where I’m chair of the Department of Industrial Design. I’m also a longtime ICSID/World Design Organization (WDO) board member; I have served on the WDO board three times since 2011.

    And, of course, you’re a DRS Fellow!

    Yes! I got involved with the DRS back in the 1990s; my PhD supervisor John Langrish was a leading figure in the Society. The DRS invited me to become a fellow in 2006.

    What do these society memberships mean to you?

    The DRS network makes you feel that you are not alone as a design researcher. And, being a DRS Fellow is an honour. It shows recognition of my work and provides a sense of authority to my ideas. Memberships are also useful in Turkey. They provide a link to a broader community and build local awareness toward design research.

    Looking to the future, what new researchers and research specialisations are you most excited by?

    I’ve noticed some fabulous young researchers in the field of design history with an increasing interest in the role of design in social and economic development in emerging contexts. Some of these folks are studying and working at the University of Brighton. I’m inspired by their work on design/design for development, topics I’ve been passionate about for many years.

    Any parting words to share with our members?

    “Work for money, design for love” – I saw this quote at a carpet design storefront at the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul. That’s how I feel about design research, and it's served me well over the years.


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