Skip to Main Content

DRS fellow

  • Anna Talley posted an article
    New DRS Fellow: Dr Philip Cash. see more

    The Design Research Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Philip Cash as a Fellow of the DRS. 

    Dr Cash is a Professor of Design at Northumbria University in the UK. Over the last decade, he has achieved international recognition as a leading design scholar in the areas of design cognition, behaviour change, team dynamics, design methods and design theory as well as publishing studies looking more generally at the research field and research methodology. 

    Dr Cash’ research on design processes, with implications for product and service design as well as research methods has translated into international research leadership, for example, in the development of major design process theory integrating aspects of co-evolution and cognition, the championing and formalisation of design process perspectives in the behavioural design space, and substantial work on translating research insights into practice impact through design methods. 

    Through a series of publications, with a substantial number in Design Studies, Dr Cash has persistently argued for systematic inquiry in the field of design research. He developed the Research Notes series for Design Studies (Please note: the Research Notes are no longer associated with Design Studies. Instead, a special issue is currently being hosted by the Journal of Entering Design and going forward they will form part of a new journal supported by the DRS), providing an outlet for research quality discussion within the field. In 2017, his co-authored paper 'Behavioural design: A process for integrating behaviour change and design' was awarded Best Paper.

    Professor Cash’s commitment to developing the field of design research has been equally impressive. He has pushed for increased integrity and ethical considerations in developing ethics guidance for DTU Management and more recently developing an academic culture strategy and research support at the School of Design, Northumbria University. Further, he has run research methods focused forums and workshops for PhD students and young academics.

    We welcome Dr Cash to the DRS as a Fellow and congratulate him on this achievement. 

     February 28, 2024
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The DRS would like to congratulate Professor Danielle Wilde on her appointment as a DRS Fellow. see more

    The DRS would like to congratulate Professor Danielle Wilde on her appointment as a DRS Fellow. Wilde is professor in design for sustainability at Umeå University, at the Umeå Institute of Design, and professor in Societal Transitions at University of Southern Denmark, in the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics. In both locations she advocates the importance of design research across faculties of Science, Engineering, Social Science and Humanities. Wilde was awarded an MA in Interaction Design, from the Royal College of Art in London in 2003, and a PhD from Monash University and CSIRO Australia in 2012. Her PhD made contributions to design and engineering. She has since expanded her interest in embodied engagement towards situated change-making. 

    Wilde has a strong publication record and is regularly invited to speak at leading scientific and cultural institutions. She takes a leading role in national and international organisations, including The European Network for Environmental Citizenship, the Danish National Centre for Sustainable Agrifood Systems, and others. She also sits on international advisory boards at The Catholic University, Santiago, Chile (MICARE, Millenium Institute for Caregiving) and IT University, Denmark (Centre for Climate IT)). She is also a member of the Estonia Academy of Art Doctoral School Academic Council, and is on the Editorial Boards of She ji Journal of Design, Economics and Innovation, and Temmes de Disseny. 

    We look forward to working with Prof Wilde and again congratulate her on this achievement.  

     December 20, 2023
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    An interview with Gjoko Muratovski on his newest book, Design in the Age of Change. see more

    DRS Fellow Gjoko Muratovski has just released his newest book, Design in the Age of Change, which documents conversations between Muratovski and ten highly influential design figures – including design leaders such as Carole Bilson, Karim Rashid, Bruce Mau, Steven Heller and Don Norman – to reflect on the state of things today. In return, each one of them shares a highly personal account on why change is good. The book also features a foreword written by the president of the World Design Organisation (WDO), Srini Srinisavan, and a conclusion by DRS Fellow Ken Friedman. We asked Gjoko a few questions about his book to get some more insight into the 'age of change' the book addresses and the role of design in the 21st century.


    How do you define this ‘age of change’? 

    In 2020, for a brief moment in history, the world came to a halt. Then, everything changed. Many things that we used to take for granted no longer applied. We experienced major disruptions to our daily lives. As if in some kind of perfect storm, so many things happened all at once – global pandemic, social inequalities, climate change, racial injustices, riots and unrests, gender struggles, and rapid advances of new technologies. 

    This was an unprecedented period of time in which our lives changed dramatically. In some ways these changes were temporary, and in others, permanently. In fact, the very term that we coined and embraced at the time – the new normal – is a confirmation that we as a society have realized and accepted the fact that our way of life has changed so much that it will never be quite the same. 


    Can you tell us a bit about the different design leaders included in your book? How were they chosen, and what different perspectives do they have on design in an age of change? 

    Some of the designers featured in this book are globally established leaders in the field, while others are new and emerging, yet important voices. This was done for a reason. I wanted to understand how the ‘old guard’ is affected by these unsettled times, and how the ‘vanguard’ sees this new world that is taking shape right in front of their eyes. We are going through a transitionary period right now and I felt that it was necessary to show the two sides of the same coin. 

    By looking to the past and reflecting on the present, my guests projected very personal images of the future that they would like to see. Some of them also shared very painful personal and career journeys. In their conversations with me, each one of them brought a unique perspective on our world today, the challenges that we need to overcome, and the ideals that we aspire to achieve. The conversations were very broad, and we covered some highly diverse topics. From the effects of the pandemic, to issues of race and gender, notions of beauty and power, technology and industry, to global and local economies, politics and privilege, and the importance of community.


    What is the value of looking to the past to understand the shifting contexts of design today? 

    Mark Twain once said, “History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” I find this to be true. While every past situation is different, there are always some kinds of patterns that we could recognize and learn from. There are many things that we don’t understand because they never happened to us. But similar events may have happened to generations before ours. As we wonder how to pivot, we should first see what we could learn from our past. 

    It is evident that we are currently undergoing through a period of some kind of historical significance. I enjoy studying history, but I am not necessarily an ‘armchair historian.’ Especially not when I am living through these events as everyone else. I didn’t want to wait to reflect on these things from a historical distance after some years go by. Instead, I wanted to record this series of events as they were unfolding. I also wanted my guests to reflect on these things as they were experiencing them at the time. I felt that this would make for a more authentic chronicle of people and events – a document produced in real time. 

    In this regard, you can also consider this book to be a ‘time capsule’. As future generations of designers will face challenges of their own, they will at least be able to find a record on how we were trying to address our own challenges, in our words. Maybe they could learn something from us as we were learning from those before us.


    The press release states that this book is a 'A "must-read" for anyone interested in how designers and design can change the world.’ As the author of this book, what is your perspective on how design can change the world? Did working on this book give you any new insights on design and the role of design research in the 21st century? 

    In her review of this book, Meredith Davis noted that the designers of the 21st century have undergone an important paradigm shift in the way they approach their profession. Design has evolved “from industrial to social; physical to intangible; singular to plural; and functional to meaningful” – she pointed out. And that is true. Design is a very different field today than it was a century ago. In fact, many of the issues raised in this book would have not been considered relevant to the field of design only a few years ago. But today, they are. 

    This book covers so many interesting, and often sensitive topics. This is a book of broader significance; not only for designers, but also for everyone who is interested in how the world around us continues to be shaped and designed. After all, designers are the kind of people who thrive in times of change. In fact, it is their job to create change. The nature of their job is such that they have to take an existing situation and change it into a better, or a more preferred situation. Some do this by relying on their imagination and personal experiences, and some use evidence-based research to inform their work. Regardless of this, all designers seem to share an underlying belief that they can somehow make the world a better place – on a micro or a macro level.

    The most important insight that I have gained while working on this book is that regardless of how dark our situation may seem at times, designers – of this generation or the previous – are optimists who always carry with them a strong sense of hope. And this is what drives them to believe that they can design a better future. 

     March 25, 2022
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The DRS would like to congratulate Dr Melissa Sterry for her appointment as a DRS Fellow! see more

    The DRS would like to congratulate Dr Melissa Sterry for her appointment as a DRS Fellow! Below, you'll find a short Q&A, where we asked Melissa about her transdisciplinary career in practice-based research and scholarly practice research and her thoughts on getting involved with the DRS as the Society's newest fellow.


    How do you do design research? What is your work about?

    My research principally involves asking how living systems work materially, informationally, and structurally. Understanding these systems allows us to then examine how, where, and why we might mimic them to address the challenges presented by climate change, natural hazards, biodiversity loss, resource shortages, and pollution. Rather than work with generic notions of that very subjective construct known as ‘nature’, I examine how life forms, particularly plants, work from the molecular level upwards and across deep time – what you might think of as not just evolutionary, but geological timescales. Though my research involves exploring how mimicking living systems can inform and inspire new approaches to design generally, I’m particularly interested in pyrophytes, which are plants that have evolved to coexist with wildfire. Lately, I’ve been researching and developing a resilience paradigm that involves synchronising architectural and urban systems that are situated at the interface of wildlands with the frequencies, intensities, and behaviours of the wildfires that are native to those lands. The paradigm challenges existing wildfire resilience practices, and proposes that, like pyrophytes, buildings and infrastructure at the wildland-urban-interface persist through one of three qualitatively distinct approaches – endure, evade, or resist – wherein materiality is not permanent, but cyclical. Consequently, the research involves examining how you build buildings to ultimately burn to the ground in a way that doesn't harm the environment, while simultaneously protecting the lives and the most treasured items people own. While it sounds like an extreme idea, it’s not novel. Since the Bronze Age, if not before, many peoples that have lived in fire-prone places have built in this way. The difference today is that we have umpteen new ways in which we can design and build, including an array of bio and other sensors, data processing, distribution technologies, materials, engineering systems and more. I think by splicing old approaches with new discoveries and technologies, we can create in a way that meets our needs, without compromising those of the many other species with which we share the planet.

    As both a researcher and practitioner of design, I think the most interesting ideas tend to come from yet-to-be-understood areas – those spaces where new scientific discoveries, new technologies and new thinking enable us to venture into the conceptual unknown. The natural world is still full of unknowns: with every passing week, somewhere, someone (more usually a team) discovers something extra-ordinary, be it some previously unknown property of a natural material, how some mysterious biological intelligence works, a new species, or even life form. The non-human world is limitless in its capacity to surprise us. While much of the discussion around biodesign and other bio-disciplines relates to issues of sustainability and ethics, the natural world was humanity’s first source of design inspiration, and it is by far the most culturally ubiquitous. A veritable library of design ideas at our disposal, it’s also accessible to one and all – wherever you are there is always some species, system or process you can observe, night or day, on land, sea, or air.

    How do I conduct my design research? Using many and varied tools, some traditional, some not. Both as a researcher and practitioner, I work with mixed methodologies. The appeal of this approach is firstly, as relating to the problems I seek to solve, it tends to yield more comprehensive and robust results, both conceptually and technically. But, I also like mixed methods because creatively I find them more interesting. They tend to afford a greater capacity for experimentation than the application of linear research approaches. I also work transdisciplinary, wherein I never investigate a problem through one disciplinary lens, but through the lenses of the sciences, humanities, arts, and design. This is partly because, though I’m more attracted to scientific and artistic pursuits, all design problems need to factor in human behaviour and the thinking that drives it. Unless we research how and why people will likely respond to this or that design concept, we can’t fully understand its real-world potential. This issue is especially pertinent when seeking to find design solutions to complex and global problems of the fast-unfolding kind. The challenge of embracing mixed methods approaches, particularly when integrating new and novel ones, is that your learning process needs to be ongoing. While I find it much easier to use methods I’ve used in the past, after a while, usually a very short one, I get bored. Challenging oneself to be constantly evolving and expanding one’s skills keeps things exciting.

    How has the DRS supported your career and/or research in design and design studies? 

    I find DRS is particularly good for identifying research opportunities for more experimental research. The DRS has a ‘less is more’ approach, wherein it brings the funding bids that count to its members’ awareness, while leaving out the less relevant stuff. DRS is likewise very focused in the events it promotes and its content more generally. This is because it understands its membership, their activities, interests, and needs.

    What are some of the benefits, in your view, of becoming a DRS Fellow? Why might others want to become a DRS Fellow? 

    Design research is one of those fields that sits not at the centre, but at the edges of disciplines. Essentially a hybrid, it’s not a research field that’s well served by many traditional institutions and societies, many of which still treat the activities involved in design research in a siloed way. DRS is filling the gap in a focused way. Be it that a design researcher is looking for funding, publishing, or other opportunities, DRS is a discerning source of information. Added to this, its membership network is useful, because while there are many academic and other networks, they are far less focused, and because of that, they aren’t always useful if you’re looking to connect with experts in the design research field. For those looking to meet other design researchers, and to get a good idea of who else is out there, the DRS is ideal.

    Where can people find out more about you and your research?

    People can find out more about me and my research at the following websites.

    Did you know that we have made changes to our Fellowship nomination process? The process now allows for both self-nomination and nomination by any current member or Fellow of the Society. Head here to find out more about how to apply for a DRS Fellowship.

     February 15, 2022
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The DRS congratulates our newest fellow, Dr Jodi Forlizzi. see more

    The DRS would like to congratulate our newest Fellow, Dr Jodi Forlizzi, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. We spoke with Jodi about her work in design research and what it means to be a Fellow of the Society.


    How do you do design research? What is your work about?
    Design research takes many forms, but my work seeks to draw out knowledge contributions from the work designers do naturally: understanding the current state, then codifying that understanding in the design of products, services, and systems that will lead to an improved future state. In my career, I have helped to establish design research as a legitimate form of research that is different from, but equally as important as, scientific and human science research. My current research interests include designing human-robot interaction as a service and human-AI collaboration in the domains of eldercare, accessibility, human assistance, and overall wellbeing.

    How has the DRS supported your career and/or research in design and design studies? 
    The DRS has played a role in my career in a number of ways: First, in the conferences that bring experts from all over the world together to advance design research; second, in a community of collaborators; and third, in having the privileged opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee to help conceive the future of the DRS.

    What are some of the benefits, in your view, of becoming a DRS Fellow? Why might others want to become a DRS Fellow? 
    I am excited to join this group of leaders! My hope is that my presence will help indicate DRS's commitment to diversity in membership and approaches to design research.
    Where can people find out more about you and your research?
    You can visit at my website or take a look at my Google Scholar page.


    Did you know that we have made changes to our Fellowship nomination process? The process now allows for both self-nomination and nomination by any current member or Fellow of the Society. Head  here to find out more about how to apply for a DRS Fellowship.

     January 18, 2022
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Interview with Gjoko Muratovski, author of "Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice" see more

    "Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice", published by SAGE, is the second edition of Gjoko Muratovski's popular book, which was first published in 2016. The new edition features a Foreword by Ken Friedman, a co-authored Preface with Don Norman, an Afterword by Steven Heller, and a reflection by David Kusuma, the President-Elect of the World Design Organization. We asked Muratovski, a DRS Fellow, a few questions to get some insight into his new book and what impact it might have on design research.



    What is your background in design research?

    Short answer: I hold a PhD in Design Research and I am a Fellow of the Design Research Society. I do typical academic research – I write and publish – but I also work on industry-sponsored research projects. 

    Long Answer: I have a multidisciplinary design background. I came to academia from industry. Over time, I realized that that practicing design, without research to inform it, can be very ineffective. This is the reason why I went on undertaking a PhD in Design Research, which I completed in 2010. In 2011, I was commissioned by SAGE Publications to write their first design research textbook. They wanted someone who can approach this topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives and help standardize the way research for designers was taught. I spent the next five years working on this book. This became the first edition of the book “Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice”


    Tell us a little about your new book. What has changed from the first edition?

    The premise of the first edition was primarily focused on advocating for design research. But more importantly, the book was focused on introducing research methods to design students and practitioners in a way that seems less intimidating and more approachable. Most of the design research literature at the time was aimed at senior academics and as such, it was very difficult for newcomers to the field to embrace it. I tried to demystify the topic of research. I envisioned the book as a simple guide, offering step-by-step advice to those that may be studying these things for a very first time. 

    Since then, much of the things that I was advocating for in the first edition become widely accepted. The second edition of this book includes a new outlook for the future of the field (with focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution), some content expansion, and minor revisions in some areas. The second edition also features a suite of exclusive case studies, introduced via expert interviews that highlight how design research can be used to its full potential. Some of the topics covered include how military intelligence officers use design research to combat nuclear terrorism; how ethnographic research became a tool for decolonizing design in Africa; how Johnson & Johnson revolutionized the medical devices design research process; how a company such as Tupperware Brands started a design partnership with NASA and the International Space Station; how the world's largest consumer goods company Procter & Gamble uses AI to drive design research; how the White House uses design to drive innovation in the US Federal Government, and more.

    The fundamental research principles and methods that were featured in the first edition have not changed much. They were primarily based on the “gold standard” of research found in social sciences, and as such they didn’t require much revision. However, some of the context surrounding them needed an update so that the overall discourse stays current. 

    The book also features a Foreword by Ken Friedman, a co-authored Preface with Don Norman, an Afterword by Steven Heller, and a reflection by David Kusuma, the President-Elect of the World Design Organization.

    For me, it was important to make sure that the book also looks good. After all, the primary audience for this book are designers. So, on this occasion, I invited Michael Bierut from Pentagram to design a new cover and visual identity for the book. He did an amazing job. His incredible body of work includes visual identity solutions for clients such as The New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, MasterCard, Benetton, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 


    How do you think your book will impact design research? 

    The first edition of the book has been put into practice by many universities and professional organizations who tested its relevance and usability. The book has proven to be a helpful tool for both students and teachers, and it has served as a handy resource during high-level industry projects as well. So far, the book has been used either as a core textbook, supplementary, or recommended reading at over 500 universities from around the world. The book can also be found in the corporate libraries of leading companies such as Apple, Amazon, IBM, Nike, Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, and General Motors. The book has even been used at the White House and by the US military, and due to popular demand, it has also been translated into Chinese by Tongji University Press. 

    Interestingly enough, students from many non-design disciplines have also found this book useful while writing their research theses. This has been in part due to the accessibility of the writing style, the allure of the field of design as a driver of innovation, and the universal applicability of some of the research methods featured in the book. 

    While originally intended to be a resource that helps designers develop critical thinking skills by learning fundamental research principles, this book is now much more than that. More than ever before, the world needs professionals capable of understanding complex issues, while facilitating collaborative, iterative practices, and dialogues with highly diverse stakeholders. The knowledge that this book provides is now seen as essential for anyone with the aspiration of becoming a human-centric leader.


    What do you think the future is like for design research? Why is design research important now?

    I think that the future of design research is bright. Design research is no longer on the fringes of academia. Over the last decade we have seen a widespread use of design research – in the corporate sector, the government sector, hospitals, and even the military. And the need for highly trained design researchers will only grow further. However, the question is, are we prepared to teach design research at the scale that is now needed? With this book, I hope to enable us to scale the way we teach design research. 

    But beyond this, future challenge for designers will not be to recognize obvious problems after they occur and then to solve them, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place. A systematic evidence-based research approach can help us create better-informed design practices and may even help us envision new kinds of design careers that are yet to be introduced. 


    Where can people find out more about you and your work?

    Some of my work can be found on my profiles on and ResearchGate. But if anyone would like to learn more about me and what do I do, then it might be best for them to join me on LinkedIn. (

    Link to the book:

    Link to my profile on the SAGE website:


     December 12, 2021
  • 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

     January 29, 2020
  • 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:

     December 02, 2019
  • 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 

     November 12, 2019
  • 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