Skip to Main Content


  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Reflections on DRS2020 and link to conference papers and presentations see more

    Conference Report: DRS2020

    DRS2020 took place last month on 11-14 August, hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. It was the first entirely online DRS conference. The transition from an in-person to online conference happened quickly. It required big adjustments by the organising team and fundamentally changed the highly anticipated biennial event.

    DRS2020 had nearly 150 paper presentations and 35 conversations and workshops, including multiple events hosted by DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Sessions explored a wide range of topics including design transitions, mobility, games, co-creation and health. Organisers and attendees were creative and resourceful; there were impromptu Zoom meetings between delegates and a Slack group formed within the DRS2020 community.

    DRS2020 taught us the benefits and challenges of online conferences. Certainly, they’re more accessible, enable easier participation and have a lower environmental footprint. Pre-recorded virtual presentations are also easy to share and re-watch. And—the stakes are lower if you miss a great presentation or need to choose between sessions. Many presentation videos are available on DRS YouTube and you can contact Isabel to add yours (

    However, there are important challenges to overcome. As conference attendees noted, it’s hard to be physically and mentally present at a virtual event. Traveling to a conference provides a dedicated block of time to slow down, listen and discuss. Attending a conference from home comes with other commitments like meetings, teaching and childcare. Opportunities for feedback and networking also come less naturally and easily.

    Regardless of these hiccups, we’re so pleased with the great design research presented at the conference and to have the opportunity to meet despite these challenging times! There are lots of design research ideas and insights on online events to carry forward.

    DRS2020 papers are available for download in the new DRS Digital Library. Be sure to check them out!

     September 24, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    DRS2020 starts in just a few hours on 11th August see more

    Welcome to DRS2020

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 starts in just a few hours on 11 August. DRS2020—hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia—is the first entirely virtual DRS conference. It features three keynotes, 48 paper sessions, 22 conversations, 30 workshops and a Postgraduate Research Day for graduate and doctoral students.

    Visit the DRS2020 website for more information about the event and follow @DRS2020Brisbane and @thisisDRS on Twitter.

     August 10, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The event schedule for 11-14 August see more

    DRS2020 Conference Program Now Available

    DRS2020 conference organisers have just posted the event schedule for 11-14 August. The conference will start with workshops and a postgraduate research day for master’s and PhD students on the 11th. The event will officially begin the next day, launched by opening ceremonies and a keynote talk on Australian Aboriginal rock art by Paul Taçon. 12-14 August will be filled with paper sessions, conversations, workshops and a daily keynote presentation.

    The complete conference schedule is available at

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The keynote speakers are Paul Taçon, Judith Sheine and Dacheng Tao see more

    DRS2020 Keynote Speaker Announcement

    DRS2020 conference organisers have announced three keynote speakers for the event: Paul Taçon, Judith Sheine and Dacheng Tao. Taçon is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at Griffith University in Australia. He will speak on 12th August about the social meanings, narratives and ancestral connections in Australian Aboriginal rock art. His talk will also stress conservation in the context of climate change and discuss a recent collaborative project to develop digital records of rock art.

    Above: Paul Taçon, Judith Sheine and Dacheng Tao from left to right

    Judith Sheine, the second keynote presenter, will speak on 13th August about the future of timber. Her talk will stress the importance of an integrated approach between design, manufacturing and construction. Sheine is a professor of architecture at the University of Oregon in the USA and is the director of design for the TallWood Design Institute, a collaboration between higher education programs in design, engineering and forestry. 

    The third keynote speaker is Dacheng Tao, a professor of computer science at the University of Sydney in Australia. Tao is the inaugural director of an artificial intelligence research centre and has developed algorithms for autonomous driving and facial recognition technology. He will speak on 14th August about the historical development of AI and his vision of successful deep learning. 

    DRS2020 will be an online event hosted by Griffith University from 11–14 August. Visit the conference website for more information and full details about the keynote speakers:

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Early bird rates apply until 22nd June see more

    Early Bird Registration for DRS2020

    Registration is open for DRS2020 and early bird rates apply until 15th June 22nd June (extended deadline). DRS2020 will take place online from 11-14 August 2020, hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. DRS conferences are a major biennial event for the Society. The theme this year is Synergy–the coming together of people and disciplines in design research to create positive impact.

    The switch to an online conference makes DRS2020 easier than ever to attend. We encourage DRS members to participate whether presenting at the conference or not. You can register for DRS2020 here.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020 see more

    Announcing DRS2020 in Brisbane, Australia

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020. The conference will be hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. As with previous DRS conferences, DRS2020 will be a major global forum to present and discuss design research.

    The conference theme is Synergy, a powerful force where voices in design research become stronger together. We invite research papers and conversation and workshop proposals related to this theme. DRS2020 will also host a PhD Day, a forum for PhD students to discuss their work and get feedback from senior researchers.

    Peter Lloyd, Acting Chair of the DRS Interim Advisory Council, said "DRS2020 promises to be another high-quality design research event for the community and I’m very much looking forward to it. The conference will also be important for the Society as we hope to bring in a new governance structure for the DRS to allow us to develop into a more international organisation and better meet the needs of our members."

    DRS2020 Conference Chair Ming Cheung spoke about the host city, conference theme and conference goals: "With some of the world’s most talented researchers and practitioners from around the globe and across disciplines expected to meet in Brisbane and address synergy in design research, DRS2020 will see the city and Griffith University take the lead in promoting research excellence. The conference delegates will appreciate the city’s commitment to innovation and a strong knowledge economy on the one hand and experience its welcoming nature and leisure appeal on the other.” 

    See below for more information about the conference theme and calls for participation.



    DRS2020 Conference Theme

    DRS2020 explores Synergy – the coming together of people and disciplines in design research to create positive impact. While we champion the uniqueness of disciplinary knowledge and creativity, we are also optimistic about how the coming together of different mindsets, backgrounds and perspectives can realise transformative visions of the future. Synergy in design research provides exciting possibilities for answering multi-faceted problems, supporting stakeholder initiatives and participation, and transforming existing situations into desirable ones.

    As the influence of design research grows in academia and society globally, we question what new opportunities there are for us to work together, within and beyond our field.  How do disciplines work together in design research? What new methods and tools of design do we need to realise synergistic working? But also, when might Synergy not be desirable? How do we balance the tension between design research specialisms and the new experience design, interdisciplinary design and transdisciplinary design research spaces we find ourselves working in?

    While design research is always future focused, 2020 is also a time for us to reflect on what social, cultural, economic, environmental, technological and policy impact the Synergy within and beyond disciplines has had on our evolving field. DRS2020 invites contributions including, but not limited to, the following sub-themes:


    Design researchers increasingly collaborate and co-create with other fields such as healthcare, engineering, political science, social sciences and with a wide variety of societal stakeholders and issues such as wellbeing, as well as addressing developments such as networked, embedded and intelligent technologies. How does design research engage with other fields and support new interdisciplinary ways of working?


    Topics of interest include roles, expertise and multiple voices, inclusion, experience, participation and power distribution, the role of communities and public and private organisations, innovation and management, and the building of partnerships in and for design research.


    How is design research situated in cross-disciplinary collaboration, navigating cultures, diversity, ethics, sense of place and sense of materials, and the habits of different design communities? Under which conditions does design research flourish and is it able to help create positive impact? What are the dynamics between design research, governments and industry contexts?


    Topics include the value, significance and dimensions of design research and design efforts and how to increase, assess and measure them, responsibility among stakeholders including users, types of impact such as sustainability or economic impact, and scale and locus of impact such as human-object interactions.


    How does design education change and need to change? How do working designers and design researchers update their skills to meet the challenges of the present and future?


    Calls for Participation

    There are lots of ways to participate in DRS2020. See below for details on submission types and deadlines.

    Call for Papers

    Extended submission deadline: 9 December 2019 16 December 2019

    Full original papers (up to 5000 words) are sought that respond to the DRS2020 conference theme of Synergy and its sub-themes, or present emerging design research.

    Call for Conversation Proposals

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    Conversations engage a limited number of attendees in open exchange in arriving at new understandings about a particular topic. Conversations provide an environment where a constructive dialogue can take place about issues of importance in design research, particularly to promote exchanges about topics not easily captured by the scholarly papers.

    Call for Workshop Proposals

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    Workshops are half or full day interactive sessions aiming to convey research results hands-on and to bring together design researchers and practitioners in academia, in the public sector, and in business and industry. 

    Call for PhD Day

    Submission deadline: 17 February 2020 29 February 2020

    DRS2020 will comprise a participatory event offering PhD students a forum to present, share and discuss with each other and with senior academics the issues they encounter in doing a PhD in design research.


    Need more information? Visit the DRS2020 website at or follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter.

    Contact the program team at if you have questions about submissions. Contact the conference team at with other enquiries about the conference.

     September 18, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Attention—the paper deadline has been extended one week! see more

    The Design Research Society biennial conference DRS2020 will take place 11-14 August 2020. The conference will be hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. As with previous DRS conferences, DRS2020 will be a major global forum to present and discuss design research.

    ATTENTION—the paper deadline has been extended one week. Conference Chair Ming Cheung said “DRS2020 received a significant number of requests for paper deadline extension. We are happy to extend it until 16 December 2019, midnight AEST! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates!”

    Visit the DRS2020 website for submission information.

     December 06, 2019
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Short Conference summary and links for DRS 2018 see more

    DRS2018 Limerick - Conference summary

    The 2018 Design Research Society international conference was held in Limerick, Ireland from 25 - 28 June 2018. Thanks to record-breaking weather, umbrellas intended for traditional Atlantic Irish rain were put to use as sun shades and the campus of the University of Limerick came to life, providing a beautiful backdrop to an amazing event.

    This is just a quick summary of the conference with some links and resources. We’ll be posting a series of conference reports from a range of different perspectives and voices over the coming weeks (so check your notification settings to make sure you get these).


    The scale of the conference demonstrated the continuing growth and development of design research at an international level, with 600+ delegates from all around the world. The domain of design research was clearly represented by the themes emerging from work submitted by DRS members.

    This landscape of design knowledge culminated in 7 volumes of Conference Proceedings:

    The conference was preceded by the PhD by Design event, hosting it’s second satellite event at a DRS conference. Work from the event will contribute to the 5th PhD by Design Instant Journal.


    The conference hosted 3 main Keynote Debates around particular topics in design research as a catalyst for change. Technology did what technology does best (of course…). But people did what they are best at, too - finding their own ways to discuss, connect with, and develop ideas.  Videos of each debate are available here:


    The workshops, discussions, and paper presentations were all well attended - even over-attended in the fantastic Limerick weather. And in between events the overall feel of the conference was one engaged activity and debate. You can find some of the conference photos here:


    And, the DRS Council had a stall at the conference and it was great to have direct conversations with everyone face to face and online. We gathered some really useful feedback from the postcards and consultation session around our 4 key FutureDRS questions. A huge thank you to everyone who took time to get involved and we will publish the results on this shortly.

    Next up, the biennial DRS LearnXdesign 2019 Conference will be held 9 - 12 July 2019 in Ankara, Turkey.

    And the 2020 DRS Conference will be held at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Further details to follow soon…

     October 13, 2018
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Expressions of interest to host the 2020 Conference are due March 15th see more

    Call for Expressions of Interest to Host DRS2020

    Deadline: Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Over the past 10 years the DRS Biennial Conference Series has grown to become a major international event in the design research calendar with a reputation for academic quality, provocative thinking, and industry engagement. Over a 4-day period Biennial Conferences embrace refereed paper presentations, conversations, debates, a doctoral programme, and workshops for over 500 participants.

    As well as promoting the discipline of design research within hosting countries, holding the DRS Conference can significantly increase the international profile of the host institution and provide development opportunities for staff.

    This is a worldwide call for expressions of interest. Recent conferences have taken place in Montreal, Bangkok, Umea (Sweden), and Brighton (UK) with the 2018 Conference taking place in Limerick, Ireland in June. In selecting a venue for 2020, the DRS Council will be mindful of the need for a location that is accessible for our international membership. Further details of previous conferences can be found at:

    Expressions of Interest should be no more than 2000 words and cover the following areas:

    • Overall Vision for the Conference
      (including: suggested title and theme, any proposed innovations)
    • Host Institution
      (including: evidence of institutional commitment and support, department(s) and key people involved)
    • Proposed Conference Venue
      (including: quality and capacity of plenary and session spaces)
    • Features of the Location
      (including: travel and accommodation, food and entertainment, cultural life)
    • Conference Team
      (including: local chair and primary contact, experience of managing similar events, relationship with the DRS, finance and management) 
    • Proposed dates
      (normally the conference will take place in late June 2020, but exceptions will be made if sufficiently justified)
    • Financial Information
      (indicative budget for 500 participants including: proposed registration fee, cost of venues, catering, events, management & personnel, website & marketing, and sponsorship)

    Financial Arrangements

    All DRS Conferences to date have returned a surplus. The DRS requires that conferences break even at 80% (400 participants) of minimum registration fees and that conferences are underwritten by the host institution against any loss. A fee equivalent to 7.5% of total registration fees will be charged, a proportion of which will allow the DRS to support the host institution through the conference organization.

    A Memorandum of Understanding detailing key responsibilities and agreements will be signed by both parties prior to any award for hosting. 

    Application and Timeline

    Interested parties should submit their Expression of Interest to the DRS Administrator ( by the deadline of Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Expressions of Interest will be considered at the DRS Council meeting soon after this date. Following this meeting the leading contenders will be invited to provide more detailed information and asked to present their vision for the conference to the DRS Council meeting in May 2018.  We anticipate making a final decision shortly after, with the successful host invited to attend the 2018 conference in June and present their conference at the closing ceremony.

    Further Details

    Should you have any further questions or seek clarification on any aspect of a proposal please contact the DRS Events Secretary, Erik Bohemia (, for an informal discussion.

    Further information about the Design Research Society can be found at:

    About the DRS

    The Design Research Society is a learned society committed to promoting and developing design research. Founded in 1966, it is the longest established, multi-disciplinary worldwide society for the design research community. Our international conference series, special interest groups, and online presence draw together a community from around the world in all areas of design research.

     January 25, 2018