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  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Open call for proposals for the PhD Event at DRS2022 Bilbao! see more

    The PhD Event is proposed as a series of activities throughout the DRS2022 conference for the PhD community. The series of activities will offer a supportive and engaging environment for PhD researchers from around the world to share their research, experiences, and struggles of conducting doctoral research with the aim of strengthening the sense of belonging to the DRS PhD community.

    The PhD Event welcomes all types of Doctoral work (e.g., theoretical, practice-based), across a diversity of topical issues and at any stage of their PhD journey. Participants will have the opportunity to vocalise and discuss their research among peers and academics using traditional and non-traditional formats, receive feedback from research leaders, and reflect upon the DRS conference content to challenge their own work. Moreover, the PhD event will allow a selected group of interested final year PhD researchers to develop mentor skills.

    The PhD Event will be held as a hybrid event, including a mix of keynotes, seminars, hands-on workshops, impact events, publication work, and social events distributed across different time zones. The PhD event will start with a full day of thought-provoking sessions that will set the tone to make the most of the DRS2022 conference programme, followed by other complementary activities throughout the rest of the conference. 

    PhD researchers interested in participating need to submit an expression of interest using the template via the ConfTool system. Participants will be selected based on the clarity of their application, their motivation to participate and expected contributions. We aim to form a diverse group of PhD students in terms of location, doctoral year, areas of interest and type of research. 

    The selected participants will be informed of their acceptance and should provide additional material that will be useful during the conference (e.g., profiles, images, audio). A summary of the PhD Event showcasing the participants’ research and contribution to the event will be published as part of the DRS2022 proceedings.


    You can find more information and download the PhD Proposal Template here:


    Important Dates

    Submission deadline
    28th February 2022

    Notification of decisions
    30th March 2022

    Training (for those participants acting as mentors or hosts)
    June 2022

    Final submission (pre-material)
    15th June 2022

    Conference dates
    25th June- 3rd July


     February 08, 2022
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Caroline Häger's research on the future of academic conferences. see more

    Caroline Häger is a recent graduate of TU Delft's master's programme in Design for Interaction, having just completed her thesis project exploring the future of academic conferences, using the DRS as a case study. Noting the relevance of her research to our upcoming hybrid conference in Bilbao, Häger has been a regular attendee at DRS2022 planning meetings, and we are pleased to now be able to share her research with the DRS community.  We caught up with Häger to ask her a bit more about her background in design research, the goals and aims of her thesis project and the impact of her findings.   


    Häger created a short video explaining her research and outcomes.  


    What is your background in design research?

    I started my design research journey with my bachelor’s in Industrial Design Engineering at The Hague University of Applied Science. Afterwards, I was intrigued to learn more about how to gain a deep understanding of people’s thoughts, experiences, and behavior in relation to a specific context in order to design products and services in future that are meaningful to people and their environment. Because of this, I decided to start my master’s in Design for Interaction at the TU Delft, which has greatly helped me to fill in the gap of understanding people’s perceptions through design thinking and methodology.


    Tell us a bit about the story behind your project.  

    Our society and the environment in which we interact with one another is in a fast pace. Being faced with constant social, political, technological, economical, and environmental changes affects the way we live and interact within this world. It is our responsibility to respond to these changes and adapt accordingly in order to create a better future. This also applies to academic societies, like the DRS, and their conferences. The past solution space of the DRS conference offered great opportunities for the facilitation of discussions, exchanging and creating knowledge, and for its members to socialize and connect. However, conferences also come with costly and wasteful consequences, affecting the carbon footprint with excessive amount of travels and usage of resources. Also, current conference formats do not address different needs of people from diverse backgrounds for an inclusive space. 

    Due to recent developments in climate change, inequalities, pandemics, and diverse work-life situations, and especially due to its internationality, the DRS can highly benefit from a design vision that investigates future needs. The DRS wants to address these different needs and act responsibly by offering a hybrid space, providing members with face-to-face and online interactions. My graduation project explored the possibilities of scientific conferences’ future evolvement and involvement by looking at future developments and needs in our society as well as investigating how and to which extend hybridity should be incorporated for a redesign of the overall interaction space.


    What do you think the future is like for hybrid conferences? 

    Through interviews with design researchers and conference organizers as well as studying existing literature on scientific conferences, I identified three main driving forces that play a role in the development and purpose of conferences in the future:

    1. Relevance and awareness of inclusion in which we need to provide safe and flexible spaces for people to be and feel included.
    2. Relevance and awareness of impact as academics in which we need to stimulate responsibilities of academics.
    3. Enhancing this inclusion and impact through technology by making people aware of other people and content with better becoming algorithms, multi-modal systems, and tracing of activities.

    Due to these opportunities that arise from the three main driving forces, the goal for the new conference experience is to provide people with a visual space and format that supports lively, flexible and spontaneous participation on the one hand and inspire people with an overview of content, thoughts, and people, using hybrid technology. This does not only provide an inclusive space for diverse people to participate but also stimulates people to look at the bigger picture of valuable thoughts, insights and issues during the conference in order to consider aspects beyond their personal and professional bubble.


    How do you think your research will impact DRS2022Bilbao? 

    As I was able to join the meetings with the organizational team in the past seven months, I could inspire them with my research outcomes along the way. I don’t think that my concept can be fully realized for the DRS2022 but parts of it can be developed gradually with each conference. For the DRS2022, I think some principles of my ideas can be applied, such as making the experience more visual, providing flexible admission, or creating sessions in which participants are able to reconnect with the real world, such as dialogues with design practitioners.


    You can find Häger's full thesis at this link.

     November 29, 2021
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Submit your theme track proposal for DRS2022 by 26 July! see more


    Extended Programme: 25th June - 3rd July 2022
    Main Conference: 27th June – 1st July 2022
    We are living through extraordinary times where design in many forms is necessary to counter the enormous problems we face in the challenges of our coexistence. 
    How has the discipline of design research responded? Can design and design research bring the insights and methods needed for transformation and collaboration? 
    Join us at the Guggenheim in Bilbao for DRS2022, a hybrid conference with unique participation opportunities and a showcase for the best in design research. Whatever your orientation to design research we encourage you to participate, to show the true diversity and potential of our discipline. 
    DRS2022 is hosted by the city of Bilbao, in Northwest Spain, in association with the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) and the wider ecosystem of local academic and design institutions. In 2014 Bilbao became a member of the UNESCO City of Design network. As such, it hosts a permanent Design and Creativity Council with a mission to promote design-oriented urban policies and to integrate goals related to the cultural and creative industries into local development plans. Bilbao recently joined the Global Destination Sustainability Index with a commitment to meet specific guidelines for the development of more sustainable conferences. 
    DRS2022 is also hosted online in a hybrid mode, with opportunities for new interactions between the place-based and online conferences. The extended conference format will give you the chance to experience the energy and creativity of Bilbao wherever you choose to participate from. 
    To capitalize on emerging research networks we welcome proposals for theme-tracks of research papers related to any area of design research not already covered by existing Special Interest Groups. Chairing a theme-track provides a leadership opportunity to develop a profile for an emerging area of research and bring together a community of researchers. 
    Theme tracks will be managed individually by sub-chairs as part of the general paper submission, peer-review, and final programme. Sub-chairs will be responsible for suggesting and allocating reviewers, writing an introduction to their theme-track sessions to be published in the conference proceedings, and curating and chairing sessions at the conference. 
    DRS2022 will be hybrid conference enabling both in-person and online presentation and participation, including within theme-track sessions.
    Proposals should be submitted as a 1-2 page Word or pdf document and should consist of:
       • Theme-track title;
       • Names of proposed sub-chair/s for the session; 
       • Up to 5 people who could be involved in the review process for theme-track paper submissions; 
       • Theme-track context and outline (up to 250 words); 
       • A small number of references to indicate theme-track scope.

    To allow us to publicise additional theme-tracks prior to the full-paper deadline in November, theme-track proposals should be submitted to the conference submission system by the deadline of July 26th 2021.
    Theme-track proposals will be reviewed by the conference programme committee with sub-chairs informed of outcomes within three weeks of the deadline. Successful proposals will be publicised as part of the DRS2022 conference call and invited to optionally develop their ideas and network at the DRS Festival of Emergence in September 2021.

    Paper submissions for successful theme-tracks will take place via the online submission system: 

    For examples of theme-tracks at previous DRS Conferences please visit the DRS Digital Library.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Expressions of Interest are due 15 February 2020 see more

    Call for Expressions of Interest to Host DRS2022 

    The Design Research Society welcomes expressions of interest to host the 2022 International Design Research Society Conference. The DRS Biennial Conference is a major international event in the global 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, labs, 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.

    For DRS2022 we are particularly interested in proposals with blended conference innovations that integrate online with local delegate experience to support new forms of sustainable participation.

    This is a worldwide call for expressions of interest. Recent conferences have taken place in Montreal (Canada), Bangkok (Thailand), Umea (Sweden), Brighton (UK), Limerick (Ireland) with the 2020 Conference taking place in Brisbane, Australia in August. In selecting a venue for 2022, 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
      (our preference is for the conference to take place in late June 2022 but an exception can be made if sufficiently justified)
    • Financial Information
      (indicative budget for 500 participants including: proposed registration fees, cost of venues, catering, events, management and personnel, website and 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 financial agreements will be signed by both parties prior to any award and announcement for hosting.

    Application and Timeline

    Interested parties should submit their Expression of Interest to the DRS Administrator ( by the deadline of 15th February 2020.

    Expressions of Interest will be considered at a 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 April 2020.  After signing a Memorandum of Agreement, the successful host will be invited to attend the 2020 conference in August and present their conference vision at the closing ceremony.

    Further Details

    Should you have any further questions or seek clarification on any aspect of a proposal please contact DRS Advisory Council Member, Professor Martyn Evans (, for an informal discussion. A copy of the Biennial Conference Guidelines are available on request, along with a budgeting toolkit. 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. We draw together a community from around the world in all areas of design research.

     December 10, 2019