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  • Anna Talley posted an article
    EdSIG Convenor on LearnXDesign 2023's new proceedings format. see more

    This year, the DRS's Education SIG is trying something different for their biennial LearnxDesign conference. Instead of holding a conventional conference, the LearnxDesign CfP, on the theme of  'Futures of Design Education', is taking the form of proceedings only. We sat down with Derek Jones, EdSIG convenor, to learn more about the theme and format for LearnxDesign 2023, EdSIG and how to get involved.


    How did you come up with the theme ‘Futures of Design Education’? Why is it important to address this theme now? On the same note, how did you choose the sub-themes and what do you hope might be explored in each? 

    The idea for the theme came directly from the success of the discussion series of the same name, Futures of Design Education. This series invited design educators from a range of backgrounds and contexts with the aim of raising awareness of the plurality of design education practices that exist. 

    The series has featured some incredible educators and highlights that design education most definitely benefits from this plurality. All the recordings are available here.

    It’s fair to say that most of the Convening Group have been influenced by this series and the sub-themes in the Call reflect this influence as well as coming from individual Convenors’ interests. 


    How does this year’s publication build on past LearnX conferences?

    EdSIG has organised conference proceedings biennially since 2011 and we felt it was important to keep this publication opportunity for design educators. Members told us that they use Learn X Design as a target for writing and we hope that this will keep that pattern going. We also intend to ensure the quality of contributions remains high.


    What do you think are the benefits of having a CfP for a proceedings document over a more traditional conference format?

    We are hoping that this will allow us to focus on the writing, editing and publication process more directly. If there is enough interest, we hope that we will be able to support other events to discuss the academic writing and reviewing process. The quality of our research in design education depends on our collective capacity to support an academic community at all stages, writing, reviewing, editing and supporting publishing and dissemination.


    Can you tell us a bit about the other members of the EdSig Convening Group? How are they involved in the CfP, paper reviews and proceedings publication? 

    We are a really collaborative group and we tend to do most things collectively (that was really the plan when we changed to EdSIG a few years back). We will all be involved in all aspects of the Call process and, as the process goes on, we’ll keep an eye on the response we get to see if we need to rearrange things. 

    The EdSIG Convenors are: 

    Derek Jones, The Open University, (UK) 
    Liv Merete Nielsen, OsloMet, (Norway)
    Nicole Lotz, The Open University, (UK)
    Lesley-Ann Noel, North Carolina State University, (USA)
    Naz A G Z Börekçi, Middle East Technical University, (Turkey) 
    James Corazzo, Sheffield Hallam University, (UK)

    You can find out more about us here: 


    Visual submissions to academic publications are a relatively new development in the field. Can you go into more detail about what you expect to see from visual submissions? Can you reference any existing publications that have employed visual submissions?

    Learn X Design 2021 featured a number of innovations led by Erik Bohemia and one of these was the introduction of visual papers. But LxD 2021 also had a Track dedicated to visual methods (Sketching and Drawing education and Knowledge), led by Bryan Howell. This gave delegates the chance to not only submit visual material but to also treat it seriously as a component of knowledge and research and I really loved the blend of both in the track. 

    If you get the chance, have a look at Track 7 in the 2021 Proceedings: 

    You can read Bryan’s Track Editorial here: 

    The two visual papers that stood out for me were:

    Learning remotely through diversity and social awareness: The grand challenge approach to tackle societal issues through diversity and creative thinking


    Sketchnoting experience of first-year students


    What other activities or events does EdSig run? If someone is interested in getting involved, how do they get in touch? 

    As noted above, we organise the Futures of Design Education discussion series and this has now hosted 21 talks from a range of international educators. All the recordings are available here.

    EdSIG also organises tracks around education for the main DRS conference series, and this usually involves 2 or 3 tracks, representing how important education is to the design research community.

    We are always keen to hear from anyone wanting to get involved - just contact Derek Jones

     February 03, 2023
  • Peter Lloyd posted an article
    The Call for Papers for Learn X Design 2021 is now open! see more

    The Call for Papers for Learn X Design 2021 is now open!


    Deadline: 23 March 2021



    The 6th International Conference for Design Education Researches, Learn X Design, will be hosted by Shandong University in September 2021.


    This is a call for Papers, Case Studies, Workshops and Visual Papers in the following Track Themes:


    Track 01 | Design Thinking to Improve Creative Problem-solving

    Track 02 | Empowering Critical Design Literacy

    Track 03 | Alternative Problem Framing in Design Education

    Track 04 | Collaboration in Design Education

    Track 05 | Co-creation of Interdisciplinary Design Educations

    Track 06 | Learning Through Materiality and Making

    Track 07 | Sketching & Drawing Education and Knowledge

    Track 08 | Educating Data-driven Design Innovation

    Track 09 | Design Learning Environments

    Track 10 | Futures of Design Education

    Track 11 | Design Educators as Change Agents


    You can find further details on the call and track themes here:

    The deadline for submissions is 23 March 2021.


    Learn X Design is the DRS Pedagogy SIG biennial conference and the 2021 conference in Shandong University will be the 6th in the series, with a conference theme of Engaging with Challenges in Design Education.

    Over the past months a group of international design education researchers have been preparing the track themes as a peer group. This approach has led to 11 tracks with very clear and focused themes, reflecting contemporary issues in design education research.

    Details of past Learn X Design conferences can be found here.

     January 09, 2021
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Learn X Design 2021 will take place 24–26 Sept. 2021, hosted by Shandong University of Art & Design see more

    Learn X Design 2021 Announcement

    The DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) is delighted to announce that Learn X Design 2021 will take place 24–26 September 2021, hosted by Shandong University of Art & Design, China.

    Learn X Design: International Conference for Design Education Researchers is a biennial conference series from PedSIG. This will be the 6th Learn X Design conference. It follows the 2019 event hosted by METU in Ankara.

    Full Paper, Workshop, and Case Study submissions for Learn X Design 2021 are due 23rd March 2021. More details will be available on the conference website as the event approaches:

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    Conference report: LearnXdesign 2019 Conference a great success! see more

    Conference Report: Learn X Design 2019

    The fifth annual DRS Pedagogy SIG Learn X Design conference, Insider Knowledge, was held July 9-12 at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

    The conference hosted 150 delegates from 81 institutions in 31 countries, highlighting the continued interest in design education research around the world. In all, 87 papers and 6 workshops were presented. It was a busy conference, but one that allowed the community to reconnect, create new links and engage in discussion.

    The conference started (unofficially!) with a one-day PhD Pitstop event, where 24 PhD students presented their work, interspersed by short lectures by Owain Pedgley, Peter Lloyd, Gülay Hasdoğan, and Gülsen Töre Yargin. During the 'pitstop' itself, students had the chance to visit four tables to grill the 'experts' on PhD-related issues. Quite a few good ideas for design PhD researchers came from this event (and not just from the experts…), so keep an eye on the DRS PhD Discussion board for more on this in the coming weeks. The day ended with a traditional Academic, Live-Band Karaoke with double-blind peer review singing...

     The papers presented over the three days demonstrated the range and rigour of contemporary design education research. In all, there were 27 presentation sessions organized into 18 Track Themes and the topics ranged from core design education themes (such as student development, modes of learning, and studio praxis) through to emerging practices in teaching as well as between education and society.

    The range of research methods was similarly broad: from large-scale statistical analyses of large data sets through to rich description and dramaturgical approaches of analysing the Studio. Questions from delegates on methods and approaches were as common as queries on results.

    And, of course, the range of subjects of study expanded the anthropocentric to include, for the first time, both cats and squirrels…

    The Keynote presentation on day 1 was given by Gabriela Goldschmidt, who presented her work on design cognition and its inherent spatiality through theories such as Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Goldschmidt argued strongly for the value of such spaces to develop design expertise – not simply design-like behaviours and actions.

    Day 1 ended with a visit to a traditional Ankara hammam for a Turkish bath. A comparative, auto-ethnographic, reflexive study was conducted and concluded: "What goes on in the hammam stays in the hammam"

    The second keynote was presented by Zeynep Çelik Alexander, who gave an in-depth and fascinating analysis of the pedagogical roots of the Bauhaus, arguing strongly that the design curriculum that has influenced nearly all contemporary design education had prior pedagogical research roots (aesthetic feeling, drawing, designing). Yet another reason to join the DRS Pedagogy SIG - it all started with education research!

    Thursday ended with the conference dinner, which, again, took a purely Turkish turn - before the first food arrived, everyone was given a hip scarf, the band started, dancers arrived, and off we went. As with the hammam, you had to be there…  

    The final keynote was given by Halime Demirkan on the subject of learning styles and their applications to student-tutor interaction. This work highlighted the unique position of design education research in the intersection of theory, research, practice and design itself.

    The conference ended with a panel session considering the future of design education and research, comprising Emre Çaglar, Aykut Coskun, Ípek Akpinar, Yasuko Takayama, and Stanley Reucker. The panel noted several emerging themes throughout the conference, including the continuing maturity of design education research and the growing body of work produced, and referred to, by the community. A follow up article on the discussion and themes will follow.

    The conference was closed by Naz AGZ Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyildirim, the conference co-chairs, outlining the design process and organisation behind the event. The theme of the conference, Insider Knowledge, was reflected throughout the event in discussions and, in particular, through communication about design education and its value as a mode of education.

    The visual identity for the conference was inspired by the intersections of cultures, peoples and ideas that represent Turkey's past and present. This identity worked really well across all the conference materials and was a reminder of the diversity and plurality  of speakers and participants.

    Overall, this was a fantastic conference with a lot of good work brought together by a passionate community of practitioners and researchers. The design research education community has incredible Insider Knowledge and a growing maturity of practice and research.

    So, thank you to everyone who helped make Learn X Design 2019 such a great event: to Naz, Fatma, and Dalsu for guiding the design; to all the volunteers and helpers who made it work; to Middle East Technical University for supporting it; and to all the contributors, delegates, presenters, authors and speakers.

    After a well-deserved rest, the conference team will complete editing the proceedings, which will be available in September on the conference website and PedSIG page on the DRS website.

    The next Learn X Design Conference will be held in 2021 (location still to be confirmed). If you are interested in hosting the next LearnXdesign conference in 2021 then get in touch with  



    Derek Jones, PedSIG Convenor

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    LxD 2019 took place last year on 9-12 July 2019 see more

    Learn X Design 2019 Proceedings Now Available!

    The fifth DRS Learn X Design International Conference for Design Education Researchers (LxD 2019) took place last year on 9-12 July 2019. Full proceedings are now available on the conference website and on Google DriveThe proceedings include all 87 papers presented at the main conference and 22 short papers from the PhD Pitstop session. You’ll also find track theme introductions, a summary of the keynotes and an editorial by the conference organisers Naz A.G.Z. Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyıldırım. These sections give a flavour of current and upcoming research interests in design education. To top it off, the book is wrapped up in the fantastic LxD 2019 visual identity, courtesy of Dalsu.

    Group photo from LXD 2019

    Learn X Design is the biennial conference series of the DRS Pedagogy Special Interest Group (PedSIG). LxD conferences have been running since 2011. LxD 2019 took place in Ankara and explored 'insider knowledge' through thematic areas: approaches and attitudes, educational milieu, tools and methods, and making and prototyping. These subject areas show the variety of topics in design education research. Case studies and reflections are common in this work, but there are alternative methods and topics as well. For example, conference presenters discussed dramaturgy as an approach to understand the studio and human-squirrel interaction as an adapted mode of design studio practice. A full conference report is available here.

    The next Learn X Design conference location will be announced shortly. Join the PedSIG Discussion Group to find out first!



    Derek Jones, PedSIG Convenor; DRS Interim Advisory Council Member; Senior Lecturer, The Open University, UK

     January 30, 2020
  • DRS Administrator posted an article
    Call to Host Learn X Design 2021, the DRS Pedagogy SIG Conference see more

    Call to Host Learn X Design 2021

    The Design Research Society Pedagogy Special Interest Group (PedSIG) invites proposals to host the next PedSIG biennial conference Learn X Design 2021For an application pack and guidance on making a proposal, please email the PedSIG Convenor Derek Jones ( 

    +++UPDATED+++ The updated deadline for proposals is 12:00 noon BST on 14 November 2019.

    The PedSIG Convening Group will review proposals and schedule interviews (if required) by late November. A final decision will be announced in early December.

    Above: Photo at the closing of Learn X Design 2019

    PedSIG is the largest SIG in the DRS and includes members from institutions around the world. The SIG has held biannual conferences since 2011. The 2019 conference took place in Ankara and welcomed over 150 delegates from 81 institutions and 31 countries. Read more about the DRS Pedagogy SIG hereFurther information on past conferences is available in the application pack.

    Contact Derek Jones ( with any further questions.

     September 27, 2019
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    LearnXdesign Call for Papers now OPEN! see more

    Call for Papers: LearnXdesign 2019

    The call for papers for the LearnXdesign 2019 conference in now open and the submission deadline has been extended to 30 December 2018. The call follows confirmation of the final 18 tracks themes, covering an incredibly diverse range of topics in design education and pedagogy. These range from 'Intercultural collaboration' right through to 'More than human prototyping', highlighting the range and diversity of contemporary design education research.

    You can find details of each track theme and instructions for submission here.

    This will be the 5th International LearnXdesign conference and will be hosted by Middle East Technical University (METU). The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first course on industrial design offered in Turkey at METU Faculty of Architecture by the American industrial designer David K. Munro. 2019 also is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Industrial Design as a separate undergraduate programme at METU. 

    Past events have established LearnXdesign as one of the key conferences in design education research. It hosts a particular intersection of educators, practitioners, and researchers across all levels of education and practice, and it’s unique character emerges from this passionately engaged community.

    The Conference theme for LearnXdesign 2019 is Insider Knowledge and major track themes are Learning Spaces; Learning Cultures; and Emerging Skill Sets and Mindsets. This firmly places the discussion within the discipline of design pedagogy itself reflecting the continued emerging confidence of design education researchers across the globe.

    Informed discussion around the purposes, modes, and motivations of design education have (arguably) never been more important. There is an emerging confidence in design pedagogy research - not simply as a different subject of study, but as a form of study in itself: one that has particular ways of knowing. Recent works are tackling the ‘messy space’ between the subjective and objective, demonstrating that it is possible to make progress in such areas and establish a growing knowledge base.

     August 05, 2018
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Activities for delegates during Learn X Design 2019 see more

    All Work and No Play at Learn X Design 2019?

    Learn X Design 2019 kicks off on July 9th at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. METU has lots of celebrate—it’s the 50th anniversary of their first ID course and the 40th anniversary of their separate ID program. In honour of Learn X Design and these milestones, conference chairs Naz A.G.Z. Börekçi, Fatma Korkut and Dalsu Özgen Koçyıldırım have planned some fun activities for participants.

    There's a welcome reception on July 9th in the METU Faculty of Architecture garden. This will be followed by the PhD Pit-Stop party at Hayal Kahvesi in downtown Ankara (pictured above). The following day, there's an optional traditional Turkish dinner at the Kınacızade Restaurant and a Turkish bath experience at the Şengül hammam. The conference dinner will be on July 11th at Wyndham Ankara, and delegates will have the chance to try out their belly dancing skills!

    More information about Learn X Design social events is available here

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Fun fact about the Learn X Design 2019 logo see more

    Learn X Design 2019 Logo

    The DRS Learn X Design 2019 conference started today in Ankara, Turkey. Here's a fun fact in honour of this big day... Have you noticed the conference logo? It's the red and green 'X' in the image on the left. The design is particularly meaningful and was inspired by colourful geometric figures in Turkish carpets and kilims. The 'X' also represents the in-betweenness of Turkey, crossing continents and bringing together diverse cultures.

    Follow the event on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more info and updates. Best wishes for a great conference!

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The fifth biannual DRS Learn X Design conference takes place next week at METU see more

    Plans for Learn X Design 2019

    Excitement is building for the  fifth biannual DRS Learn X Design conference, which takes place next week at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Learn X Design conferences focus on research in design education and are organised by the DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) and the host institution. The theme this year is insider knowledge, which refers to knowledge and experience that build into collective practices.

    We’re thrilled to announce three keynote presenters, Gabriela Goldschmidt, Zeynep Çelik Alexander and Halime Demirkan. They’ll address topics like disciplinary knowledge, Bauhaus traditions and learning styles. In addition to the keynotes, there will be a PhD Pit-Stop event, workshops and three days of paper presentations. Check out the conference program here:

    The conference has broad participation—attendees are expected from 65 institutions and 27 countries around the world! Learn X Design conferences also have good gender  balance. We’re avoiding the dreaded ‘manels’!

    Follow the conference on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates.

  • Article
    DRS Design Education Research Conference set for 2019 in Ankara see more

    DRS LearnXdesign 2019

    5th International Conference for Design Education Researchers


    Will be held:


    9-12 July 2019

    Middle East Technical University





    Theme: Insider Knowledge


    More details to follow.

     November 23, 2017
  • Article
    Special issue based on the DRS/CUMULUS LearnXdesign Conference in Chicago see more

    The new special issue of FormAkademisk (volume 10, issue 2), includes four selected peer reviewed articles developed from papers held at the 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers - DRS/CUMULUS LearnXdesign conference held in Chicago in June 2015.  The articles deal with topics within  design thinking, design education methods and practice.


     October 03, 2017
  • Article
    Next LearnXdesign conference see more

    Following the successful Ravensbourne LearnXdesign Conference we are seeking a host for the next conference. This would be scheduled for 2019.

    We have had very successful conferences in Paris, Oslo, Chicago and now London. Each of them has focused on design education research and been supported by the DRS Design Pedagogy Special Interest Group. Throughout they have also been supported by CUMULUS and the last two have also enjoyed the support of DESIGN-ED.

    If you are interested in hosting the next conference, then please contact Mike Tovey (, so we can discuss it.

  • Derek Jones posted an article
    LearnXDesign 2017 Conference prvided a future vision of design education see more

    The fourth international DRS / CUMULUS / ED-DESIGN Conference on Design Education - LearnXdesign 2017 - was held at the end of June 2017 at Ravensbourne in London, UK.

    The opening keynote by Susan Orr (@Susan_K_Orr) superbly summarised the current landscape in design education, focusing on significant aspects of core design pedagogy and noting how these are being understood in our own discipline(s) as well as how they could transfer to other subject domains. Looking into the near future, she described design as continually developing, where “students are the definers of the discipline”.

    On Thursday, keynote Jo Twist (@Doctoe) demonstrated just how significant the games industry in the UK is - both economically and as a discipline and professional endeavour. She observed that “play allows you to fail” before calling for even greater integration between the Arts and traditional (but unhelpfully segregated) STEM subjects that often lead game design.

    The closing Keynote was given by Dori Tunstall (@Dori_Danthro) presenting how OCAD U are continuing to decolonise their curriculum and implement Respectful Design across their studios and processes. Echoing Orr’s Keynote observation, that the widening of design curricula must be a focus of design education in the coming years, Tunstall presented a positive and optimistic interpretation of how this can be achieved inclusively and without the ‘race to the bottom’ some may think it entails.

    In between these keynotes were the usual range of interesting and well-researched presentations of papers, positions and works-in-progress from across the world. Anyone who has attended a LearnXdesign event will understand that it’s usually a group of really committed and passionate practitioners, coming together to share and expand their personal and collective knowledge in design education. In summing up the conference, Ravensbourne’s Gary Pritchard and Linda Drew reflected what delegates were thinking - it was, as always, the people who made the event.



    A huge thank you to all of the Ravensbourne organisers and support staff who made the event so successful.

    The conference proceedings will be available in the next few weeks.

    The location for the next LearnXdesign conference in 2019 has yet to be confirmed so if any DRS members are interested or have any ideas for this then just get in touch with PedSIG lead Mike Tovey (


    • Derek Jones Just to add a personal note of thanks to the organisers for the way in which they welcomed and included all attendees.

      Thank you all!
      7 years ago