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  • Derek Jones posted an article
    DRS to attend April 2019 Design Declaration Summit see more

    DRS to attend the 2019 Design Declaration Summmit

    International design organisations will meet this week in Saint-Étienne, France, as a follow up to the Montréal Design Declaration, held in 2017. The first Design Summit meeting saw 18 delegates from a range of international design organisations, including the Design Research Society (report here).

    The focus of the follow-up summit will be three work packages, selected from themes discussed at the first Summit and voted by delegates as having the highest priority in the field. These are:

    • Establishing metrics and collecting data and case studies to more effectively communicate the value of design
    • Supporting development of National and Regional Design Policies
    • Fostering development, recognition, support and funding for design education and research, including development of new formats for design education curricula.

    For each of these themes there is clear relevance to the interests of DRS members. The DRS will be represented by acting Chair, Peter Lloyd, and acting PedSIG representative Derek Jones who will both contribute to relevant workstreams,  ensuring that design research is represented as well as practice and education.

    A full report on the Summit will follow.

    You can find out more about the Design Declaration summit on their website:

     April 02, 2019
  • 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!
      6 years ago
  • Peter Lloyd posted an article
    The Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington. - See more see more

            The Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington.
     November 27, 2016
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    UK Design Council Spark initiative opens 12 September 2017 see more

    The UK Design Council Spark initiative will open on 12 September 2017 and is open to anyone with a good idea which they think would make a great product.

    Financial and mentoring support is available to support the development of finalists. This can be a great opportunity for design PhD candidates and post-docs with a fantastic idea.

    Details are available on the Design Council Spark site here


     September 06, 2017
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    UKRI head Walport, stresses importance and inclusion of the Arts in UK's research funding strategy see more

    Prof Sir Mark Walport observed the importance and inclusion of the Arts in the UK's new research funding organisation (the UKRI):

    "The Industrial Revolution was driven by the steam engine. And I think that this industrial revolution is driven by "Steam" as well, by which I mean science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

    "And if you think what it is that makes modern technology usable is the sort of design element. So if you put all that together, then the opportunity [exists] to strengthen what's already a very strong research and innovation mechanism in the UK. That means getting the synergies and making the whole greater than the sum of the parts." (Source: BBC News)

    The DRS welcomes the recognition and inclusion of design in such statements but it demonstrates the importance of ensuring the awareness of the significance of contemporary design and design research with the media and policy makers.

    The estimated £ GVA contribution of the Creative Economies to the UK alone is not matched by the perception of its value by policy makers and political leaders ( Creative Industries Council).

    The reporting of this by the media and other institutions and organisations also has a significant influence on public attitudes towards the position of design and innovation. Presented as  a footnote to science research in the BBC article above or as another call for 'better' mathematics education.

    It seems there is still work to do in order to present design as a significant contributor to any society's knowledge and culture - not simply as an adjunct to engineering or as a reason for science.


    Use the Comments below to discuss whether the DRS should take a more active role in promoting design research at the policy level in the UK or any individual country.


  • Derek Jones posted an article
    The Museum of Failure opens its doors in Sweden. see more

    Whether it's Dewey's famous articulation of "Failure is instructive" or IDEO's more recent "fail often to succeed faster", there is a unique relationship between the process of design and learning from failure.

    In design, the intention is (usually) that such failure takes place in the design process - those 99 failures should be kept in a cupboard so that the 1 brilliant solution can impress humanity for decades to come.

    But now and again there are examples of designs that should never have been. Hence the Museum of Failure, which recently opened in Helsingborg, Sweden:

    Inside the Museum of Failure from NBC Left Field on Vimeo.

    Of course, there are many other online resources collecting design failures around the world and don't forget Søren Rosenbak's Design Research Failures website is still going, one of the DRS Student Bursary awards in 2016.

    Whether the designs in the Museum of Failure represent design or innovation failures, flawed genius or exceptional catastrophe, we leave to the reader to decide.