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  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Townhall meetings will explore a core future topic for the DRS see more

    DRS Town Hall Meetings

    The DRS Executive Board is hosting Town Hall meetings in early 2021. Each meeting will explore a core topic for the DRS: PhD research, future conferences, design research leadership, publishing, and DRS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The Town Halls are an opportunity to get to know the new DRS leadership, meet other members, and get involved with the Society. You might also boost your design research know-how in the process! All events are free and also open to non-members, but registration is required.


    Upcoming Town Hall Meetings:

    Special Interest Groups of the DRS: A User Guide
    30 April, 12:00-14:00 (UK Time)

    Register for this Event


    Fostering Worldwide International Collaborations
    21st May, 15:00-17:00 (UK Time)

    Register for this Event


    Previous Town Hall Meetings:

    Next Generations: Connecting the DRS PhD Research Community 
    14 January 
    Further Information

    Designing DRS Conferences of the Future
    28 January

    Further Information

    Developing a Design Research Leadership Pipeline
    11 February
    Further Information

    Publishing Design Research within the Society and Beyond
    26 February
    Further Information

    It's Always 5 O'Clock Somewhere: International DRS Virtual Coffee Break
    29 March, multiple time zones

    Further Information


     December 22, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Teaching resources from PedSIG and The Open University Design Group see more

    Distance Design Education Resources

    The DRS Special Interest Group in Design Pedagogy (PedSIG) is working with colleagues and institutions to support design educators continuing to move to distance and online teaching in response to the events of 2020 and the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This transition to distance education is a particular challenge for design educators, since design curriculum often relies heavily on physical and proximate teaching and learning, particularly in the studio.

    PedSIG, in collaboration with The Open University Design Group, have developed shared teaching resources available on the Distance Design Education website. The site features recipes, articles and resources about teaching, learning, staying connected and collaborating at a distance. It includes all the recordings from the series of Distance Design Education Meetups, where colleagues from around the world share their experiences and practices.

    You will also find the open education resource Creating Distance Design Courses, which outlines some of the approaches and ideas used at The Open University in the UK.

    In 2021, the site aims to continue support and is keen to hear from colleagues with suggestions of what would be most useful in supporting educators.

    If you want to contribute material or take part in future events, then please get involved or stay in touch. Over the past year the community has learned from one another regardless of knowledge or experience: everyone has had something valuable to share.

    As always, best wishes from the DRS—stay healthy and safe.

     March 17, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Open-access hub for all things design research see more

    Launch of the New DRS Digital Library

    We are very proud to present the new DRS Digital Library. It is an open-access hub for all things design research. It includes the full back-catalogue of DRS conferences (1971-2020) and research outcomes from many DRS SIG events. We are working to expand the content even further and will host publications and materials from design research events across the world.

    DRS Executive Board member, Anna Vallgårda, is leading the Digital Library and said “I cannot express enough how exciting this is! It is a big deal for the design research community. It will provide consistent access to materials and will help consolidate design research as an independent and maturing research discipline.”

    DRS Chair,  Peter Lloyd, also added: “the new Digital Library is a key part of the DRS strategy going forward. We are focussed on increasing the quality of design research through our peer-reviewed conferences and events, and by providing a central repository for design research publications.”

    The Digital Library is built on the Bepress Digital Commons platform from Elsevier Science. This makes research materials easier to access, cite and explore. All content is listed with full DOI information, will be searchable and citable in Google Scholar, and makes full use of the range of referencing and citation analytics that Elsevier offers. Authors of recent papers can receive monthly readership reports and anybody can set up an account which will allow them to save searches and set up alerts on relevant new material when it's uploaded.

    Be sure to visit the DRS Digital library at and follow #DRSLibrary on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

    Conference organisers and journal editors should contact DRS Publications and Archives Editor, Darren Umney to inquire about adding design research material to the collection.

     December 16, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The DRS is authorised nominating body for REF and is accepting applications until Monday 24 August see more

    Participate in the UK Research Excellence Framework

    There's a call for participation in the UK Research Excellence Framework ( REF). REF is an initiative by UK funding bodies to evaluate research quality in higher education institutions. It involves expert review in 34 subject areas, evaluating things like the quality of outputs and research impact. The initiative provides accountability for research investments and informs the allocation of new funding in the UK.

    There are open positions on expert review panels including sub-panel 32—Art & Design: History Theory and Practice. The Art & Design group needs panel members and impact assessors. More details about these roles are available here. The website notes that the “sub-panel particularly welcomes nominations of candidates from the following under-represented groups: people from BME backgrounds; institutions/organisations in Wales.”

    The DRS is an authorised nominating body for REF and is accepting applications until Monday 24 August. Interested participants can contact DRS Administrator Linda Anderson ( for more details and a nomination form. All self-nominations will be reviewed before submission to REF.

     August 06, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The DRS recently joined the College Art Association (CAA) as an affiliated society see more

    DRS Affiliation with the College Art Association

    The DRS recently joined the College Art Association (CAA) as an affiliated society. The CAA is an international art and design association based in the USA. They hold an annual conference in addition to other work including professional development support and advocacy.

    The CAA has opportunities to get involved in their association. They’re inviting nominations and self-nominations to serve on award juries. There are multiple positions for jury members for awards of distinction, publication grants, fellowships and travel grants. Nominations close at the end of the month on 31 July.

    The CAA also has open seats for committee members on topics including design, women in the arts and education. The CAA Professional Committees work on topics of special concern for the association and serve 3-year terms. Self-nominations are due 31 August.

    Contact DRS Administrator Linda Anderson ( for more information about DRS affiliations.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Darren will consolidate and develop the historic and ongoing publishing activities of the DRS see more

    Introducing Darren Umney, DRS Publications and Archive Editor

    The DRS is pleased to announce the appointment of Darren Umney as Publications and Archive Editor. Darren will take responsibility for consolidating and developing the historic and ongoing publishing activities of the DRS with a particular focus on academic papers, reports and conference proceedings.

    Darren will join the DRS support team that includes Online Editor Isabel Prochner and Administrator Linda Anderson. The support team works with the DRS Council and manages the day-to-day operations of the Society.  

    Darren began his career as an artist and has experience in film making, performance art, exhibition curation and online newspaper publishing. In addition to his role with the DRS, he works as Associate and Managing Editor of the Journal of Cultural Economy. He received his PhD from the Open University (UK) in 2016. His thesis explored the implications of studying parliamentary debate, and positioned the parliamentary process as a design process.

    Darren received a DRS 50th Anniversary Student Bursary, which he used to uncover the archaeological history of the Society. He also conducted an online performance—tweeting retrospectively about early DRS conferences. This work contributes to the growing DRS archive and was presented at DRS2016 in Brighton.

    As Publications and Archive Editor, Darren is looking forward to consolidating his historical exploration of the Society. He also has an important role sharing past, present and future DRS work with members.

     December 02, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    How design researchers can get involved in the COVID-19 response see more

    Design Research and the COVID-19 Response (Updated)

    The DRS has received questions about how design researchers can get involved in the COVID-19 response. Here’s a list of initiatives associated with the DRS and some compelling projects in the broader design research community.

    PedSIG is doing great work with their Distance Design Education platform. They've been sharing articles and recipes for distance learning in design and have hosted 4 meetups on special topics. PedSIG is looking for new content, meetup hosts and ideas. You can contact PedSIG Convenor Derek Jones to get involved. 

    InclusiveSIG Convenor Hua Dong shared a link to a COVID-19 resource matching platform where she is a volunteer. The platform includes links to PPE 3D printing groups and calls for donations at hospitals across the UK.

    The Global Health SIG has shared a list of public health bodies and their websites. The list includes official organisations at international, national, and regional levels. It’s available as a Google Document and the SIG is encouraging visitors to add to the list.

    Beyond the DRS, the Strategic Design Research Journal is planning a special issue on design contributions for the COVID-19 global emergency. The issue will gather and map COVID-19 responses and build an understanding of the role of design during global emergencies. Full paper submissions are due 15th July on the journal website.

    The Design for Emergency platform is a great initiative organised by Sara Colombo and Paolo Ciuccarelli. These Northeastern University researchers are conducting surveys about COVID-19 experiences and have prepared data visualisations with the initial results. The platform is also hosting an open design challenge in response to survey results.

    New addition: The Emergency Design Collective brings together doctors, designers and design researchers and has partners including IDEO, Frog and Stanford The group offers design suggestions for healthcare and life at home during COVID-19. They're looking for volunteers, partners and donations to support their work.


    Contact the DRS Online Editor Isabel Prochner to share your COVID-19 project with Society members.

    We hope you’re staying safe during these difficult times! 

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Nominations to stand for the first International Advisory Council are now open see more

    DRS Elections 2020: Call for Nominations

    We are pleased to announce that nominations to stand for the first International Advisory Council (IAC) of the DRS are now open. The DRS seeks 18 ambitious design researchers to form the new IAC and contribute to creating a truly international and inclusive Society to progress the field of design research. We encourage DRS Members from all parts of the world to consider standing for election, particularly those with a vision about how design research should develop, and awareness of the Society’s ambitions.

    The benefits of serving on the IAC include:

    • Influencing the field of Design Research;
    • Being part of a network of design research leaders;
    • Access to financial support to progress initiatives;
    • Entitlement to stand for a role on the Executive Board;
    • Career development that enhances your CV.

    Nominations must be submitted by 5 pm BST on Thursday 9 April. Further details about the 2020 DRS Elections and the nomination process are available here.


    Equal Opportunities

    The DRS celebrates and supports diversity for the benefit of our members, our services, and our community. The DRS is proud to promote equal opportunities in all the activities that it organizes and supports.

     March 02, 2020
  • 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
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Event explored the term 'design literacy' in relation to the built environment see more

    Event Report: Urban Perspectives on Design Literacy Summer School 

    The question 'what is design literacy?’ attracted attention at a DRS-endorsed summer school at Loughborough University and the City of Leicester. The event took place over two days in June 2019. The Urbanism strand of the Built Environment Research Beacon at Loughborough University hosted day one. The second day was at ​​​​​Maber Architects and Leicester City Hall.

    Design literacy was referenced in The Farrell Review, a UK-based exploration of design/architecture education, knowledge, policy and impacts. The review encouraged industry and government to "[improve] the quality of local decision-making and design literacy" (The Farrell Review, 2015).  However, it's apparent that design literacy is not understood by those at the heart of city governance—and nobody knows what it stands for! That's where we hoped the summer school would contribute. 

    Above: Delegates pondering the architect's design literacy challenges as set out by Maber Architects' Tim Boxford

    DRS President Rachel Cooper started the event by exploring the sensory aesthetics of a city. She discussed the need for design in city decision making and policy decisions about places, services and experiences. There were other great talks by practicing designers, design researchers and representatives of Leicester City Council. The schedule and list of speakers is available here

    Above: Robert Harland introducing day two at Maber Architects' Leicester office

    Summer school participants were practitioners and academics from a range of fields including architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design, urban studies, human geography, engineering, graphic design, arts practice, art/design management, conservation and curation. While these diverse backgrounds provided a wealth of perspectives, the range of participants also indicated that a discipline-specific understanding of design literacy is yet to emerge. All agreed that good design is essential for city building, but this may/may not be associated with design literacy. How will places be improved if planners, designers and engineers are more fluent in design literacy? The summer school did not provide quick answers; it’s clearly something that needs grappling with.

    full review of the Urban Perspectives on Design Literacy Summer School is available here and a complete information pack is available here.

    Acknowledgements: the Summer School was co-organised by Loughborough University and Leicester City Council, in conjunction with Leicester Urban Observatory and with the endorsement of the Design Research Society. 



    Robert Harland, Summer School convenor and presenter

     November 29, 2019
  • 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
    Design society, China opens: design museum, cultural design platform and international ambitions see more

    Design Society had its grand opening this month (December 2017) and aims to create a cultural platform to enable China to become a global design leader.

    Housed in Fumihiko Maki's Sea World Arts and Culture Centre, Design Society has an ambitious public programme of exhibition, education and collaboration. It firmly positions design knowledge within its socio-cultural context and positions itself as service for society generally.

    Design Society is currently hosting a joint gallery with the V&A, UK, titled Values of Design and was listed as part of a broader strengthening of UK / China creative partnerships.

    The Values of Design exhibition will run throughout 2018 - more details can be found here.

    Design Society website:


     December 20, 2017