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  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    We received 30 DRS Student Research Bursary applications this year—a record number! see more

    DRS Student Research Bursary Winners 2019

    We received 30 DRS Student Research Bursary applications this year—a record number! These bursary awards provide funds to carry out a research project. This includes data collection, equipment purchase and prototyping, but not normally conference travel or fees. Two DRS Council members reviewed each submission based on quality, value for money and impact. Bursary coordinator Robin Roy conducted a final review of high-scoring applications. This resulted in five full awards of 500 GBP and four awards of 250 GBP. Offering full and smaller awards enabled us to issue nine bursaries, instead of the seven we budgeted for.

    The bursary winners were Pushpi BagchiBritta BoyerTung DaoMaría José IzzoAlessandra PeppiViola PetrellaValentina Marques da Rosa Virginie Tessier and Florencia Varas. The winners are based in Chile, Brazil, Canada and the UK. Their research topics are broad and include a comparative project on transnational education in the UK and Shri Lanka (Bagchi); collaboration with UK-based companies to increase product life (Dao); hospital design to reduce distress for children undergoing cancer treatment (Marques da Rosa); and assessment guidelines for student designers learning to work collaboratively (Tessier).



    Robin Roy, DRS Student Research Bursary Coordinator

     November 19, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Overview of three winning projects from 2018 see more

    DRS Student Research Bursary Winners 2018

    The DRS Student Research Bursary Awards support design research projects by DRS Student Members. In 2018, the DRS awarded seven bursaries of 500 GBP, which supported a range of projects from students working in the UK, France, Chile and China. A DRS Council panel selected the winners based on project quality, value for money and project impact.

    The following are three winning projects from 2018.


    Multi-Sensory Interface, Learning the Basics of Trigonometry

    Maria Elena Errázuriz, School of Design, Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile

    The goal of this project was to build a device to enhance student learning of trigonometry. It involved designing a Tangible User Interface (TUI) that helped students learn through their senses (see photo above and check out this video). The Bursary Award helped fund prototype construction and Maria Elena's travels to the Seminario de Investigación en Diseño where the project was presented.

    Neurophysiological Correlates of Cognitive Design Behaviours

    Julie Milovanovic, Graduate School of Architecture Nantes, France

    Julie's project explored design learning cognitive patterns in studio environments. She used EEG tracking to study brain activities while designing (see image below). The DRS Bursary Award helped fund a trip to the Depict Lab in Sweden, where Julie explored neuro-cognitive design science and conducted a pre-test for her project. 

    Crisis|Wellbeing in the Emergency Department

    William Wang, Royal College of Art, UK

    This project explored the mental health patient journey in the Emergency Department of Charing Cross Hospital, London. William collaborated on the redesign of a high-risk mental health patient room (see image below). The Bursary Award funded production of research and collaboration tools like a card deck and 3D model.


     Above left: Eye-tracking data and emotions during building design, Julie Milovanovic | Above right: New patient room, William Wang


    The 2019 DRS Bursary Award deadline is 23 September. Visit the Bursary webpage for more information, to download the application form and to see project reports from previous winners.



    Robin Roy, DRS Student Research Bursaries Coordinator

     August 09, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Bursaries of up to 500 GBP to support student member projects see more

    Applications Open for DRS Student Research Bursary Awards

    The DRS Student Research Bursary Awards support design research projects by DRS Student Members. Five to seven Bursaries of up to 500 GBP are available each year. Funds support the execution of a research project. This could include prototyping, data collection, equipment purchase, essential travel to undertake the research, etc.

    The 2019 application deadline is 23 September. Visit the Bursary webpage for more information, to download the application form and to see project reports from previous winners. Please note: applicants must apply with a sponsor, usually a research supervisor. Both the student and sponsor must be current DRS members.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Reviving and reimagining Caribbean craft traditions through computation see more

    This Much I Know (About Design Research): Vernelle A. A. Noel

    This is the second interview in a new series for the DRS online called This Much I Know (About Design Research). Each article in this series profiles an interesting DRS member to highlight their work and reflections on design research. This time we spoke with Vernelle A. A. Noel about her research on craft practices and computation.

    Vernelle is an architect and PhD researcher at Penn State University in the USA. Her work is at the intersections of craft, design, computation and culture. Originally from Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean culture and design are central in her work. Her current project explores the Trinidad Carnival and wire-bending craft traditions. She uses computation to help revive wire-bending practices and reinterpret them for application in architecture.



    Why have you focused on Carnival?

    Carnival is an important part of Caribbean history, culture and design. French planters introduced it to Trinidad in the 1780s and newly emancipated slaves reinvented it in the 1830s as a way to celebrate their freedom and creativity. Although it takes place once per year, people spend all year preparing! The festival includes a parade and serious music and costume competitions.

    How is your research related to Carnival?

    My research explores Carnival through a design lens. I’m troubled by the mass-production of costumes, which arrive ready-made from abroad. Design and making traditions risk being lost, so I try to re-engage people in these processes.

    What is it about wire-bending?

    Wire-bending is a beautiful local craft that’s incorporated in Carnival costumes. The details are astonishing! However, it’s a difficult and labour intensive process done mostly by men.

    How are you encouraging people to engage with wire-bending?

    I’ve been exploring how wire-bending can be reinterpreted through computation and digital technology, which I believe will help increase access to the craft, especially for women and children. I also have a background in architecture, so I’m investigating the application of wire-bending in architectural form.

    What are the outcomes of your research so far?

    I've been able to make wire-bending knowledge explicit and hold craft workshops. Youth seem engaged by computational making and the technology facilitates collaboration. Wire-bending is usually a solitary activity, so it’s exciting to consider the possibilities of group making. I’ve also been experimenting with wire-bending and developing prototypes (images above).

    What do you think about the DRS?

    Community is very important to me, so I love that the DRS brings together a strong design research community. 

    What design researchers are especially inspirational in your work?

    I draw on theorists like Nigel Cross and Michael Reddy, but one of my biggest inspirations was my professor Lucienne Blessing. She taught a course on design research, which helped me understand the field.

    How can readers learn more about Caribbean design?

    I enjoy reading Maco, a Caribbean design and lifestyle magazine.


    Interested in getting involved in this interview series? Tell us about your exciting work or nominate another researcher. You can contact Isabel at

     April 09, 2018
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Share your completed PhD research with the DRS community see more

    Let’s Talk PhD Projects

    Calling recent PhD graduates in design! The DRS is impressed by the talented new researchers joining our community. We want to highlight your hard work and bright ideas through our online platforms. We’ll post a news article about your PhD project, a copy of your dissertation and, optionally, a video about your work.

    This opportunity is open to PhD graduates in design or closely related fields from the past 2 years.

    To participate, we’ll need:

    • Your bio – Including your name, PhD project title, institution of study, etc.
    • Your photo – 400x400 px. headshot
    • Short written blurb about your PhD research – Explain what you studied and why
    • PDF of your final dissertation
    • Optional: Short video about your PhD research – Introduce your project, including your research problem, question, methods, findings, contributions, etc.

    All communications should present your work in fun, accessible way to engage the wider DRS community!

    Read more about submission guidelines and add your project here.

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    We speak to Søren about his Design Research Failures project and vision for design research see more

    This Much I Know (About Design Research): Søren Rosenbak

    This is the first interview in a new series for the DRS online called This Much I Know (About Design Research). Every month or so, we’ll profile an interesting DRS member to highlight their work and reflections on design research. This month, we speak to PhD Researcher Søren Rosenbak about his Design Research Failures project and his vision for the future of design research.

    Søren is a PhD candidate in design as critical practice at the Umeå Institute of Design in Sweden. His research revolves around the question of how pataphysics can infuse and advance a critical design practice. He has a background in visual communication, interaction design and filmmaking. Søren's academic and professional background helped inspire the Design Research Failures project, which he launched at DRS2016.



    What is Design Research Failures?

    It's a project that asks participants: in what way has design research failed in the last 50 years? I first introduced it at DRS2016, with support from a 50th Anniversary bursary. Since then, the project has expanded and taken place at several conferences and other events. It also lives online at

    How did you come up with the idea?

    The project was a reaction to the 50th Anniversary of the DRS. Instead of being purely celebratory and focused on successes, this landmark seemed to me like an important moment to ask difficult questions and for the DRS to engage in self-critique. I thought this reflective process could then inform how design research moves forward into the next half-century.

    How do pataphysics and critical practice fit it?

    These ideas are a major influence for me, they help encourage critical thinking which help destabilize and move beyond notions of fixed ‘truth.’

    Why is failing so important to you?

    Failure is celebrated in design practice, but design researchers rarely honour or even articulate their failures. I think this is a missed opportunity that could help advance design research.

    Why do you think the project worked?

    Diversity is a major strength in the project. Different answers coming from different researchers make the results richer and encourage discussion. While the project is inherently open-ended, certain themes have started to emerge. I'm trying to pull these common threads together at the moment! 

    What do you think about the DRS?

    The DRS is inspiring to me. While it’s a major design research organization with a long history, its encouraging to see the DRS actively embrace new ideas and engage in self-critique. Hopefully this will continue and, over time, help respond to some new design research failures.

    How can others connect with your project?

    I'd love to get others involved with the project. Design researchers can use the project for themselves and adapt it to their own needs. Local and situated discussions and workshops would offer a valuable contribution to the larger conversation.

    What piece of advice would you give to design researchers?

    Of course: fail fast, succeed sooner!


    Søren would like to thank the many amazing people who have helped make Design Research Failures a reality. Project credits are available online at 

    Interested in getting involved in this interview series? Tell us about your exciting work or nominate another researcher. You can contact Isabel at

     February 19, 2018
  • Derek Jones posted an article
    DRS Student Research Bursary Scheme award recipients announced! see more

    The DRS Student Bursary Scheme has awarded bursaries to the following students:

    Lilian Bosch, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

    Anna Borzenkova, University of Wolverhampton

    Nico Klenner, RMIT University

    Florence Nwankwo, Nottingham Trent University

    Will Renel, Royal College of Art

    Tian Tian, School of Design, University of Leeds

    A record number of 23 applications were put through the double-blind review and selection process this year. Appreciation and thanks go to all students who submitted. The assessment panel noted how high the quality of the applications was this year, making it a very difficult task to arrive at the finalists.

    The assessment panel also agreed to increase the total number of awards made to six, a reflection of the quality of all submissions.

    Congratulations to those awarded and watch this space for some really interesting research reports in the coming year.

    The date of next year’s award will be announced via the DRS website and social media channels. Previous student bursary reports can be found here.

     November 03, 2017
  • 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
  • Peter Lloyd posted an article
    The Design Journal: new section and submission type - PhD Study Reports see more

    This year The Design Journal celebrates its 20th year and we are introducing a new section and submission type. PhD Study Reports provide an opportunity for PhD candidates in design and related fields to outline the scope, research questions and methodology they are using or intend to use and the contributions to knowledge they are hoping to make.

    This new section will highlight emerging areas of research and will enable the Journal’s readers to make contact with students if they have relevant sources, contacts or approaches that might help them.

    Since the purpose of these reports is to describe ongoing research, authors would not be expected to report on findings from completed work, although initial findings might be described.

    PhD Study reports should be no more than 2000 words in length, including the following sections: Overview, Key words, Main report, Acknowledgements (e.g. funding sources), References, Biography, Contact details.

    PhD study reports will be subject to one round of single-blind peer review, following which a decision of accept/revise/reject will be made.

    Submissions are invited at

    For informal enquiries, contact the Editorial Assistant Kirsty Christer at