A Q&A with Katelijn Quartier, Convenor of the Designing Retail and Service Futures SIG, on their Inaugural ColloquiumKatelijn Quartier, convenor of Retail and Services Futures SIG, on their upcoming colloquium. see more
The call for papers was recently launched for the inaugural Designing Retail and Service Futures SIG Colloquium, taking place in March 2023. We caught up with Katelijn Quartier, Convenor of the Designing Retail and Service Futures SIG to hear more about the SIG's work, her role as convenor and the upcoming colloquium.
Please introduce yourself! What is your research about and role as convenor of the Designing Retail and Services Futures SIG?
I am Katelijn Quartier of Hasselt University, Faculty of Architecture and Arts where I am also the academic director of the Retail Design Lab. My research is about the design of the store of today and tomorrow. With the Retail Design Lab we have developed a platform where designers and retailers can find scientific insights offered in a low threshold manner. We have developed design guidelines and tools to aid practise. We serve retailers and designers, big and small, to get to optimale store designs.
Regarding our SIG, I always felt that designing for the commercial sector falls in between chairs every conference, journal, etc. We had already set up a few events with a small group and noticed that there was interest in this after all. In a next step, we then applied for our SIG and with success. As convenor, I see myself as the initiator of the group. I facilitate the meetings and contribute ideas, just as other members do. If the group is excited about something then we move forward with it, just like the organization of this colloquium. We didn't have to think twice about this, everyone was on board from the beginning. We obviously want to have a bigger impact than organizing a colloquium. We want to be the network where everyone can go who are involved with retail and services.If we can gather all the knowledge at one point, then we can also share that knowledge and aspire to be a reference for both the academic field and for practice.
What work is your SIG engaged in? How do you aim for the colloquium further the work of the Designing Retail and Services Futures SIG and retail and service design theory and practices more broadly?
Our SIG strives to get a better understanding of the value of design in the commercial sector, including closely linked disciplines, such as branding, marketing, and consumer psychology. Design and the value of it has been a subject of study for many years and from many different disciplines (ranging from product design to marketing, business economics, service design, environmental psychology, (interior)architecture, etc), but in a rather fragmented way, and with each their own research methods. The colloquium wants to add to that knowledge in the broad field of design but more importantly, bring such knowledge together and develop a common language. Indeed, there is a need to bring these disciplines and related knowledge and insights together to calibrate terms and meanings, to understand each other and to work together. All to be able to create more holistic and more encompassing stories (for the customer).
The theme of the colloquium is 'Reimagining the future for retail and service design theory and practices’. How did you settle on this theme and how do you hope it will be explored in the conference?
Recent developments, that have been accelerated by the pandemic, show that in practice services are becoming a part of retail and vice versa. It all starts from the need of the consumer and to be able to better serve him/her. Whether it be online or offline, for a product or a service or an experience, or all together… It is only natural that the research world follows this trend. So to mainstream this we came up with the theme as it is closely related to what the SIG stands for. It is our first colloquium so we felt that we had to keep it broad, yet linked to our work. We organised an online brainstorm session with all members. We started to fill in a Miro board one week in advance of the brainstorm session. All ideas gathered were grouped in themes and are now present in the sub themes of the colloquium. So the colloquium is also very exploratory in nature. We want to bring together as many people as possible so that we can have fine discussions in terms of content. Therefore, time has also been made in the program for these discussions. We also organize a special PhD event so that they too can have discussions with peers as well as seek feedback from professors and senior researchers. Of course, fun and inspiration should not be missing either. We are therefore organizing a conference dinner AND a retail safari through London's most inspiring examples.
Finally, everything will also be published so that the knowledge can be further disseminated. In this way, we want to both increase our community and contribute to knowledge.
Where can people go to learn more about the activities of the Designing Retail and Services Futures SIG? Do you have any information that you’d like to provide for potential members interested in joining the SIG?
You can contact me at Katelijn.email@example.com if you're interested in joining the SIG, and visit our webpage to see our organising committee and current members.
Nithikul Nimkulrat, convenor of EKSIG, tells us more about EKSIG and their upcoming 2023 conference. see more
In light of the upcoming Experiential SIG (EKSIG) conference and call for papers, we got in touch with Nithikul Nimkulrat, convenor of EKSIG, to tell us more about what EKSIG does, their past conference series, the 2023 conference in Milan and how to get involved.
Please introduce yourself! What is your research about and role as convenor of EKSIG?
I am Nithikul Nimkulrat, currently working at OCAD University in Canada as Associate Professor and Acting Chair of the Material Art & Design program, Faculty of Design. My current research explores the materiality of analogue and digital material practices from an embodied and phenomenological perspective, focusing how experiential knowledge is generated from within craft processes in the context of practice-led design research. My role as convenor of EKSIG is to facilitate the discussion and development of design research that focuses on knowledge production through experiential learning and the communication of tacit knowledge through artefacts and documentation of creative processes. I provide the international SIG members with a forum for engaging and working actively together via three main activities: 1) the biennial EKSIG conference and its conference proceedings; 2) the EKSIG strand at the biennial DRS conference; and 3) publications in the forms of journal special issues or edited books compiling articles that fall within the scope of EKSIG and are relevant to the interest of the SIG members.
What is EKSIG concerned about? What kind of work does the SIG do?
EKSIG is concerned with the understanding and role of knowledge in research and professional practice in design, in order to clarify fundamental principles of using design practice within research both with regard to research regulations and requirements, and research methodology. Research carried out by the SIG members varies, depending on their professional design practice and research focus. However, the shared interest lies in how design practice can be exercised and examined within the design research context.
Can you tell us a bit about the previous EKSIG conferences? What were their themes and explorations?
The EKSIG conference series was organized for the first time in 2007 at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, and has since been organized every two years in various locations. The themes of all EKSIG conferences have centred around the role and understanding of experiential knowledge in design research and practice. . The archive of the EKSIG conferences can be found from https://eksig.org/conferences.html.
The last EKSIG conference took place in 2019 at the Estonian Academy of Arts. We had a pause in 2021 due to the uncertainty of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of EKSIG 2019 was “Knowing Together – experiential knowledge and collaboration”. It explored collaboration within research and commercial teams that comprise creative professionals/researchers (such as designers, artists, architects, etc.) and members with other diverse disciplinary expertise. The aim was to understand how individual experiential knowledge, or knowledge gained by practice, could be shared and how collective experiential knowledge could be accumulated and communicated in and through collaboration as well as how it could be embodied in the outputs and might be traced back to the origin of the practice.
The theme of EKSIG 2017 hosted by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands focused on the experiential knowledge of designing with emerging materials that are alive, active, and adaptive, whether by means of biological or computational processes or an integration of the two. The conference aimed to illuminate how such materials could be understood and designed and how they could act as a medium in the creation of unique material experiences.
What is the theme of the 2023 EKSIG conference? Why did you choose this theme and what do you hope it will prompt designers and design researchers to think about?
The theme of EKSIG 2023 “From Abstractness to Concreteness - experiential knowledge and the role of prototypes in design research” emphasizes the creation of prototypes as a mean for knowledge production by professionals and academic researchers, exploring the role and relationship of generating and evaluating new or existing knowledge in design and other creative disciplines. This theme was chosen because of the increasing importance of prototypes and prototyping in design research. We hope that this theme will prompt designers and design researchers to think about the current multifaceted landscape of design research that opens to a wide range of meanings that define what a prototype is and does, i.e., the roles of prototypes in design research. Prototypes may support design research in various ways; they may, for example, enable the creation of practical, procedural, or theoretical knowledge and support empirical or speculative research.
Where can people go to learn more about the 2023 conference and how to join EKSIG?
People can learn more about EKSIG 2023 from the conference website, https://www.eksig2023.polimi.it/. To join EKSIG, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. DRS members can sign up for Experiential Knowledge Forum at https://www.designresearchsociety.org/groups/experiential-sig.
The DRS is pleased to announce the newest SIG, Designing Retail and Services Futures! see more
The DRS is pleased to announce the newest Special Interest Group, Designing Retail and Services Futures, convened by Prof. Dr. Katelijn Quartier of Hasselt University, Faculty of Architecture and Arts and the Retail Design Lab. We recently caught up with Dr. Quartier to learn more about the new SIG!
What is your SIG about? What are your aims and goals?
We strive to get a better understanding of the value of design in the commercial sector, including closely linked disciplines, such as branding, marketing, and consumer psychology. Design and the value of it has been a subject of study for many years and from many different disciplines (ranging from product design to marketing, business economics, service design, environmental psychology, (interior)architecture, etc), but in a rather fragmented way, and with each their own research methods. Recent developments, that have been accelerated by the pandemic, show that in practice services are becoming a part of retail and vice versa. It all starts from the need of the consumer and to be able to better serve him/her. Whether it be online or offline, for a product or a service or an experience, or all together… It is only natural that the research world follows this trend. So, the Retail & Service Design SIG aims to: further develop knowledge in the broad field of design and bring insights together leading to a more holistic understanding of the value of design. Last but not least we aim to develop and foster more interdisciplinary research collaborations in design for retail and service design between DRS members and other researchers worldwide.
Who are the SIGs convenors? Why did you decide to start the SIG and how does the SIG relate to your own research?
I started the SIG, together with Dr. Signe Mørk Madsen, VIA University College, Retail Design & Business; Dr. Carmen Malvar, VIA University College Dr. Francesca Murialdo, Middlesex University; Prof. Dr. Anja Overdiek, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences; Ilse Prinsloo, University of Johannesburg, interior design. I always felt that designing for the commercial sector falls in between chairs every conference, journal, etc. So we started to organise small initiatives ourselves in which we saw that there was quite some interest. That is why we decided to make sure that all designing for the commercial sector would have a shared place to turn to. As most of our SIG organizers, I am a designer and researcher in retail design myself.
Do you have any programs, newsletters, or events you'd like to share with our readers?
We will have our first special track on https://www.drs2022.org/theme-tracks/ DRS 2022 in Bilbao.
Is there any published work from your SIG you'd like to share?
We have published a book : "The Value of Design in Retail and Branding” (by Emerald, 2021).
How has being based with the Design Research Society benefitted your SIG's work and research?
The network and the support are great!
How can people get involved with your SIG? Where can we find more about you or follow you?