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  • Anna Talley posted an article
    Find out more about the DRS' newest SIG on Interdisciplinary Textiles Research! see more

    The DRS is pleased to announce the launch of the Interdisciplinary Textiles Research Special Interest Group, convened by Tincuta Heinzel, Loughborough University, and co-convened by Delia Dumitrescu (Boras School of Textiles, Sweden); Sara Robertson (Royal College of Art, London, UK); Oscar Tomico (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL); Afroditi Psarra (University of Washington in Seattle, USA); Irene Posch (University of Arts, Linz, Austria); Anne Louise Bang (Via University College, Denmark). Aurélie Mossé (École des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France); Pirjo Kääriäinen (Aalto University, Finland); Faith Kane (Massey University, New Zealand); Julia Cassim (Visiting Professor, UAL, Kyushu University, Akita University of the Arts); and Elaine Igoe (University of the Arts, London / University of Portsmouth, UK). Read more about the new SIG below!

    What is your SIG about? 

    One of the oldest of technologies, textiles are positioned now at the leading edge of interdisciplinary work in design, arts, engineering, and theoretical research. Integral to our daily life (through fashion, interiors, technical uses ranging from space industry to medicine, building, agriculture or even soft robotic systems), textiles are the most common example of complexity in terms of materials research, design and fabrication processes, applications and uses, and for  speculative, metaphorical and semiotic inquiry. At the same time, textiles can be used as lenses to better understand and exemplify design interrogations and philosophies of making. The SIG encourages a systemic perspective that enables it to reflect on textiles objects, environments and contexts, to investigate textiles design processes and practices and the dynamics between them. 

    The communities involved in textiles research and production are extensive and diverse in terms of the cultures and skill sets involved. The aim of the SIG is precisely to fill this gap and facilitate international exchanges related to textile design research, to ensure that processes-oriented approaches are addressed  alongside their relevance to existing and hoped-for social and economic futures, where analysis and speculation can come together.

    What are your aims and goals?

    The aim of this SIG is to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary textiles design research -  to become a platform where art, design, and engineering-driven approaches to textiles are welcomed alongside the associated theoretical aspects related to them and the textile industry itself. The new SIG enables a platform from which to raise awareness of the potential roles and value of textile practice within interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary design research. By creating this space of discourse, connection and collaboration, our goal is to build capacity and extend the textile practice research. 

    Our areas of interest are related to the conception, fabrication and the use of textiles, their contexts and conditions of manufacturing and consumption, where both STEM and humanities approaches are encouraged. Collaborative, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives will aim to address the breadth of textiles: from materials and techniques to processes, from applications to social and industrial configurations, from historical to contemporary aspects related to textiles, from crafts to industrial textile design, as well as sustainable, aesthetic, and emotional aspects of textile design. The perspective we are adopting is that of textiles and textiles design, but also of their systems and ecosystems.

    The main aims of the SIG are:

    • To encourage an interdisciplinary approach to textiles design research;
    • To create a high-quality research environment for textiles design to support PhD students and early career researchers;
    • To facilitate the networking between the members of the SIG and to develop common research projects;
    • To offer a voice in the context of DRS to the researchers working in the field of textile design;
    • To offer visibility to the published research in the field of textiles design;
    • To internationalize the field of textiles design research.



    Who are the SIG's convenors? 

    This SIG is supported by the community involved in the organization of the Textile Intersections conference ( and members of Arcintex Network ( The SIG convenors are researchers in the field of design and textiles with experience in both academia and industry and a long track record of textiles- related research projects. Their expertise covers different areas of textiles design research and they are internationally active. 

    The SIG welcomes researchers and practitioners interested in the areas advanced by the SIG and get involved in the activities of the SIG and to support its development.



    Do you have any upcoming programs, newsletters, or events you'd like to share with our members? Or any ideas for the SIG you would like to pursue? 

    The first meeting of the SIG will take place during the Textile Intersections conference ( to be organized in London between 20th -23rd of September 2023 at Loughborough University - London campus. 

    Apart from the Textile Intersections conference, SIG members will also have the opportunity to meet and get involved in the activities of the upcoming Arcintex meetings ( 

    In October 2023, it will take place Textiles and Place conference at the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University ( 

    The SIG aims specifically to support young researchers and to offer visibility to their research in the field of textiles design research through annual doctoral consortiums, research seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and collaborative outputs. At the same time, Textile Intersections conference, which will be organized biannually, will offer a platform to present interdisciplinary research related to textiles design research. 

    Overall, one of the main aims of the SIG is to mediatise the relevant events related to textiles and textiles design research through newsletters.


    How will being based with the Design Research Society benefit your SIG's work and research?

    Being a part of the DRS community will enable the work and academic networks and connections that the SIG holds to expand. Based on their expertise, SIG members are encouraged to propose themes for new activities, lead discussions or facilitate SIG events, to co-author and review SIG publications. We are also planning to be proactive in the events organized by the DRS. Periodic communications with the other SIGs of the DRS and the DRS board will support the collaborations with those SIGs and the development of common events.

    The SIG also aims to establish a special repository in the frame of the DRS Digital Library, where the reviewed outputs of their activities will be published. Proceedings of the Textile Intersections conference, catalogues of the associated exhibitions, and special issues in partnerships with journals focusing on textiles design research (such as Journal of Textiles Design Research and Practice ( are just some examples of publications to be included in the DRS Digital Repository. We aim to create in this sense a specialized library dedicated to interdisciplinary textiles research.

    • Britta Boyer I would be interested to be involved in this - thanks, Britta -
      9 months ago
  • Anna Talley posted an article
    The Design Ethics SIG is the newest DRS Special Interest Group. see more

    The Design Ethics SIG is the newest DRS Special Interest Group. We spoke with DE SIG's convenors to learn more about them and the SIG's origins, aims and upcoming events. 

    Please introduce yourself and your work. Why did you decide to start the SIG and how does the SIG relate to your own research?

    Design Ethics (DE) SIG is an interdisciplinary group with a range of research expertise and interests, from design to philosophy of technology to international law. From the beginning, it was important for us to form an interdisciplinary platform that weaves together the critically reflective core of the humanities with the creative capacities of design. We believe that we can find the most fruitful opportunities to advance knowledge where disciplines merge and interdisciplinary tensions and dilemmas emerge. What we all have in common is that we embrace a critical stance towards our own disciplinary perspectives (critical researchers) and practices (critical practitioners), and feel committed to bridging theory and practice to achieve both societal and scientific change.

    DE SIG started with the simple observation that design ethics was not yet represented as a SIG. We thought that this was a gap and a missed  opportunity to engage all fields of design associated with DRS. Since design has its own responsibilities in being a challenge, but also a solution to some of the most pressing societal and environmental challenges, we believed it was important to create a SIG on design and ethics to create a space of reflection for designers and associated disciplines to support being sensitive to the historical, cultural, economic and political roots of these challenges. We aim for DE SIG to be a platform where such attitudes originate and develop by means of interdisciplinary conversations.


    What is your SIG about? What are your aims and goals?

    Design ethics is a broad, complex, and nuanced field. In a conversation that we hosted at the 2022 DRS conference in Bilbao, many ethical issues, moral dilemmas, and political questions were raised that academics and practitioners encounter in their daily practices – from doing research respectfully (i.e. research ethics), to accounting for the historical legacies of violence, to anticipating the future impact of emerging technologies. The variety and urgency of these challenges do not easily lend themselves to a single theory, checklist or a toolkit that can easily be copied and pasted from one project to the next. We require a systematic yet an organic way of thinking about ethical inquiry that originates from within the discipline. That’s why, as a result of that DRS22 Conversation, we felt most comfortable with framing design ethics as an invitation to care. What we mean by this is a practice informed by the feminist care literature that considers care as central to thinking about justice, but it also on a more methodological level means that ethics is not simply an  afterthought in design research and practice.

    Our main goal is to learn from each other and advance both academic and experiential knowledge. We want to do this through critique and conversation, questioning and dialoguing, and sharing examples and experiences. To do this effectively, we aim for each SIG activity to focus on a specific theme, such as a specific societal challenge, application field or a technology, that is relevant for our three main pillars of interest:

    ●    Scholarly foundations (theories and methods)

    ●    Educational approaches (didactics)

    ●    Design practices (experiences and challenges)


    Who are the SIG's convenors? 

    We are eight people in the group, six conveners, Deger, Michael, Christine, Sanna, Laura, and Delfina, who meet regularly to ensure continuity and Nolen and Naga Nandini in the extended organizing group who advise on new directions for SIG activities and help plan and promote them. We are looking for two more people to join the organizing group which we will recruit as we grow.


    Deger Ozkaramanli explores ethical inquiry in design from a methodological perspective, researching how to create room for critical-ethical reflection in design methodologies. For this, she focuses on moral dilemmas that arise in design processes.

    Michael Nagenborg works on the intersection of cities and technologies. He is especially interested in value-sensitive design and other pro-active approaches to address ethical challenges in design. His current research projects have a strong focus on AI. He is also teaching Design Ethics and related courses.

    Sanna Lehtinen works at the intersection of urban aesthetics, environmental philosophy, and philosophy of technology. She collaborates with a broad range of design professionals in interdisciplinary projects where ethical considerations are present at every step of the process.

    Delfina Fantini van Ditmar is a design researcher and Senior Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, School of Design. Driven by her interest in ecological thinking, reflective practices and inter-relations as a systemic response to the environmental collapse, Delfina's critical practice examines material ethics of care and the necessary paradigm shift in design.

    Christine Schwöbel-Patel is working (also in collaboration with D. Ozkaramanli) on design and international law, in particular to understand the framing and construction of stereotypes around migrants. She is also working on making visible and critiquing the international legal infrastructures of the green transition.

    Laura Ferrarello explores the applicability of ethical principles to design practices through participatory and co-design methods. Laura’s approach to ethics is centred on dialogue, as a method to engage designers in understanding roles and responsibilities in generating ethical issues, but also creative solutions. Laura created and currently directs the Future Learn course “The Ethical Innovator”.

    Advisory team:

    Nolen Gertz works on the existential and political significance of technologies in everyday life. He is Assistant Professor Applied Philosophy at the University of Twente where he teaches various courses on the ethics and politics of design in the Industrial Design Engineering program.

    Naga Nandini is a designer and educator working with curriculum and planning at Srishti, Bangalore. Her interests lie in traditional craft practices and artisan communities and their relevance to contemporary design processes. She also runs the Frugal Design lab to understand in different ways how frugality could play a larger role in design.


    Do you have any upcoming programs, newsletters, or events you'd like to share with our members? Or any ideas for the SIG you would like to pursue? 

    We have many ideas for our first event and will soon announce the date! We sense great interest in ethics and sustainability as an urgent topic to discuss and debate. Another one is to address ethical issues and political questions that arise in (design) practices outside of academia. Responding to such issues and questions as part of educational curricula is another pressing topic.

    For now, we invite everyone who is interested to become a member through the online discussion forum, on which we will announce all future events and collaboration opportunities. We are also building a mailing list for a quarterly newsletter to keep members up to date and engaged with events and developments. 

    We are particularly excited about organising a paper track dedicated to design ethics at each DRS conference, which will be the bloodline to build, advance and transfer new knowledge. We aim to complement the paper track with a workshop or a conversation session at each conference to amplify scholarly debate and discussion, but also support the application of principles, theories, norms and values to practice. 

    We want to organise similar sessions at other conferences as well in order to contribute to the visibility of both DE SIG and DRS. Finally, we will organize smaller, independent events, such as seminars or book/conference reviews, to have relatively less formal means of knowledge exchange and engagement. 


    How will being based with the Design Research Society benefit your SIG's work and research?

    DRS is the longest established worldwide society for design research and we are proud to be launching DE SIG as part of DRS. In addition, DRS is decidedly interdisciplinary in its approach, which has given us confidence that we will attract like-minded academics and practitioners to our network. Over the past decade, the DRS community has been at the forefront of discussing and defining the role of design - as a discipline and a profession - in addressing societal issues while maintaining a reflexive attitude. We value ambition, reflexivity and creativity, and look forward to building on these values to deepen design’s ethical and political sensitivities.

     March 17, 2023
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Exploring how design can drive innovation in policy and governance see more

    Introducing the New Design for Policy and Governance Special Interest Group

    We’re very pleased to announce a new DRS Special Interest Group (SIG)—Design for Policy and Governance (PoGoSIG). The group will bring together researchers, designers, and academics to explore how design can drive innovation in policy and governance. The group is led by convenor Scott Schmidt along with organising committee members Rachel Cooper, Michelle Douglas, Leigh-Anne Hepburn, and Louise Mullagh.

    Scott explains what inspired the SIG: “Recent global events such as the mass pandemic has led to calls for greater innovation in the interface between governments and their public. Design for Policy and Governance, a potential solution, is the process of systematically developing effective human-centered policies based on a combination of collaborative approaches, evidence-based criteria, and novel concepts while leveraging design-driven research methods.”

    PoGoSIG will be an engaging and informative resource for anyone interested in the intersections of design and policy, hosting discussions and events, developing new research materials, and collecting and sharing relevant information on the topic. Read more about this group and their mission on the PoGoSIG page and contact the SIG leadership team to get involved!

    The DRS has 12 SIGs including PoGoSIG. See the full list here. Members can join a SIG or start a new SIG by sending a proposal to the DRS Executive Board.

     December 17, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Get involved with Global Health SIG, Pluriversal Design SIG and Design Pedagogy SIG see more

    DRS SIG News: CFPs, Meetups and More

    DRS SIGs have been busy planning and hosting events, despite this unusual and rather chaotic academic year. There are lots of ways to engage with Global Health SIG (GHSIG), Pluriversal Design SIG (PluriSIG) and Design Pedagogy SIG (PedSIG) and participate in design research activities.

    GHSIG has been developing a crowdsourced repository of COVID-19 Public Health messages and information set by official national, regional and international bodies. This will be a source of information that researchers, public health authorities and policy makers can access and forward to communities around the world. The team is also analysing the data for a multinational and multicultural visual and language communication analysis of COVID-19 public health messages. They've started the analysis and expect to develop guidelines and a white paper on best practices. You can view the repository here.

    GHSIG also has a call for abstracts for a Little book on Global Health: Special Edition on COVID-19They’re looking for proposals for short case studies on health and wellbeing—the deadline is coming soon on 15th October. The book will be published in 2021 and will also include outcomes from the GHSIG Conversation at  DRS2020.

    As for PluriSIG, they’ve been running a bimonthly book club that reviewed and discussed Escobar’s Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy and the Making of Worlds and Santos’ Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide in September. The selections for October are Pluriverse: A Post-development Dictionary (16 Oct) and Pedagogy of the Oppressed (30 Oct). Visit Eventbrite to view the schedule or register.


    Finally, PedSIG has been buzzing with activities including bimonthly Distance Design Education Meetups and a discussion on the Futures of Design Education planned for 29 October. PedSIG is also organising their next biennial conference Learn X Design 2021, which will be hosted by Shandong University of Art & Design in September 2021. Full paper, workshop and case study submissions are due in March.

    Check out the DRS Events Calendar for a list of more design research events and add your event by contacting 

    The DRS is also looking to expand the SIG program. Contact to learn more.

     October 09, 2020
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Pivot 2020 aimed to generate learning and conversations around the Pluriverse see more

    Conference Report: Pivot 2020

    Pivot 2020 invited participants to consider how to design a ‘world of many centers and voices.’ We asked questions like: What does a world in which many worlds fit look like? What is needed to create this reality? Who is needed to support this change? Pivot 2020 aimed to highlight diverse voices, perspectives, epistemologies, and ontologies with an emphasis on design and social innovation.

    The event was initially planned as an in-person conference in New Orleans, USA. This location felt appropriate given the city’s diversity, history, and proximity to the Caribbean, Latin America and ‘other worlds.’ Then COVID-19 arrived and forced us to change our plans and adapt to an online format. We worked through the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic and invited people to join us for a day of virtual conversations. We always wanted to host a more inclusive conference and the online format helped us achieve this goal! It allowed for greater diversity of participants: we had presenters and stories from many countries—e.g., Indonesia, India, Kenya, Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Japan, Canada, several European countries, the Middle East, and the United States.

    Above: Screen shot of participants from across the world

    The event took place on 4th June 2020 on Zoom. We had a full day of presentations and discussions—8 sessions and more than 40 presenters stretched over 11 hours. Since we chose not to have parallel sessions, everyone watched the presentations together and engaged in conversations. The sessions covered themes such as ‘the Pluriverse is now,’ ‘decolonizing design education,’ ‘unlearning hegemony,’ ‘digital and emerging tech,’ ‘decentering futures,’ and more.

    There was significant debate among the presenters and audience about the need to create epistemologies and methods for design theory, practice and education that can help design move away from its traditional Eurocentric approach and move toward more plural forms of participation. Conference attendees proposed new courses for a pluriversal design education, challenged each other to diversify their references, and shared suggestions for a more diverse reference list. These ideas and discussions will be made available through the Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group.

    One of our biggest challenges when planning the event was to simulate a conference atmosphere. In our view, the social and interpersonal aspect at conferences is almost as important as the presentations—it enables new connections, meaningful encounters between people thinking along the same lines, and the formation of a community with shared interests. To support this social aspect, we divided Pivot 2020 participants into occasional breakout rooms to chat and meet each other. We also had a very active chat-box where some of the most meaningful connections were formed. We were positively surprised by the level of engagement in these chat-box discussions!

    Many of the presenters sent us pre-recorded video presentations. These videos are available on the DRS YouTube channel and the Taylor Center’s webpage, enabling further post-conference engagement. Pivot 2020 conference proceedings will be published later this year.



    Dr. Renata M. Leitão, Conference Co-chair and Pluriversal Design SIG Convenor; Instructor, OCAD University

    Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel, Conference Co-chair and Pluriversal Design SIG Convenor; Associate Director for Design Thinking for Social Impact, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation & Design Thinking, Tulane University

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Design research to improve the personal and societal wellbeing and happiness of people see more

    New Publication from SIGWELL — Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach

    On behalf of SIGWELL (the DRS Special Interest Group of Design for Wellbeing, Happiness and Health), we are excited to announce that our first book Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach has now been published in print. This book has never been more timely, as humankind is witnessing an ever-increasing ambition to live long, happy, healthy and flourishing lives. Design has an essential role to play here, in delivering wellbeing in all its forms. Design for Wellbeing charts the development and application of design research to improve the personal and societal wellbeing and happiness of people. It draws together contributions from internationally leading academics and designers to demonstrate the latest thinking on the design of products, technologies, environments, services and experiences for wellbeing.

    We had the pleasure of chairing a  SIGWELL conference paper track on Design for Wellbeing at the DRS2016 conference in Brighton, UK.  Following the presentations, Professor Rachel Cooper came over and asked if we might like to edit a book on design for wellbeing as part of her Design for Social Responsibility series. Of course we jumped at the opportunity, and three years later, we are so pleased to see our project conclude in the publication of our printed book!

    As Rachel Cooper in her preface to the book writes:

    “I am pleased to have supported Rebecca Cain and Ann Petermans in contributing this volume to the series, building a theoretical, practical and very useful reference text and baseline for future work on ‘Design for Wellbeing'”.

    Above: SIGWELL board members at the 2019 DRS SIGWELL Colloquium, TUDelft

    The foundations of the book started with many of the papers which came out of the DRS2016 SIGWELL conference track, and we also included invited chapters from other experts in the field. We were honoured to have such a good response to invitations to contribute to the book, which represented the current breadth of applied research in designing for wellbeing. The book is structured in four parts. Part I sets the scene on design for wellbeing with a general introduction to the field. Part II explores specific domains in wellbeing including designing for living with dementia, ageing in place, social connectedness and social interaction in the design of interior environments, future travel and healthy eating for behaviour change. Part III explores tools, methods and approaches for design for wellbeing, including co-designing, creative methods, scenario card games, social practice approach and dilemma thinking. Part IV concludes with a look forward to the future challenges of design for wellbeing in the contexts of mental health, housing in later life and international perspectives.

    This edited collection is the first book delivered by SIGWELL, and highlights the international community already involved in research on design for wellbeing. SIGWELL is an international community of design researchers interested in design for wellbeing in its broadest sense. SIGWELL is currently chaired by Ann Petermans and was founded and previously chaired by Rebecca Cain. SIGWELL invites design researchers to come together around design for wellbeing research events, publications and special tracks at DRS conferences. 


    Read more about SIGWELL here

    Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach is published by Routledge and is available here

    It is part of the Design for Social Responsibility Series



    Rebecca Cain, SIGWELL Founding Convenor; DRS Interim Advisory Council Member; Professor, Loughborough Design School

    Ann Petermans, SIGWELL Convenor; Professor, Hasselt University

     February 10, 2020
  • 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
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Overview of the DRS InclusiveSIG symposium at Brunel University London see more

    Conference Report: DRS InclusiveSIG Symposium 2019

    In June 2019, the DRS Special Interest Group 'Inclusive Design Research' (InclusiveSIG) organised a half-day symposium on inclusive design and making at Brunel University London. The event was hosted by Dr. Busayawan lam and Dr. Youngok Choi from Brunel University. It had about 30 attendees from the UK, China and Turkey.

    The symposium included presentations from local and international inclusive design researchers. The image above shows the speakers and symposium hosts. InclusiveSIG Convenor Prof. Hua Dong from Loughborough University spoke about the historic evolution of inclusive design. She also introduced a new book Inclusive Design: Chinese Archive (Tongji University Press, 2019), which addresses the 6Ps of inclusive design research: principles, processes, projects, pedagogy, people and publications.

    Above: Photo from the inclusive design symposium in London

    From Brunel University, Dr. Eujin Pei introduced disruptive ideas on additive manufacturing for inclusive design and Dr. Vanja Garaj spoke about a newly funded project on inclusive design of immersive reality. Dr. Christopher McGinley from the Royal College of Art presented recent case studies in the field. Finally, Dr. Abdusselam Selami Cifter from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University gave a superb talk on a web-based platform that promotes accessibility in design.

    As a whole, the symposium highlighted current thinking on inclusive design research and practice in China, Turkey and the UK. Applications of new technology and community collaboration emerged as important topics. To follow-up, the DRS InclusiveSIG is planning another symposium at Loughborough University in October.



    Hua Dong, InclusiveSIG Convenor

  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Conference theme: ‘knowing together – experiential knowledge and collaboration’ see more

    Conference Report: EKSIG 2019

    EKSIG 2019 was the international conference of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG). The event took place 23–24 September 2019 at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia. With the theme ‘knowing together – experiential knowledge and collaboration,’ the conference explored collaborative knowledge generation by professionals and academic researchers in the creative disciplines and beyond.

    The aim of the conference was to understand how individual experiential knowledge/knowledge gained by practice is shared; how collective experiential knowledge is accumulated/communicated in/through collaboration; and how experiential knowledge is embodied in outputs and can be traced back to practice. The conference also highlighted making as 'action of change': matter is transformed by a collaborative team and their material/non-material environments.

    Top left: Keynote presenter Prof. Juhani Pallasmaa delivering his talk ‘Embodied and Empathic Knowledge – intuiting experience and life in architecture’ | Above centre: Participants interacting with an interactive play mat at a conference exhibition. Photos: Kristiine Špongolts.

    The conference received great international response with submissions from researchers across four continents. Papers were interdisciplinary and came from fields including architecture, behavioural science, ceramics, culinary art, design engineering, digital craft, education, fashion and HCI.

    Accepted submissions were organised around five strands: 

    • Handmade and digital crafts in collaboration
    • Making as action of change
    • Collaboration toward sustainability
    • Multi-stakeholder collaboration
    • Collaboration and knowledge transfer

    Above centre: Audience at presentations on handmade and digital crafts in collaboration. Photo: Kristiine Špongolts.

    In addition to paper presentations, the conference had keynotes by Prof. Juhani Pallasmaa and Prof. Ron Wakkary, a workshop, and an exhibition featuring artefacts created in dialogue with papers presented at the conference.

    Discussions among the conference delegates were very stimulating. The small scale of the conference (40 participants) created an informal and friendly environment that invited delegates to fully engage themselves in discussions. One of the most interesting conversations was about the generation/transfer of experiential knowledge in collaborative practices that extend collaboration to non-humans (i.e. materials, machines, matter and environment).

    The post-conference publication will be a special issue of CoDesign to be published in 2020.



    Nithikul Nimkulrat, Conference Chair and EKSIG Convenor; Associate Professor, OCAD University, Canada

     December 03, 2019
  • 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
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    GHSig explores and promotes health design research across the world see more

    Introducing the Global Health SIG

    We’re thrilled to announce a new DRS Special Interest Group (SIG) — Global Health SIG (GHSig)The group will explore and promote health design research across the world. It’s convened by Emmanuel Tsekleves and Fatima Ghani, and includes organising committee members Claudia de Souza Libanio, Yonette Thomas, Ming Cheung, Charles Ebikeme and Pablo HermansenHere’s what Tsekleves had to say about the new group.


    What inspired the GHSig?

    We came together to tackle health challenges across the world. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are a major inspiration for our work.

    Are there global collaborations within the GHSig team?

    Absolutely! Our goal is to engage health and design researchers from the Global South and foster research collaborations between DRS members across the world.

    What’s the expertise of the organising team?

    We’re a group of academics, researchers and professionals from across all continents. We share a passion and interest for global health and design.

    What research activities are you planning?

    Lots of things — this includes local events, capacity-building workshops and publishing global health case studies. Our first event will take place in South East Asia in 2020.

    How can DRS members get involved?

    You can read about our mission on the Global Health SIG page and contact me to join. We’re looking forward to meeting other DRS members working in this field!


    The DRS has 11 SIGs including the new Global Health SIG. See the full list here. Members can join a SIG or start a new SIG by making a proposal to DRS Council.

     August 26, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    The latest insights in design for wellbeing education, with a special focus on ethics see more

    Conference Report: DRS SIGWELL Conference 2019

    In April 2019, the DRS Special Interest Group 'Design for Wellbeing, Happiness and Health' (SIGWELL) organised a one-day conference on Design for Wellbeing Education at the TUDelft Teaching Lab. The conference explored the latest insights in design for wellbeing education, with a special focus on ethics. It had about 70 attendees - a nice group for our first renewed SIGWELL event! We used different presentation formats to inspire the audience. This included keynote presentations, workshops and a series of short presentations.



    After opening words by SIGWELL Chair Ann Petermans, the day started with a keynote lecture by Prof. Dr. Peter-Paul Verbeek titled ‘Designing Wellbeing: Responsible Design and Value Change’. Next, Prof. Dr. Pieter Desmet and Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl led a workshop on tools and methods for design for wellbeing, and Jet Gispen led a workshop on ethical reflections toward design for wellbeing. After the workshops, Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer gave an informative talk entitled ‘A flourishing University – Designing Systematically for Academic Wellbeing.’ She stressed that we need to develop a better understanding of creative methods and practices to address today’s complex societal challenges.

    After lunch, we had short presentations with five contributors: Armin Nagel discussed his Happy Waiting project, Stefan Persaud talked about education for happiness, Dr. Mathieu Gielen spoke about co-design with kids, Pelin Esnaf examined empathy as a design skill, and Chiel van der Linden discussed 'the holy grail' of worldwide wellbeing. The day ended with a keynote presentation by Andrew James, assistant principal at Mount Waverley North Primary School in Melbourne, Australia. He explained how positive design and principles from positive psychology were explored and applied in his school with children aged 10-12.

    Although the conference is over, we're looking forward to some great upcoming events. Many SIGWELL members have contributed to an upcoming design for wellbeing book with Routledge. And, of course, we hope to be present at DRS 2020!



    Ann Petermans, SIGWELL Chair

  • DRS Administrator posted an article
    Would you like the opportunity to take on the leadership of PedSIG or Sustainability SIG? see more

    Call for DRS Pedagogy SIG and Sustainability SIG leads

    Would you like the opportunity to take on the leadership of PedSIG or Sustainability SIG? Last year the convenors of these two SIGs stepped down and we have had acting SIG leads in the interim period. DRS members are invited to nominate themselves with a convening group to lead PeDSIG (Design Pedagogy SIG) and SustainabilitySIG (Sustainable Design SIG).

    The DRS  Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a vital part of the Society, bringing together communities of design researchers with a common interest in a particular area of design research. SIGs organise conferences and events to create opportunities for discussion around the world. The last two International DRS conferences have hosted themed tracks by both Sustainability and Design Pedagogy SIGs. The Design PedSIG also organises the biennial LearnXdesign conference series. Each SIG is led by a Convenor and supported by an organising group.

    What to do next

    If you are interested in either leading PedSIG or Sustainability SIG, please complete the application form and send to by April 1, 2019.

    The applications will be reviewed by the DRS International Advisory council, and feedback will be given as required to refine the proposals. The confirmation of new SIG convenors will be subject to approval by the DRS International Advisory Council.

    For further information please contact the DRS Administrator Linda Anderson

     March 03, 2019
  • Isabel Prochner posted an article
    Radical, liberatory, intercultural and pluralistic conversations about design see more

    Introducing the Pluriversal Design SIG

    We’re thrilled to announce a new DRS Special Interest Group (SIG) — Pluriversal Design (PluriSIG). The group promotes radical, liberatory, intercultural and pluralistic conversations about design. PluriSIG is convened by Lesley-Ann Noel and Renata M. Leitao, and includes organising committee members Tanveer Ahmed, Xaviera Sanchez de la Barquera Estrada and Nicholas Baroncelli Torretta. 

    Read more about this group and their mission on the PluriSIG page, and contact the convenors to get involved!

    The group has already initiated a discussion on the meaning of Pluriversal Design. Noel and Leitao have also announced upcoming projects for the group:

    • PluriSIG Book Club
      • Weekly group readings of relevance to the SIG, followed by discussions on the SIG discussion pageThe first book is Design for the Pluriverse by Arturo Escobar. Other authors on the reading list include Mario Blaser, Isabelle Stengers and Boaventura de Souza Santos.
    • Decolonizing Design Reference Lists
      • This project will co-create design reference lists including authors from a variety of cultures and countries.
    • Pluriversal Design Resource Library
      • This project aims to collect and share resources that promote pluriversality, such as anti-oppression tool-kits, guidelines for community engagement, anti-design saviorism toolkits etc.
    • Discussions and Interviews
      • Vimeo channel with curated interviews about design practices, epistemologies and design research methods that challenge concepts of modernity and development, and highlight the work of design researchers from outside Europe and North America.