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
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 https://www.designresearchsociety.org/cpages/wellbeing-happiness-sig
Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach is published by Routledge and is available here https://www.routledge.com/Design-for-Wellbeing-An-Applied-Approach-1st-Edition/Petermans-Cain/p/book/9781138562929
It is part of the Design for Social Responsibility Series https://www.routledge.com/Design-for-Social-Responsibility/book-series/DSR
Rebecca Cain, SIGWELL Founding Convenor; DRS Interim Advisory Council Member; Professor, Loughborough Design School
Ann Petermans, SIGWELL Convenor; Professor, Hasselt University
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 Drive. The 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
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
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
DRS Administrator posted an articleCall 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 2021. For an application pack and guidance on making a proposal, please email the PedSIG Convenor Derek Jones (email@example.com).
+++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 here. Further information on past conferences is available in the application pack.
Contact Derek Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any further questions.
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 Hermansen. Here’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?
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 articleWould 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
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 email@example.com.
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 page. The 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.
- PluriSIG Book Club