Theme – tracks

These are theme tracks proposed, in an open call, by groups of researchers interested in bringing together researchers working on particular areas, and tracks organised by the DRS’s Special Interest Groups. We also have an Open Call for papers covering a wide gamut of design research subjects; please submit your paper to either a Theme Track or the Open Call.

New Approaches to Design

Systems and Transitions

Design Management and Strategic Design

AI and Design

Social Design and Co-Design


Responsible Design and Sustainability

Inclusive design

Design for Health and Wellness

Design Education

Policy and Governance

STS and Philosophy

Finance, Law, Economics

Architecture, Planning, Heritage

Other Special Interest Groups theme-tracks

Designing with Bodily Materials

Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard (AHO)
Madeline Balaam (KTH)

Designers are increasingly exploring bodily materials (e.g. fluids, flesh, heat) as possible sources for self-knowledge, empowerment and expression, critique of how the body has been treated by the field of design, and among other things, new types of interaction techniques and applications. Across artistic and scientific disciplines, the body is considered as a lively and transformable material, with the potential to unsettle and reconfigure relations with ourselves and the environment. In the design industry, products are emerging which e.g. promise to analyze menstrual blood to diagnose particular health conditions; that enable people to play games through squeezing muscles; or smart fabrics which respond to body heat and sweat by changing shape.

Designing with bodily materials requires new approaches to how and who do design work, new skills and technologies to incorporate into design processes, and new kinds of interdisciplinary collaborations. The work is challenging and interesting because it means working with bodily materials that may carry diseases and be stigmatized, using tools and techniques which borrow from biology and chemistry, developing new lab/workshop spaces and practices that enable for prototyping, and creating new concepts and speculations on how designers and users may care for, live with or attend to their own and other’s bodily materials.

There is a need to share experiences, expertise, best practices, failures, and nascent results to help nurture a community. With this theme track we intend to create a first space within which we can build a network across this new potential.

Valuing the qualitative in design and data

Daphne Menheere, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Dan Lockton, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Chang Hee Lee, KAIST, South Korea
Marion Lean, UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, United Kingdom
Carine Lallemand, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Dietmar Offenhuber, Northeastern University, United States
Holly Robbins, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Elisa Giaccardi, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Samuel Huron, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France

Often it’s qualities which help us make sense of the world. From a cat’s purr, to wrinkled fingertips in the bath, the feel of fabric, the crunch of fallen leaves, or a map we draw for a friend, much of our experience is qualitative rather than quantitative. We live and feel in conversation with our perceptions of qualities of phenomena, people (including our own bodies), materials, and relationships between them. Telling someone you’re 7/10 happy, or 62% in love, or even that you managed 10,000 steps today, is less meaningful than a richer description of your experience.

Yet design so often—particularly in digital contexts—defaults to quantification (however creatively) as a mode for information visualisation, interaction with technology, and research around people’s experiences, introducing extra layers of abstraction from the world.

We believe that qualitative expressions of experience offer opportunities for new forms of understanding, types of relations, meaning-making, and (re)connections—with nature, with the systems around us, with ourselves, and with each other. We invite work exploring the qualitative, indexical, poetic, analogue, indeterminate, interpretative, and perceptual, in design, data (loosely defined), and research with people (or nonhumans). Experiments, cases, reflections, and theoretical pieces are welcomed, including (but not exclusively) approaches such as:

  • drawing, patterns
  • materials and material expressions (traces, ageing, forms of repair)
  • textiles
  • biodesign, soft robotics
  • kinaesthetics, somaesthetic design
  • models, metaphors
  • synaesthesia
  • data physicalisation, materialisation, sonification, autographic visualisations
  • analogue computing, tangible interaction design
  • ethnographic and inventive social science methods
  • ways of linking qualitative and quantitative
  • the written word

We don’t exclude the numerical, but would like to see it contextualised through qualities. Our aim is that by bringing together a group of researchers interested in this way of designing, collectively we can demonstrate its possibilities and opportunities, learn from each other, and inspire others.


  • Daphne Menheere, Ida Damen, Carine Lallemand, and Steven Vos, 2020. Ivy: A Qualitative Interface to Reduce Sedentary Behavior in the Office Context. Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’ 20 Companion). ACM, July 2020, 329–332.
  • Marion H. A. Lean, 2020. Inbodied interaction design example: Fat Tapestry. Interactions 27(2), 46–47.
  • Chang Hee Lee and Tibor Balint, 2021. Martian Delight: Exploring Qualitative Contact for Decoupled Communications. Acta Astronautica, in press.
  • Dan Lockton, Delanie Ricketts, Shruti Aditya Chowdhury, and Chang Hee Lee, 2017. Exploring Qualitative Displays and Interfaces. Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’17), ACM, May 2017, 1844–1852.
  • Dietmar Offenhuber, 2020. What We Talk About When We Talk About Data Physicality. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 40(6), 25–37.
  • Dietmar Offenhuber and Orkan Telhan, 2015. Indexical Visualization—the Data-Less Information Display. In Ulrik Ekman, Jay David Bolter, Lily Diaz, Morten Søndergaard, and Maria Engberg (eds.), Ubiquitous Computing, Complexity and Culture, 288–303. Routledge, New York
  • Holly Robbins, Elisa Giaccardi, and Elvin Karana, 2016. Traces as an Approach to Design for Focal Things and Practices. Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI ’16). ACM.
  • Alice Thudt, Uta Hinrichs, Samuel Huron, and Sheelagh Carpendale, 2018. Self-Reflection and Personal Physicalization Construction. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM.
  • Laura Devendorf, 2021. ‘Wear’. March 12, 2021.
  • Marion H.A. Lean, in press. Materialising data feminism—how textile designers are using materials to explore data experience.


Design Methods and Transdisciplinary Practices

TRACK-CHAIRS Deger Ozkaramanli is assistant professor in Human-Centred Design, and DesignLab research fellow at the University of Twente. She co-coordinates the educational programme: Transdisciplinary Master-Insert in Shaping Responsible Futures. Her research focuses on developing knowledge and methods to address (ethical) dilemmas and (value) conflicts in design processes. Cristina Zaga is assistant professor in Human-Centred Design, and researcher at DesignLab, at the University of Twente. Her research focuses on the interaction of design and related methodologies for developing technologies (e.g. robots and IoTs) that aim for societal good. At DesignLab, she investigates methods, tools, and techniques to connect science, technology, and society through responsible design.



The academics who will contribute to the review process include but are not limited to: Mascha van der Voort is Vice-Dean Education at the University of Twente (UT), Faculty of Engineering Technology, full professor in Human-Centred Design, scientific codirector of UT DesignLab, scientific co-director of Design United, and the 4TU Research Centre for Design. Mascha integrates disciplines ranging from policy making to healthcare to address societal challenges. 

Dr. Klaasjan Visscher is head of the section Science, Technology and Policy Studies at the faculty of Behavioral, Management & Social Sciences. He leads the Comenius leadership fellows project ‘Structuring Interdisciplinary Projects for Engineering Students’ and is board member of the ComeniusNetwork. Klaasjan is also research fellow at the UT DesignLab and programme director of the Transdisciplinary master-insert ‘Shaping Responsible Futures’. 

Dr. Nazli Cila is Assistant Professor of Human-Agent Partnerships at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. Her research focuses on collaborations with autonomous agents and their socio-technical implications.



Our society is confronted with complex challenges that extend across life domains (e.g. health, sustainability, digitalization) and require transdisciplinary collaboration to create meaningful and sustainable change (Lang et al., 2012). Transdisciplinary knowledge spaces integrate the disciplinary knowledge of contributing academic disciplines and the experiential knowledge of societal stakeholders to instigate scientific and societal impact (Knapp et al., 2019). 

Alongside advances in transdisciplinary studies, the scope of design has been expanding from focusing on individuals to on society, and from designing products and/or services to (re-)-imagining socio-technical systems (Norman & Stappers, 2015; Dorst, 2019). This expansion renders design methods and approaches, such as human-centred design, participatory design, systemic design, and speculative design, relevant for transdisciplinary collaboration (e.g. Van der Bijl-Brouwer & Dorst, 2017; Dorst, 2018; Gonera & Pabst, 2019). Up till now, design has been framed as the ‘binding glue’ in projects involving multiple disciplines (e.g. Kelley & van Patter, 2005). However, transdisciplinary practices can be extremely challenging due to both theoretical and contextual reasons (e.g. clashing disciplinary values and methods, power dynamics among stakeholders, strict institutional structures, divergent citizen perspectives…etc.). As design and transdisciplinary studies merge, the knowledge spaces that design operates in become increasingly complex. Against this backdrop, is the metaphor of ‘the binding glue’ still sufficient? What could be new roles for design in transdisciplinary practices? 

This theme aims to trigger a timely scholarly discussion around the shifting role of design in transdisciplinary knowledge spaces. We aim to identify new roles (cf. Valtonen, 2020) – and therefore new metaphors – that design can play in transdisciplinary collaborations. With this, we want to reveal the opportunities and challenges that await design researchers in conceptualizing the scientific and societal impact of their work. As a result, this theme opens up the transdisciplinarity discussion in design research and prepare the DRS community for new collaborations aiming to create better futures.


  • Dorst, K. (2018). Mixing Practices to Create Transdisciplinary Innovation: A design-based approach. Technology Innovation Management Review, 8(8), 60-65. 
  • Dorst, K. (2019). Design beyond design. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 5(2), 117-127. 
  • Gonera, A., & Pabst, R. (2019). The use of design thinking in transdisciplinary research and innovation consortia: Challenges, enablers, and benefits. Journal of Innovation Management, 7(3), 96-122. 
  • Kelley, D., & VanPatter, G. K. (2005). Design as glue. NextD Journal, 7(21), 1-9. 
  • Knapp, C. N., Reid, R. S., Fernández-Giménez, M. E., Klein, J. A., & Galvin, K. A. (2019). Placing transdisciplinarity in context: A review of approaches to connect scholars, society and action. Sustainability, 11(18), 4899-4924. 
  • Lang, D. J., Wiek, A., Bergmann, M., Stauffacher, M., Martens, P., Moll, P., Swilling, M., & Thomas, C. J. (2012). Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: practice, principles, and challenges. Sustainability science, 7(1), 25-43. 
  • Norman, D. A., & Stappers, P. J. (2015). DesignX: complex sociotechnical systems. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 1(2), 83-106. 
  • Valtonen, A. (2020). Approaching Change with and in Design. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 6(4), 505-529. 
  • Van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., & Dorst, K. (2017). Advancing the strategic impact of humancentred design. Design Studies, 53, 1-23.

Sound and Design


Stefano Delle Monache | Critical Alarms Lab, Delft University of Technology 

Monica Porteanu | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 

Kevin Hamilton | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Nicolas Misdariis | Ircam STMS Lab / Sound Perception & Design team

Elif Özcan | Critical Alarms Lab, Delft University of Technology



For centuries, vision has taken center stage over audition and other sensoria across fields such as design, design thinking, culture, or technology. Though, either intentionally designed or as by-products of mechanisms and processes, sounds and soundscapes are an essential presence in our contemporary environments, from notification and alarms to machinery and voice-based virtual assistants. 

Sound design entails a variety of practices, dealing at large with the design and craft of auditory displays to convey functions and information with aesthetic requirements. Listening is the context-dependent, human-centered, active behaviour by which we use sound to make sense of the experience with products, services, and ecosystems.

A socio-technological, sound-driven approach to design is concerned about the meaning and understanding of the experience driven by listening, rather than by sound. In this paradigm shift, sound acts both as issue and opportunity for innovative design solutions. Hence, sound-driven design is inherently embodied, situated, and human-centered. Establishing the role of listening in the design process will inform whether designers design the sound, for sound, against sound or with sound.


The Sound and Design track welcomes papers on:

A. Sound-driven design: Designing for, through, and about listening (contact person: Stefano Delle Monache –, PaDS H2020-MSCA-IF n. 893622)

Leveraging the established distinction about design research strategies (for, through, about design), we invite submissions on:

  • Designing for listening (clinical), including sound- and evidence-based case studies and interventions with specific impact, e.g., from product sounds to soundscapes, in healthcare, automotive, and the lived environment in general;
  • Designing through listening (applied), including design studies that investigate how sound and action intertwine to shape dynamic relationships between humans and objects, e.g. from sound-driven experience and design methodologies, to the effect of sound on listeners, such as emotions and alarm fatigue;
  • Designing about listening (basic), including inquiries on the fundamentals of design and audition, formgiving and cognition, research methods, the role of sound-based representations and creativity.

B. Design of artificial intelligence (AI) for perceiving and interpreting sound (contact person: Monica Porteanu –

Sound opens doors to designing for inclusiveness, wellbeing, and many more. Meanwhile, sound-enabled technology creates commercial opportunities at exponential speed. However, the commercial enthusiasm outpaces our understanding of the implications this situation creates, e.g., considering that voice is a biometric identifier. 

We have yet to become aware of how sound travels and is perceived and interpreted across devices, platforms, clouds, and algorithms. The design mindset and practice are slowly catching up, but they are still more focused on the commercial aspect (e.g., conversation design, voice user interface). However, design research could significantly contribute to raising awareness and developing the necessary body of knowledge to address the gap. We invite submissions on topics such as:

  • Algorithmic hearing and interpretation, incl. voice-based AI for sentiment analysis
  • Inclusive AI applications related to sound perception, interpretation, and feedback, e.g., sound therapy, rehabilitation, food design for wellness
  • Design methods for sensemaking related to sound data, e.g., sonification, visualization 
  • Sound-based AI literacy, e.g., privacy, decision-making
  • Objects that listen, interpret, or provide feedback (esp. to other than the sound producer)


  • Delle Monache, S., Misdariis, N. & Özcan, E. (2020). Conceptualizing sound-driven design: an exploratory discourse analysis. In Creativity and Cognition (C&C ’21). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 42, 1–8.
  • Frankel, L., & Racine, M. (2010). The complex field of research: For design, through design, and about design. In Durling, D., Bousbaci, R., Chen, L, Gauthier, P., Poldma, T., Roworth-Stokes, S. and Stolterman, E. (Eds.), Design and Complexity – DRS International Conference 2010.
  • Misdariis, N., & Cera, A. (2017b). Knowledge in Sound Design: The Silent Electric Vehicle—A Relevant Case Study. In Özcan, E., & Alonso, M. B. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement-Sense and Sensitivity, DeSForM 2017, 185-195 IntechOpen.
  • Özcan, E., Rietdijk, W. J., & Gommers, D. (2020). Shaping critical care through sound-driven innovation: introduction, outline, and research agenda. Intensive care medicine, 46(3), 542-543.
  • Rocchesso, D., Delle Monache, S., & Barrass, S. (2019). Interaction by ear. International Journal of Human- Computer Studies, 131, 152-159.
  • Donath, J., Karahalios, K., & Viegas, F. (Jun 1999). Visualizing Conversation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 4, Issue 4.
  • Hendren, S. (2020). What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World. New York City: Riverhead Books.
  • LaBelle, B. (2010). Acoustic Territories / Sound Culture and Everyday Life. New York: Bloomsbury Academic & Professional; Accessed Jan 19, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.
  • Nissenbaum, H. (2010). Privacy In Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford, California: Stanford Law Books.
  • Turow, J. (2021, May 18). The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet. Yale University Press.

Rethinking design for a complex world: the systems track.


Cecilia Landa-Avila (Loughborough University)

Sofía Bosch Gómez (Carnegie Mellon University)

Sine Celik (Delft University)  

Josina Vink (AHO)

Ben Sweeting (University of Brighton) 


Erica Dorn (Carnegie Mellon University)

Jorge Camacho (CENTRO)

Donna Maione (Carnegie Mellon University)


The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has brought to light many complex emergencies that require urgent attention. The two-year experience has tested the resilience of communities, institutions, businesses, and governments alike. As well as its consequences for health systems, the pandemic has created a ripple effect on people’s lives, affecting local and global economies and exposing inequalities, injustices, and assumptions in all aspects of life. More than ever before, the complex interconnections between socio-technical, natural, political, and economic systems have become evident. This surfaces paradoxes and dilemmas that disrupt design practice and trigger a need to explore and embrace alternative ways of thinking and acting that consider multiple scales and networks across domains.

This track responds to the need to establish a common ground to integrate a complex systems lens in the design practice. Areas of application include but are not limited to:

  • Health and care systems
  • Systems for alternative pedagogies
  • Governance and resilience systems in the face of climate emergency
  • Dismantling existing harm-causing systems 

Within the aforementioned areas, we invite papers on the following topics:

  • Emergence and unintended consequences in systemic design
  • Non-traditional methods for working with systems: visualisation, sensemaking, and analysis.
  • Engagement, power dynamics and multi-stakeholder participation 
  • Challenges and dilemmas around values in systems
  • Transitioning toward alternative systems and radical possibilities
  • Integration of critical systems thinking principles

This track grants a space for academics, practitioners, and students to share expertise, knowledge, and methods. We encourage applications from a diverse range of approaches, with special interest in work developed in the Global South and/or by/with marginalised communities. 


  • Banathy, B. H. (1996). Designing Social Systems in a Changing World. (R. L. Flood, Ed.). New York: Plenum Press.
  • Buchanan, R. (2019). Systems Thinking and Design Thinking: The Search for Principles in the World We Are Making. She Ji, 5(2), 85–104.
  • Human Learning Systems—Public Service for the Real World. (n.d.). Retrieved July 6, 2021, from
  • Jones, P. H. (2014). Systemic Design Principles for Complex Social Systems. In G. Metcalf (Ed.), Social Systems and Design (Vol. 1, Issue January 2014, pp. 91–128). Springer.
  • Nelson, H. G., and Stolterman, E. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World, 2nd ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Leadbeater, C. & Winhall, J. (2020). Building Better Systems – A Green Paper on System Innovation. The ROCKWOOL Foundation. Retrieved from:
  • van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., & Malcolm, B. (2020). Systemic Design Principles in Social Innovation: A Study of Expert Practices and Design Rationales. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 6(3), 386-407.

Meta-Design in the complexity of global challenges


Nathan Felde, Northeastern University

Paolo Ciuccarelli, Northeastern University, Center for Design

Paul Pangaro, Carnegie Mellon University

Silvia Barbero, Politecnico di Torino / Systemic Design Association


Christian Nold, The Open University, Design Group

Estefania Ciliotta Chehade, Northeastern University, Center for Design – contact person

Sara Lenzi, Northeastern University, Center for Design

Michael Arnold Mages, Northeastern University

Remy Bourganel, Independent researcher, with Umea Institute of Design & IEP Paris



A diffused sense of crisis for design – meaning the urgency of making a critical decision about its future – is producing a number of initiatives that aim at reframing/rethinking design, as a discipline and as a practice. With this track we want to explore the variety of meta-design approaches, where design ‘transcends’ the specificity and the contingency of the single design act to engage in: (a) the reflective practice of re-designing design: its purposes, processes and methods; (b) the design of design systems – sets of generative rules and principles, or spaces of opportunities – that enable further design instances, both by expert and non-expert designers; (c) the (co)design of a shared purpose, of aims and tools that can drive eco-system dynamics and enable a pluriverse of context-sensitive net-positive/regenerative activities.

We aim at finding a convergence in the diversity of all approaches to – and applications of – meta-design, consolidating a long and multifaceted tradition into a reinvigorated framework for both researchers and practitioners.



Papers that reflect the above mentioned approaches (a-c), addressing one of the following sub-topics or opening new perspectives on the role of meta-design in research and professional practices, are welcomed:

1. Meta-design and the pandemic of AI

How does meta-design afford a path from pervasive digital AI algorithms with pernicious effects to alternatives that respect our analog, organic, spontaneous selves?

2. Meta-design in the pluriverse

How can meta-design work effectively in a world in which many worlds fit and ensure a productive and equitable collaboration between different types of actors in a sustainable system? How can meta-design help shape new paradigms that work across multiple scales and systems?

3. Meta-design as politics

How do we go about redesigning design and who gets to do that? Can we change design and its future, aligning decisions and actions, in a non-hierarchical and non-institutional, egalitarian way?

4. Meta-design in education

How is meta-design integrated into current design programs and curricula? How should design education be reframed to embrace meta-design and system thinking?

5. Meta-design in practice

To what extent is meta-design implemented in the (design) strategies of corporations, small companies and other organizations? Is meta-design able to address the specificities of design actions that span from identity and communication systems to product-service systems and social innovation?

We envision this Theme-track at the DRS conference will advance the creation of a meta-platform – a platform of existing and new initiatives to build common ground and foster collaborative action. Contributions within and outside the design field, both in the academic context and in the professional domains are welcomed. The goal is to help build a shared body of knowledge and initiatives and to promote a deeper understanding and adoption of meta-design and system thinking.



  • Beyond Net Zero—A Systemic Design Approach. Design, UK Net Zero – A Systemic Design Approach.pdf
  • Dubberly, H., & Pangaro, P. (2019). Cybernetics and Design: Conversations for Action. In T. Fischer & C. M. Herr (Eds.), Design Cybernetics, (pp. 85–99). Springer International Publishing:  
  • Escobar, Arturo. (2018). Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century). Duke University Press Books.
  • Fry, T. (2020). Defuturing : a new design philosophy. London New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
  • Maturana, H. (1997). Metadesign. Human beings versus machines, or machines as instruments of human designs? :
  • Meadows, Donella M. (2008). Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Sustainability Institute.
  • Morch, A. (1997) «Three Levels of End-User Tailoring: Customization, Integration, and Extension.» In M. Kyng, & L. Mathiassen (Eds.), Computers and Design in Context, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 51-76.
  • #NewMacyMeetings Manifesto—Conversations for Action. Google Docs. Retrieved June 15, 2021: 
  • Pangaro, P. (2021). Responding to the Pandemic of “Today’s AI”:  
  • Van Onck, A. (1965). Metadesign. In “Edilizia Moderna” n.85 
  • Walter Paepke and the Aspen Design Conference in the 50s, Vkhutemas, the Bauhaus
  • Yáñez, X. D., & Romesín, H. M. (2013). Systemic and meta-systemic laws. Interactions, 20(3), 76–79:

Designing Retail & Services Futures


Katelijn Quartier 



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 



We strive to get a better understanding of the value of design in the commercial sector, including closely linked disciplines, such as branding, marketing, strategic design, design management 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, management, 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, 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). 

This conference track will be an effort to bring knowledge and insights on the matter together, starting from the notion all disciplines agree that design has been used to add value since the creation of commercial enterprises. Indeed, retailing and service design are inherently connected with design: design of the store – architecture and interior design -, packaging, communication online and offline, branding, signing, etc.

We welcome papers from different disciplines as wide as, but not limited to: design, (interior)architecture, branding, marketing, strategic design, design management, service design, consumer psychology, consumer behaviour, considering the value of design in the commercial sector.

This theme track may be involving into a SIG-proposal.




Innovation and Intelligence in Brand Design


Dr Catarina Lelis Assistant Professor, University of Aveiro, Portugal (chair)

Dr Federico Vaz,  Research Associate, Loughborough University London, UK (sub-chair)



Antonius van den Broek, Loughborough University London, UK

Jamie Marsden, Leeds University, UK

Katelijn Quartier, Hasselt University, Belgium

Tiago Martins, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Itzel Megchun, Portland University, USA



There is extended recognition of the problems of overconsumption, much of it a consequence of irresponsible branding and marketing that has been, traditionally, promoting buying behaviours without a sense of how much humanity-centred brands can be.

Design practice, particularly in the context of brands, has been increasing its focus on meaning and structure, on interaction and services: today, brands are granted more opportunities than ever to reach their target audience, refining the market further with advanced technologies like generative design and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today, brands can learn much more about customer behaviour, pick up on specific patterns, and steadily shape and update strategies for campaigns, with greater rhetorical impact and narrative possibilities, with relatively little effort. Moreover, they are able of doing so whilst influencing an individual’s values and redefining consumption towards an ideal of authenticity and sustainability. In that sense, AI offers a huge opportunity for brand design, especially for designing interactions. However, these are fundamentally grounded in communication which relies upon creative and social intelligence (CSI) – which machines (still) lack.

The ‘Innovation and Intelligence in Brand Design’ aims at improving our understanding of the role and synergies between brands, new technologies and creative and social intelligence in contributing to a more sustainable world. The goal of this track is to look for theoretical and practical design research cases for practitioners and researchers to uncover compelling insights, discuss the latest explorations and developments, and envision future directions for Brand Design. Hence, this track is about applying the practices, methods, and tools of design to help branded entities balance desirability, feasibility, and viability, towards not necessarily what people want, but who people want to be and where humanity needs to be for a sustainable future. 



Brand Design

Artificial, Creative and Social Intelligence

Humanity-Centred Innovation

User Experience


  • Buhl, A., Schmidt-Keilich, M., Muster, V., Blazejewski, S., Schrader, U., Harrach, C., Schäfer, M. and Süßbauer, E., 2019. Design thinking for sustainability: Why and how design thinking can foster sustainability-oriented innovation development. Journal of cleaner production, 231, pp.1248-1257.
  • Lelis, C. (2021). Smart Brands and Identities: building friendly bridges between Design and Smartness, IxD&A Interaction Design & Architecture(s), 47, Winter 2020-21, pp. 191-214 (special issue “Pedagogical Approaches, Ludic and Co-Design Strategies & Tools supporting Smart Learning Ecosystems and Smart Education”). Available at
  • Lelis, C. & Kreutz, A. (2021). The HOW behind the story: a framework for the design of brand narratives. In Design, Visual Communication and Branding, D. Raposo (Ed). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (in press).
  • Wanick, V., Ranchhod, A. & Gurau, C. (2017). Digital Interactions and Brand Experience Design: a future perspective. Design Management Academy Conference, Hong Kong. Availabe at: 
  • West, A, Clifford, J. & Atkinson, D. (2018). “Alexa, build me a brand”: An Investigation into the impact of Artificial Intelligence on Branding. The Business and Management Review, 9(3): 321-330.

Design strategies for resilient organisations


Dr Ida Telalbasic, Institute for Design Innovation, Loughborough University London, UK.

Dr Sotiris T Lalaounis, Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School, UK.

Dr David Hands, Imagination Research Centre, Lancaster University, UK.



Dr Yujia Huang, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), University of Dundee, Dundee, UK. 

Dr Antonius van den Broek, Institute for Design Innovation, Loughborough University London, UK.

Dr Mersha Aftab, Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University, UK.  



Undoubtedly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is bringing profound changes to numerous organisations across many sectors. Many firms are failing to sustain themselves, as their business models are not equipped with appropriate strategies in combating points of instability. This calls for design strategies, through design research, to support firms to not only react to failures caused by crises but to consider diversifying their current value offering, resources, and access to capital, etc. Therefore, there is a need to not only take stock of the ongoing impact of the pandemic on organisations, but also to look into the future by identifying the opportunities for change arising from such crises. This track welcomes contributions that explore design strategies for resilience in times of socio-economic crises through opportunity-driven thinking and a future-facing design mindset. With a dual foci in mind (‘design for business’ and ‘the business of design’), this track aims to generate conversations to explore the following questions:

  1. How is the ongoing pandemic impacting businesses (e.g. service provision, client relationship management, business models, community-driven initiatives, etc.) and what is the role and value of design during these times of uncertainty and risk?
  2. What are the challenges and tensions emerging from the pandemic and how could design strategies contribute to resilient organisations by enabling agility, inclusivity, and managing disruption?
  3. How can businesses harness the power of design strategies in times of socio-economic transformation towards resilient organizational management?
  4. What are the lessons learnt from the past months of radical change and what business opportunities could design strategies provide for a post-pandemic world?
  5. What design strategies can businesses adopt to create crisis-proof organisations that can withstand disruption and successfully manage future points of uncertainty and risk?


  • Boland Jr, R., & Collopy, F. (2004). Managing as designing: Stanford Business books Stanford: USA.
  • Boland Jr, R. J., Collopy, F., Lyytinen, K., & Yoo, Y. (2008). Managing as designing: lessons for organization leaders from the design practice of Frank O. Gehry. Design Issues, 24(1), 10-25.
  • Buchanan, R. (2015) Worlds in the making: Design, management, and the reform of organizational culture.’ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 1(1), 5-21. 
  • Cooper, R., Junginger, S., Lockwood, T. (Eds.) (2011). The handbook of design management. Bloomsbury.
  • Design Council (2018). The Design Economy 2018. The state of design in the UK.
  • Godin, B. (2015). Innovation contested: the idea of innovation over the centuries (Vol. 98). New York: NY: Routledge.
  • Jackson, T. (2009). Prosperity without growth. Economics for a finite planet. London: Earthscan/Sustainable Development Commission.
  • Manzini, E., & Till, J. (Eds.) (2015). Cultures of resilience: Ideas. London: Hato Press.
  • Martin, R. L. (2009). The design of business: Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
  • McKinsey Quarterly (2018). The business value of design. McKinsey Design.
  • Mont, O. (2000). Product-Service Systems. Shifting Corporate Focus from Selling products to selling product-services: A New Approach to Sustainable Development. AFRreport288. Stockholm: Swedish EPA.
  • Murray, R. (2009). Danger and opportunity: Crisis and the new social economy. London: NESTA.
  • Seetharaman, P. (2020) Business models shifts: Impact of Covid-19. Opinion Paper, International Journal of Information Management, 54. 
  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Verganti, R. (2009). Design-driven innovation – Changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what things mean. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

AI and the Conditions of Design: Towards A New Set of Design Ideals


Elisa Giaccardi, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Johan Redström, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden

Heather Wiltse, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden

Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Irina Shlovski, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Rachel Charlotte Smith, Aarhus University, Denmark

Somaya Ben Allouch, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Irina Jackiva, Transport and Telecommunication Institute, Latvia

Jeroen Raijmakers, Philips Design

Neil Rubens, Visa



How can design, as an interdisciplinary field of research and practice, anticipate the digital transformation of society powered by data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence? How can we form an understanding of the different agencies involved—human and artificial—and create the conditions for sustainable human-machine relations and co-performances?

Inclusive and responsible digital futures call for fundamentally new design ideals and professional practices. This requires combining advances in engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities to provide the necessary connection in design between human experience (one-to-one relations) and the societal system (end-to-end relations). The crafting of agency must be positioned as foundational to design today just like function was critical to industrial design.

We welcome contributions addressing this call from the perspective of: (1) anthropological study and principled engineering of algorithms; (2) design of deliberative and responsive forms of interaction with and across decentralized systems; (3) inclusive, multi-sided approaches to value creation in data-driven business models; (4) digital sovereignty and democratic governance of data and algorithms; (5) future design practices upholding anticipatory and responsible innovation approaches.



  • Amoore, L. (2020), Cloud Ethics: Algorithms and the Attributes of Ourselves and Others. Duke University Press.
  • Giaccardi, E., & Redstrom, J. (2020), Technology and more-than-human design. Design Issues, 36(2), 33-44.
  • Kuijer, L., & Giaccardi, E. (2018), Co-performance: Conceptualizing the role of artificial agency in the design of everyday life. In Proc. CHI 2018, Paper no 125.
  • Redström, J., & Wiltse, H. (2019), Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Speed, C., Nissen, B., Pschetz, L., Murray-Rust, D., Mehrpouya, H. & Oosthuizen, S. (2019), Designing new socio-economic imaginaries, The Design Journal, 22(1), 2257-2261.
  • Wiltse, H. (Ed.) (2020), Relating to Things: Design, Technology and the Artificial. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Zuboff, S. (2019), The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for the Future At the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books.

Designing Dialogue: Human-AI Collaboration in Design Processes


Peter Lloyd, TU Delft

Senthil Chandrasegaran, TU Delft – contact person

Euiyoung Kim, TU Delft

Jon Cagan, Carnegie Mellon University

Maria Yang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kosa Goucher-Lambert, University of California, Berkeley



With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) developing rapidly into usable systems already embedded in our everyday lives, the opportunities for involving “intelligent” agents in a natural design dialogue are many. Dialogues could be verbal, visual, physical, interactive, or even tacit. We leave the term “dialogue” open to reflect many different types of encounters that occur during the process of design. This theme track calls for papers studying various forms of dialogue between human and artificial actors in design processes. Papers for our theme track can include—but are not restricted to—the following topics:

AI as a means to enable reflection in the design process.

AI as a collaborator in the design process. This can include (case) studies of design processes involving human and AI actors, or frameworks for characterising human-AI dialogue.

Using AI/ML to analyse big data from crowdsourced design challenges or thick data from longitudinal design sessions to characterise the phases, roles, and patterns in designing.

Studying the transition of design processes from human-centred to autonomous.

Design methods, techniques, and tools that use AI or ML.



Design process, Mixed-initiative interfaces, Dialogue, Intelligent agents, AI-enabled design, Transition of design processes, Data-driven design (D3) 


  • Lloyd, P., Akdag-Salah, A., & Chandrasegaran, S. (2021). How Designers Talk: Constructing and Analysing a Design Thinking Data Corpus.  In Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.
  • Rao, V., Kim, E., Kwon, J., Agogino, A. M., & Goucher-Lambert, K. (2021). Framing and Tracing Human-Centered Design Teams’ Method Selection: An Examination of Decision-Making Strategies. Journal of Mechanical Design, 143(3), 031403.
  • Schön, D. A. (1992). Designing as reflective conversation with the materials of a design situation. Knowledge-based systems, 5(1), 3-14.
  • Serra, G., and Miralles, D. Human-level design proposals by an artificial agent in multiple scenarios. Design Studies (in press).
  • Urban Davis, J., Anderson, F., Stroetzel, M., Grossman, T., & Fitzmaurice, G. (2021, June). Designing Co-Creative AI for Virtual Environments. In Creativity and Cognition (pp. 1-11).
  • Zhang, G., Raina, A., Cagan, J., & McComb, C. (2021). A cautionary tale about the impact of AI on human design teams. Design Studies, 72, 100990.

Creating connections: Social research of, for, and with design


Arlene Oak,  Material Culture & Design Studies, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada –  contact person,

Claire Nicholas, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, USA


Edward Cavanagh, Department of Architecture, Dalhousie University, Canada
Stephen Verderber, Department of Architecture, University of Toronto, Canada
Claire Nicholas, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma
Arlene Oak, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Canada


Design practice has often been studied by social scientists, with varying levels of interaction occurring between the practitioners and the researchers. This track offers space to consider how research that occurs between design and the (interpretive) social sciences (e.g., approaches such as ethnography and/or ethnomethodology), is formed and carried out in ways that are informative to either/both creative practice and social research. Particularly considered will be studies that explore how disciplinary boundaries and activities, in design and the social sciences, might be questioned and/or transformed by the interactive practices of research. 

It is hoped that the track will include both creative practitioners and social scientists. Of interest are practical questions such as, what institutional supports, intellectual dispositions, and research designs are best suited to cultivate “good relations” between researchers and designers? Also, what are some unexpected challenges or successes encountered when engaging with taken-for-granted or unfamiliar routines or modes of interpretation? How might such practicalities and complexities inform either, or both, perceptions of design and/or approaches to theory? 

The session will consider engagements between design projects and social research studies that are ongoing or completed: investigations that are or have been driven by the complexities and stakes of designing and making diverse products and structures in professional, pedagogic, and experiential learning contexts. In reflecting on the empirical terms and conceptual challenges outlined by designers and social scientists, this track explores how knowledge translations might generate productive and potentially challenging frictions across different domains of experience. 



  • Cross, N. (2018) A brief history of the Design Thinking Research Symposium Series, Design Studies, 57, 160-164.
  • Murphy, K. (2016) Design and anthropology, Annual Review of Anthropology, 45, pp. 433-449.
  • Nicholas, C. & Oak, A. (2020) Make and break details: The architecture of design-build education, Design Studies, 66, pp. 35-53.
  • Pink, S. (2021) Sensuous futures: Rethinking the concept of trust in design anthropology, The Senses and Society, 16, 193-2002.

Designing Proximities


Prof. Ezio Manzini 

Honorary Professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy & Founder of the DESIS Network 



Dr. Rosie Hornbuckle, 

Research Fellow, Centre for Circular Design, Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) & Service Futures Design Research Group, London College of Communication (UAL) 

Prof. Alison Prendiville

Professor in Service Design, Service Futures Design Research Group, London College of Communication (UAL)



Professor Rebecca Earley, Chelsea College of Arts

Dr Paul Micklethwaite, Kingston University 

Dr Silvia Grimaldi, London College of Communication 

Dr Marion Real, Fab Lab Barcelona 

Dr Jocelyn Bailey, Social Design Institute



Design researchers from diverse social and material (+ sociomaterial) areas of theory and practice have long been implicitly negotiating proximities through various aspects of their work. Through this track we seek to make explicit the challenge and possibility of ‘proximities’ furthering our understanding of HOW to design for change.

As we face many complex and varied social and environmental challenges, what do we need close proximity to, as researchers, as designers and as citizens? In the multi-spatial, IT-enabled, post-covid world, how do we negotiate these distances? What do we win and what do we lose by the methods we choose? 

For example, some questions around proximity we have been exploring in our research include:  

From a social innovation perspective: 

What does the proximity of citizens to their own systems of living mean for the design of our cities?

From a healthcare perspective:

How might proximity to knowledge about medical technologies affect patient experience? 

From a circularity perspective:  

How might the proximity of design researchers, brands and citizens to supply chains (and their varied sociomaterial actors and impacts) affect their experiences, behaviours and decisions?

From a project perspective: 

How can tools, methods and materials support design researchers in their negotiation of proximities in a project, given the ‘glocal’ nature of collaborative and participatory design research, both online and ‘in the field’? 

Therefore, we suggest authors explore ‘proximities’ from two perspectives: 

Methodological enquiry: we welcome papers from researchers dealing with how to negotiate shifting proximities to collaborators, participants, artefacts, communities and places. What are the challenges and the possible tools, methods and approaches to negotiating (cultural, geographical, disciplinary, linguistic) distance? What is ethical, fair and equitable practice? 

Outcome-oriented / theoretical enquiry: we welcome papers which deal with the impacts of creation and/or erosion of proximity to social and cultural interactions, to lived experiences, to nature, to production (supply chains), to knowledge (online/in person) and so on. Can increased proximity lead to agency and behaviour change and in what forms does this take place? 

We also welcome varied interpretations and applications of ‘proximities’ in design research.



  • Akoglu, C. & Dankl, K. 2019. “Co-creation for empathy and mutual learning: a framework for design in health and social care”, CoDesign. DOI:10.1080/15710882.2019.1633358
  • Balland, P-A., Boschma, R. & Frenken, K. (2014): Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics, Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2014.883598
  • Birkbak A., Petersen M.K., Jensen T.E., (2015): Critical Proximity as a Methodological Move in Techno Anthropology. Tecne: Research in Philosophy and Technology. 19:2 (Spring), 266-290.
  • Henchoz, N., Puissant, P-X, Leal, A. S., Moreira, T. and Vinet, H. (2019) Artist Residencies for Innovation: Development of a Global Framework. SIGGRAPH 2019 Short Art Papers. doi: 10.1145/3306211.3320140
  • Hornbuckle, R. (Forthcoming) Hands-on Hands-off: On Proximities to Materials and Systems in Design Research. In Earley, Hornbuckle & Goldsworthy (eds) Materials and Making for Change: From the Materials we Explore to the Materials We Wear. Design Research for Change series. Routeledge. 
  • Light A & Boys J (2017) Collaborating across difference: learning at/with/from the edges. In: DiSalvo E, Yip J, Bonsignore E, DiSalvo C (eds) Participatory design for learning. Routledge, London.
  • Manzini, E. (Forthcoming) Liveable Proximity: Ideas for the City that Cares. Bocconi University Press 
  • Real, M., Earley, R. & Goldsworthy, K. (2019) ‘Practices, Places, Projects; Enrolling Stakeholders for Circular Fashion’, in: Practices, Places, Projects; Enrolling Stakeholders for Circular Fashion. Global Fashion Conference
  • Smitheram, M. & Joseph, F. (2020) Material-aesthetic collaborations: making-with the ecosystem, CoDesign, 16:4, 293-310, DOI:10.1080/15710882.2020.1841796

Practice research in social design as a form of inquiry

Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London, UK – contact person
Dr Eva Knutz, The Social Design Unit, the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Dr Thomas Markussen, The Social Design Unit, the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Dr Jocelyn Bailey, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London, UK
Professor Lorraine Gamman, Design Against Crime Research Centre, University of the Arts London, UK
Professor Guy Julier, Design Department, Aalto University, Finland
Professor Lucy Kimbell, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London, UK
Professor Alison Prendiville, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK
Professor Joyce Yee, Northumbria School of Design, Northumbria University, UK


This track focuses on knowledge claims produced through practice research in the context of and in relation to social design. The key question this track poses is not what practice research in social design is, but what it does. More specifically, it asks how practice research enriches ways of knowing, understanding and intervening within social worlds and how this knowledge and understanding differ from those generated by research that is not practice-based. The track raises a range of conceptual and methodological questions concerning epistemic access to the world and the role of social design research practices in granting, facilitating and mediating this access, including:

  • What sorts of knowledge claims are made through practice research in social design?
  • What does it mean to say that practice research offers a means of inquiry in social design through design-based doing and making?
  • How is understanding produced through collective and iterative meaning-making facilitated by design?
  • What forms of collaboration and interdisciplinarity engendered by practice research are presupposed and which can be demonstrated?
  • How are the value and impact of practice based social design research articulated in relation to new ways of understanding, knowing, intervening into and interacting with socio-material systems and worlds?

Recognising that knowledge claims are situated and that there are varied genealogies within social design practices, we invite perspectives from diverse locations and positions. This track invites written papers at the intersection of ontological design (e.g., Escobar, 2018); practice-based design research (e.g., Vaughan, 2017); design ethics (e.g., Fisher and Gamman, 2019); social research (e.g., Marres et al., 2018); practice theory (e.g., Reckwitz, 2002); design justice (e.g., Costanza-Chock, 2020); social epistemology (e.g., Ficker, et al., 2019); philosophy of action (e.g., Dancy and Sandis, 2015), and Pragmatism (e.g., Dewey, 1938; 1939), etc.

Costanza-Chock, S. (2020). Design Justice: Community-led practices to build the worlds we need. MIT Press.
Dancy, J., and Sandis, C. (Eds.). (2015). Philosophy of action: an anthology. John Wiley & Sons.
Dewey, J. (1938). Logic, the theory of inquiry New York: H. Holt and company, 9, 104-105.
Dewey, J. (1939). Theory of valuation. International encyclopedia of unified science.
Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the pluriverse: Radical interdependence, autonomy and the making of worlds. Duke University Press.
Fricker, M., Graham, P. J., Henderson, D., & Pedersen, N. J. (Eds.). (2019). The Routledge handbook of social epistemology. Routledge.
Fisher, T. and Gamman, L. (eds). 2019. Tricky Design: The Ethics of Things. London: Bloomsbury.
Marres, N., Guggenheim, M. and Wilkie, A. (eds.) 2018. Inventive Social Research. London: Mattering Press.
Reckwitz, A. (2002). Towards a theory of social practices: A development in culturalist theorizing. European Journal of Social Theory, 5(2), 243–63.
Vaughan, L. (ed) (2017). Practice Based Design Research. London: Bloomsbury.


Understanding Play: Designing for emergence


Assistant professor, Karen Feder, 

Associate professor, Sune Gudiksen, 


As the theme proposal is interdisciplinary 5 reviewers are likely not enough. Therefore, we will stand ready with at least 10 reviewers and will add other profiles if there is not a good match with a specific paper to make sure the quality of the reviews is high and fitting. 



Prof. Krystina Castella, Art Center College of Design, US

Prof. Tilde Bekker, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

Ass. Prof Surabhi Khanna, National institute of Design, India


Asso. Prof. Miguel Sicart, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Asso. Prof. Greg Walsh, University of Baltimore, US


Ass. Prof Rui Patricio, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal

Asso. Prof. Carina Leue-Bensch, University of Applied Sciences Worms, Germany


Prof. Alissa Antle, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Asso. Prof. Tatiana Chemi, Aalborg University, Denmark


Elizabeth M. Bonsignore, University of Maryland, US

Ass. Prof Alice Kolb, Weatherhead School of management, US


Asso. Prof, Thomas Markussen, Southern University of Denmark, Denmark



In the last decade play in all its multi-colored and multifaceted outlook has shown an important role in how we cope with new and unexpected situations. Effectively, Covid ’19 situation has exposed how we are dealing with challenges in different ways, using different strategies, but all with the same purpose of getting through the difficulties in the best possible way and through relational means even though this might be on a distance. This reveal a crucial need to bring back or intensify imagination, curiosity and surprise both as part of design processes and in the products, services and systems that one targets. 

Play has been implicitly present in many areas of design research from the design anthropologist diving into a setting and playing along; to enhance creativity and radical framings through impulse and playing with the materials and technologies at hand, and by advancing mutual understanding in co-designerly organizational, institutional or community practices. Likewise, the role of play is visible and sometimes the core in many products, services and systems in the 21st century leading the way towards novel play-based interactions and means of participation. 

In this theme track we invite for papers that search explicitly for novel play design principles through empirical analysis. Guiding questions but not limited to this: In what way can we design for emergence that leaves space open for people to play with contexts? How can play design trigger new ways of relating, being and behaving? How can play assist in revealing in problems and opportunities in field investigations? How can play design support growth, survival or workplace living? How and in what way can play create stronger social relations in communities and society? How can play design support competence and skill development in a variety of educational contexts? 


  • Bekker, T., Sturm, J., & Eggen, B. (2010). Designing playful interactions for social interaction and physical play. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 14(5), 385-396.
  • Breuer, H.; Bessant, J. & Gudiksen, S. (2022). Playing with innovation: Using games to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship. De Gruyter, Berlin. 
  • Castella, K. (2018). Designing for Kids: Creating for Playing, Learning, and Growing. Routledge.
  • Feder, K. (2020). Exploring a Child-Centred Design Approach: From tools and methods to approach and mindset. Ph.D. Dissertation. Design School Kolding. 
  • Gudiksen, S. & Skovbjerg, H. M. (2020). Framing Play Design – A hands-on guide for designers, learners and innovators. BIS-Verlag, Amsterdam.
  • Gudiksen, S. (2014). Game feedback techniques: Eliciting big surprises in business model design. In Proceedings of DRS 2014: Design’s Big Debates: Design Research Society Biennial International Conference 16-19 June 2014, Umeå, Sweden (pp. 204-219). Umeå University.
  • Sicart, M. (2014). Play matters. The MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Food+Design: transformations via transversal and transdisciplinary approaches


Pedro Reissig (Universidad de Buenos Aires – Argentina),
Silvana Juri (Carnegie Mellon University – USA),
Sonia Massari (Roma Tre University – Italy)


Aguinaldo Santos, Fabio Parasecoli, Franco Fassio, Rick Schifferstein, Markéta Dolejšová


Food has historically been overlooked by design, possibly because of its cultural and vernacular nature, but maybe also due to its omnipresent and unfathomed magnitude and importance in our lives. This reality, together with the recent recognition (made evident during the COVID-19 pandemic) of the paramount role that food plays in determining the present and future of humanity and planetary health, has been reflected in the emergence of a field of study known as Food Design.

 This diverse area of research and practice has been visible for over twenty years and is formally disseminated through two main journals: The International Journal of Food Design and more recently, the Revista Latinoamericana de Food Design. However, the increased interest, popularity and urgency found in food-related issues in the past few years (epitomized in the UN’s 2021 Food Systems Summit endeavour) has motivated multiple approaches and conceptualizations of design practices that overlap Food and Design scholarship, evidencing methodological diversity and conceptual pluralism via a problem-oriented focus. 

This track proposal seeks to build bridges across these diverse approaches and arenas, opening a space for a transversal understanding of how Food + Design can help us address some of societal inter-related challenges while enhancing overall wellbeing. We welcome emerging approaches and framings to Food Design research and practice and invite contributions exploring situated examples of transdisciplinary knowledge / wisdom production, interventions on different systems and scales, and critical reflections on designer’s roles, skills and attitudes in these novel spaces.


  • Choi, J. H., Foth, M., & Hearn, G. (2014). Eat, cook, grow: Mixing human-computer interactions with human-food interactions. MIT Press.
  • Dolejšová, M., Wilde, D., Altarriba Bertran, F., & Davis, H. (2020). Disrupting (More-than-) Human-Food Interaction: Experimental Design, Tangibles and Food-Tech Futures. Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 993–1004.
  • Massari, S. (2021). Transdisciplinary Case Studies on Design for Food and Sustainability. Elsevier Science Publishing
  • Parasecoli, F. (2020). Food Systems, Design,Things: Reading Heidegger. Revista Latinoamericana De Food Design, 1(1), 76–85.
  • Reissig, P. & Lebendiker, A. (2019). Food Design: Hacia la innovación sustentable. Agencia deMorfa: food design matters.
  • Zampollo, F. (2016). Welcome to Food Design. International Journal of Food Design, 1(1), 3–9.

Design Dematerialisation: opportunities through reduction


Ashley Hall, Professor of Design Innovation. Acting Head of Programme. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art.

Dr. Rob Phillips. Senior tutor. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art.

Alon Meron. Tutor. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art. 

Dr. Delfina Fantini van Ditmar. Tutor. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art.

Dr. Bruna Petreca. Research Fellow in Human Experience & Materials. Materials Science Research Centre. Royal College of Art. 


Dr. Rob Phillips. Senior Tutor. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art. 

Dr. Delfina Fantini van Ditmar. Tutor. Design Products Programme. Royal College of Art. 

James Tooze. Principal Lecturer, Course leader of Product Design BSc/BA. University of Brighton. 

Jonathan Chapman. Professor & Director of Doctoral Studies. Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. 

Professor Ashley Hall. Acting Head of Programme Design Products MA. Head of Programme Healthcare & Design MRes. Royal College of Art. 

Dr Bruna Petreca. Research Fellow in Human Experience & Material. Materials Science Research Centre. Royal College of Art. 


UN reports state the 2020 pandemic caused little impact to ‘slow climate change’ as Covid-19 was woefully ‘inadequate at transforming our behaviour’. Given that we are experiencing life-affirming transformations and cataclysmic inter-related ecological warnings, evidenced by a succession of devastating ‘once-in-a-thousand-year events’ the Post-Covid era constitutes a new paradigm, providing unique environmental and social challenges for designers to address. While aspirations for a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic are yet to materialise as suitably radical policy, extractive industries and voracious supply chains continue to drive international ecological collapse. Design in all its guises pervasively intervenes materially, culturally, economically and ultimately ecologically. In order to course- correct from a path of ecological collapse, it is imperative that the practices of design are reimagined and overhauled so that designers are able to pursue reflective, ecological endeavours (not solely solutions). 

Design Dematerialisation can be viewed from a degrowth perspective, as an act to remove material things from the world; a shift in focus from static, material things, to dynamic, living experiences. This is a massive pivot from two centuries of cultural and economic norms that encouraged the transformation of the natural world into human commodities and unwanted by-products back into the natural world as pollution. This one-directional mode of world- making can be characterised as a straight line, with social and environmental destruction built-in at either end. Design Dematerialisation is a provocation, asking designers a series of fundamental and existential questions: What roles can designers take in recalibrating humanity’s custody of the planet? What should the underlying principles of design be, given the scale, complexity and proximity of climate and ecological emergencies? What are the challenges of systems literacy and capabilities to handle such complexity? 

Paradigm shifts may be necessary, moving from attempts to turn the wheel to embracing and ameliorating inevitable futures. The track will be working beyond sustainability and looking at means (as design practitioners & researchers) to work within reductive practices. Conceptual explorations include ideas of: design dematerialisation, design subtraction, design reduction etc., and discover the gaps and overlaps in these approaches. 

The track invites proposals on the topic of emerging ideas, roles, activities and responsibilities of design practitioners in a world that must ‘positively reduce’ impacts on environments, interventions residing within. The track will interrogate concepts of ‘reductionism’ by problematising the simplification of prevalent ecological problem-framing. Chairs and by proposing reduction as an ecological design strategy and potentially an extreme philosophical attitude. A subtractive future is not solely concerned with ‘efficiencies’ but degrowth; strategies, experiences, interaction shifts, change(s) in behaviour, re-connections and new economies that can be grown through ‘reductionism through design’. We will explore the physical-digital relationship and how this shifts future ideas of what could be a designed ‘product’. The track will result in an edited book of selected chapters. 

Keywords: #dematerialisation #design #subtraction #reduction #community #regenerative #lowimpact #ecosystemcircularity #materialsofchange #engagement #systems #ecology #non-colonial #longtermism




  • Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism (2019) Julia Watson. Taschen. -Less is More (2021) Jason Hickel. Windmill Books.
    Technological Nature (2011) Peter H Kahn. MIT Press.
    Meaningful Stuff: Design That Lasts by Jonathan Chapman. MIT Press. 
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (2013). Robin Wall Kimmerer. Penguin. 
  • Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds by María Puig de la Bellacasa. University Of Minnesota Press. 
  • Designing in Dark Times: An Arendtian Lexicon (2020). Virginia Tassinari, Eduardo Staszowski. Bloomsbury.
    Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice. Tony Fry. Bloomsbury. 


  • Kuys, B., Velasquez Montoya, M., Thong, C., and Glover, J. (2012) Embedding 

Sustainability in Product Design Engineering Curriculum: A comparison of needs on an 

international level, in Israsena, P., Tangsantikul, J. and Durling, D. (eds.), Research: 

Uncertainty Contradiction Value – DRS International Conference 2012, 1-4 July, Bangkok, 

Thailand. Available at: 


  • Antoniuk, T. (2004) Object-ive Re-generation – Exploring How Developed Societies 

Perceive, Use, and Live With High-Tech Sustainable Materials, Objects, and Environments., 

in Redmond, J., Durling, D. and de Bono, A (eds.), Futureground – DRS International 

Conference 2004, 17-21 November, Melbourne, Australia. Available 


Sustainability SIG

Inclusive Design SIG: Inclusive Design Practice


Hua Dong, Brunel University London

Farnaz Nickpour, University of Leeds 


Hua Dong, Brunel University London

Farnaz Nickpour, University of Leeds 

Ann Heylighen, KU Leuven 

Abdusselam Selami Cifter, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University 

Emilio Rossi, University of Lincoln


Inclusive design has been a theme for DRS conferences for a number of years. In the past, design exclusion, designing for, with, and by disadvantaged groups (e.g., disabled people and older people) had been the main focus of inclusive design research. More recently, cognitive capabilities, emotional inclusion, fairer distribution of resources, and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are emerging research topics. If we classify United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into two groups: Careand Green, the Caregroup will be highly relevant to inclusive design. 

Inclusive design and innovation are also the focus of the UK Engineering Councils 4th edition of Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes; equality, diversity and inclusionhas become an explicit learning outcome of all engineering programmes.   

With these broadened debate on inclusive design in design research, sustainable development, and future education, the InclusiveSIG track in DRS2022 will focus on inclusive design practice, inviting papers to discuss the implications and impact of inclusive design on research, society and education practices. 


Digital transformation and Covid-19 have highlighted new issues of inclusive design, e.g., access to Internet, home working, remote medical consultation inequalities 

Design Research for Healthy Ageing


Hua Dong, Brunel University London

Chris McGinley, Royal College of Art 


Hua Dong, Brunel University London

Chris McGinley, Royal College of Art  

Shu Yuan, Donghua University  

Yuanyuan Yin, University of Southhampton   

Chao Zhao, Tsinghua University 


This decade (2021-2030) is the United Nations’ Decade of Healthy Ageing. Worldwide there are already more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or over, and this demographic transition will have an impact on almost all aspects of society (WHO 2021). 

Inclusive design research has the potential to contribute to healthy ageing at different levels, e.g., more inclusive policy-making (macro), age-friendly cities and communities (meso), and more accessible environments and products (micro).  

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the seriousness of existing gaps in policies, systems and services (WHO 2021): the care crisis, social isolation, mental health, inequalities in accessing services…  

The InclusiveSIG theme on ‘design research for healthy ageing’ invites papers that reflect inclusive design research at macro, meso and micro levels on how healthy ageing issues might be effectively addressed, with consideration of the profound impact of the pandemic. 

This theme track will encourage the share of good practices from different cultures, and discuss how designers and design researchers in different countries could make more significant contributions to healthy ageing in their local contexts. 


Special Interest Group SigWELL

Global Health SIG Track: Linking human and planetary health, which I am leading. Would it be possible to add the following names and affiliations, under the Track Chairs section:


Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, ImaginationLancaster, UK  (DRS Global Health SIG)

Prof Claudia Libanio de Souza, Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Brazil (DRS Global Health SIG)

Prof Blaise Nguendo Yongsi, Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale, Cameroon (DRS Global Health SIG)

Dr Leigh-Anne Hepburn, The University of Sydney, Australia (DRS Global Health SIG)

Dr Spyros Bolyfatos, University of the Aegean, Greece

Dr Perline Siek Hwee Ling, Sunway University, Malaysia

Dr Juan Giusepe Montalván Lume, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru

Dr Xanat Vargas Meza, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Dr Emma Rhule, United Nations University – International Institute of Global Health, Malaysia


Health is a fundamental human right and a key indicator of sustainable development. Poor health threatens the rights of children to education, limits economic opportunities for men and women and increases poverty within communities and countries around the world.

Furthermore, there is a research interest emerging between human and planetary health as the two are closely interlinked. The premise of planetary health is that human well-being over the long-term depends on the well-being of the earth, including both its living and non-living systems.

Now that we have experienced a major global pandemic, we have looked at ways of living that have reduced pollution and use of natural resources, yet we have poor global health and declining wellbeing. How do we reframe the role of design for health globally to catch up on these and to act with total responsibility for the future of humans and the planet?

We invite designers and researchers whose focus is on the role of design in promoting health and sustainability through the creation of products, services, places, experiences, methodologies, communities and interventions in all areas related to health (human and planetary) to submit papers to this thematic track.

We are particularly interested in papers/presentations from researchers and designers exploring the links between planetary and human health.


  • Cooper, R., (2019) Design research – Its 50-year transformation Design Studies. 65, 6-17.
  • Ghani, F., Tsekleves, E., & Thomas, Y. F. (2021). Urbanization and Cities as Drivers of Global Health. In I. Kickbusch, D. Ganten, & M. Moeti (Eds.), Handbook of Global Health (pp. 1-28). Springer International
  • Horton, R., Beaglehole, R., Bonita, R., Raeburn, J., McKee, M., & Wall, S. (2014). From public to planetary health: a manifesto. The Lancet, 383(9920), 847.
  • Myers, Samuel S. «Planetary health: protecting human health on a rapidly changing planet.» The Lancet 390, no. 10114 (2017): 2860-2868.
  • Tsekleves, E., Cooper, R., & Spenser, J. (Eds.) (2021). Design for Global Challenges and Goals. (Design for Social Responsibility). Routledge.

Education Special Interest Group (EdSIG): Studio Matters


Derek Jones, The Open University (UK); DRS EdSIG Convenor
Colin M. Gray, Purdue University (USA)
Lorraine Marshalsey, University of South Australia (Australia)
Elizabeth Boling, Indiana University (USA)
Nicole Lotz, The Open University (UK); DRS EdSIG Convenor
James Corazzo, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
James Benedict Brown, Umeå University (Sweden)


The centrality of studio to design education has been challenged during the pandemic as educators have adopted distance and online learning and teaching methods (Marshalsey and Sclater, 2020). Change to studio practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the affordances of proximity (being near each other), synchronicity (happening at the same time), and presence (being with each other) have made visible and explicit many aspects of learning that were previously implicit and hidden (Jones, 2021). 

How do these aspects of studio, when made visible, enable us to re-describe, re-imagine, re-distribute, and revoke the necessary conditions for what constitutes, defines or bounds ‘studio’ in contemporary design education? Pragmatically, what should contribute to studio as a future learning environment?

What does this tell us about what matters with studio and what is the matter with studio? We invite you to ask—what matters? How does it matter?

This track and call for papers solicits work that explores the nature, makeup, properties and boundaries of contemporary studio learning and teaching in a diverse range of design education contexts. Potential contributions may include:

Exploration of characteristics, properties and realities of the studio across multiple modes and conceptions;

Consideration of structural or thematic aspects of studio, such as cultures, praxis, activity, contexts, etc., reviewing and critically exploring literature and concepts;

Studies that describe alternative and non-traditional studios as related to discipline;

The use of space and place in a studio context;

The liminal boundaries of what it means for a learning environment to be called ‘studio’;

Critical reviews of established literatures and theories of studio or studio pedagogy, with a view to informing future practices. 


  • Beck, J. and Chiapello, L. (2018) ‘Schön’s intellectual legacy: A citation analysis of DRS publications (2010–2016)’, Design Studies, Elsevier, vol. 56, pp. 205–224 [Online]. DOI: 10.1016/j.destud.2017.10.005.
  • Boling, E., Schwier, R. A., Gray, C. M., Smith, K. M. and Campbell, K. (eds.) (2016) Studio Teaching in Higher Education: Selected Design Cases, 1st edn, New York, Routledge.
  • Jones, D. (2021) ‘Making little things visible’, Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 8–11.
  • Marshalsey, L. and Sclater, M. (2020) ‘Together but Apart: Creating and Supporting Online Learning Communities in an Era of Distributed Studio Education’, International Journal of Art & Design Education, vol. n/a, no. n/a [Online]. DOI: (Accessed 15 December 2020).
  • Orr, S. and Shreeve, A. (2018) Art and design pedagogy in higher education: knowledge, values and ambiguity in the creative curriculum, Routledge research in education, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Futures of Design Education. A PluriSIG and EdSIG joint track proposal


Lesley-Ann Noel, North Carolina State University, USA
Renata Marques Leitao, Cornell University, USA
Derek Jones, The Open University (UK)
Nicole Lotz, The Open University (UK)
Liv Merete Nielsen, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Ingvild Digranes, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
Naz Börekçi, Middle East Technical University, Turkey


The effects of dominant curricula in design education are now being recognised in education practice and research, in particular global approaches to design education that demonstrate a displacing effect on other forms and modes of learning (Šobánnovái 2019; Al-Amri, 2019; Cornú, 2020). As we continue to face local and global challenges of unprecedented scale and complexity, disciplined-bounded design curricula demonstrate certain limitations in developing students’ needs for emerging contexts (Pontis and van der Waarde, 2020). 

These challenges force us to ask what the future of design education should be. This can be problematic since it is often only a trivial exercise of speculation (Swanson, 2020), and, critically, it avoids questioning how change to design education takes place (Noel, 2020). In particular, future speculation often misses the opportunity to recognise the plurality of current practices.

The Futures of Design Education discussion series started in 2021 to highlight and share the plurality of contemporary practices in design education and this call continues the invitation to explore alternative and diverse design education presents and futures. We particularly welcome articles that outline current practices and cases outside dominant paradigms of design education, as well as high-quality critical analyses exploring current and future thinking in design education, such as:

  • Work adding to the contributions already made to the Futures of Design Education series by presenting current practice that would benefit from wider recognition 
  • Critical studies and work work exploring design education past and present with a view to informing future practices
  • Cases and reviews exploring structural, systemic, and/or wider scale changes to existing curricula or in response to contextual change
  • Articles exploring particular directions or themes of inquiry to bring together contemporary thinking and critique, such as Where design education should take place? Who are the designers we are educating? 


Pasts, presents, and possible futures of Design Literacies


Úrsula Bravo


Liv Merete Nielsen

Eva Lutnæs

Erik Bohemia


Úrsula Bravo

Liv Merete Nielsen

Eva Lutnæs

Erik Bohemia

Catalina Cortés


In this track, we will follow up on ideas proposed during the DRS//cumulus conference 2013 in Oslo, titled «Design learning for tomorrow – design education from kindergarten to PhD» (Reitan et al., 2013). The conference focused on the cooperation between designers and the general public as a precondition to building a better and greener tomorrow. Under the assumption that we need skilled and critical consumers, producers, and decision-makers, we suggest that using Design Literacy as an approach may help us achieve this purpose.

We invite scholars worldwide to reflect on the work started at the DRS2013. We seek to take a ‘stock’ of the past decade to advance the understanding of the Design Literacy concept. We expect to facilitate dialogue across the design scholarly and beyond design disciplines and contribute to a better understanding of design as an approach to solve complex problems.

The Design Literacy concept has been discussed at conferences arranged by DRS (2018), Learn X Design (2013, 2021), and ADIM (2019). As a result of these discussions, special issues of peer-reviewed research journals in Norway (Nielsen, Brænne & Maus, 2015) and Chile (Bravo & Bohemia, 2020) have been produced.

Almost ten years after the Oslo 2013 conference, we aim to sum up research, insights and practice on Design Literacy with this track.

Knowledge and skills are tightly entangled with economic and political powers. Critical studies exploring the relationships between design and consumerism suggest that skills, knowledge and ethics are inseparable from how these relationships are constituted. Thus, the design, production and consumption of artefacts, including services, are interconnected to values of the way we want or expect to live our and others’ lives, the way resources are being exploited, and their subsequent effects on climate change.

In the past agricultural societies, most of the population required skills such as animal husbandry to feed and sewing clothes to keep warm. The skills and values needed to operate in the current hyperactive global markets have shifted in other directions. To tackle the current issues, we propose that all people be versed in design approaches to have a ‘say’ and act on how today’s artificial world is shaped.

This approach is convergent with the critical spirit of the New Literacies Studies (Coiro, Knobel & Lankshear, 2008) and similar initiatives that questioned the traditional notion of literacy by considering it to be excessively technical and socially decontextualised (Kress, 2003). According to these perspectives, based on Freire’s (2005 [1970]) work, being literate means having the ability to read the world in all its complexity and participate with autonomy and self-determination in creating meaning and the very transformation of society.

We propose to work with members of the DRS’s SIGs to discuss how their community can take up the concept of Design Literacy. For example, achieving a sustainable future requires both designers and consumers to connect across. Design-based methods have been used by teachers of different subjects and students of different ages at the school level. Christensen et al. (2016) propose that the «designerly stance towards inquiry is a prerequisite for engaging with wicked problems» (p. 125). In the same line, it has been suggested that ‘Design Literacy’ skills are needed to develop students’ problem-solving skills for the 21st century (Goldman, 2017). Business schools have taken up the design approaches and promoted them to inform business strategies and innovation (Cooper, Junginger, & Lockwood, 2011; Martin, 2009). Design also entered lexicon Organisational Studies through Simon’s (1988, 1996) work, who explored it as a concept of the ‘artificial’ world. On the other hand, Design Management aims to promote design as an essential element in organisations bringing together other disciplines to stimulate innovation.


  • Borja de Mozota, B. (2003). Design Management: Using Design to Build Brand Value and Corporate Innovation. New York: Allworth Press.
  • Bravo, Ú., & Bohemia, E. (2020). Editorial «Alfabetización en diseño para todos». RChD: creación y pensamiento, 5(8), 1-10. doi:10.5354/0719-837X.2020.57649
  • Christensen, K. S., Hjorth, M., Iversen, O. S., & Blikstein, P. (2016). Towards a formal assessment of design literacy: Analyzing K-12 students’ stance towards inquiry. Design Studies, 46, 125–151. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2016.05.002
  • Coiro, J., Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2008). Handbook of Research on New Literacies. New York: Routledge.
  • Cooper, R., Junginger, S., & Lockwood, T. (Eds.). (2011). The Handbook of Design Management. London: Berg Publishers.
  • Freire, P. (1996 [1970]). Pedagogy of the Oppressed (M. Bergman Ramos, Trans.; 2nd ed.). Penguin.
  • Goldman, S., & Kabayadondo, Z. (Eds.). (2017). Taking Design Thinking to School: How the Technology of Design Can Transform Teachers, Learners, and Classrooms. New York: Routledge.
  • Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Liedtka, J., & Ogilvie, T. (2011). Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers. Columbia Business School Publishing.
  • Martin, R. L. (2009). The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.
  • Nielsen, L. M., Brænne, K., & Maus, I. G. (2015). Design Learning for Tomorrow — Design Education from Kindergarten to PhD. FormAkademisk – forskningstidsskrift for design og designdidaktikk, 8(1).
  • Reitan, J. B., Lloyd, P., Bohemia, E., Nielsen, L. M., Digranes, I., & Lutnæs, E. (Eds.). (2013). Design Education from Kindergarten to PhD – Design Learning for Tomorrow: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers. ABmedia.
  • Simon, H. A. (1988). The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial. Design Issues, 4(1/2), 67–82. doi:10.2307/1511391
  • Simon, H. A. (1996). The Sciences of the Artificial (3rd ed.). London, England: The MIT Press.

Design for Policy and Governance: New Technologies, New Methodologies


Professor Marzia Mortati, Politecnico Milano, Milan, Italy

Scott Schmidt, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA


As the official track of the DRS Design for Policy and Governance Special Interest Group (PoGoSIG), we will aim to critically explore and define the relationship between policy and design. Presently, the topic is very much open for debate as to how these two concepts differ, relate, and interact with one another. There exists very little agreement on their relational trajectory with one course, policy design, originating in the policy studies tradition while the other, design for policy, being founded in design studies. The former sees the need for policy to instrumentally embody a conscious design of its own making while the later holds that design is a pre-existing field of study unto itself that can be employed in accordance with policy formation (Bason, 2014; Howlett, 2019).

Although explicitly connected to the same subject matter, each direction is built upon differing criteria and parameters thus creating two unique starting points which at times overlap and at other times deviate considerably. Recently, the design research community has been particularly active and has developed knowledge useful to manage complex processes, characterized by the participation of actors with different interests and cultures, in which the final recipients often have an active role as co-creators and co-producers (Sangiorgi & Prendiville, 2017; Mortati, et al., 2018). Innovative services and governance models are thus being explored and developed by designers within the public sector, either built from the bottom up (collaborative services) (Deserti et al., 2020) or trialing the role and relevance of new and disruptive technologies (AI, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, …) (Kuziemski & Misuraca, 2020).

This track pays particular attention to these new and upcoming areas of research where design disciplines and policy studies are exploring new ways toward convergence. This involves in particular the examination of ways in which creativity-based methodologies (i.e. co-creation and co-production) are being used also in conjunction with new technologies (i.e. big data and algorithms) to deliver better policies and services.

How are these methods reconciling the perspectives of government, citizens and society (i.e. participation in policymaking)? What makes them specific to policy making? What role is design having in exploring the uptake of new technologies for policy making and public service implementation? How is design helping complement a human approach into the typical need for quantitative evidence of Government?

(This DRS track offers an international focus on practice and methodology and is complemented by the much more narrowly focused DRS track Uncertainty and Incompleteness in the Design of Public Policy and Administration.)


  • Bason, C. (2014). Design for Policy. London: Routledge.
  • Berger-Walliser, G., Barton, T.D., & Haapio, H., (2017). From visualization to legal design: a collaborative and creative process. American Business Law Journal, 54(2), 347–392. 
  • Bobbio, L. (2019). Designing effective public participation. Policy and Society, 38(1), 41-57.
  • Deserti A., Rizzo F., & Smallman M. (2020). Experimenting with co-design in STI policy making, Policy Design and Practice, DOI: 10.1080/25741292.2020.1764692.
  • Dwivedi, Y. K. et alii (2021). Artificial Intelligence (AI): Multidisciplinary perspectives on emerging challenges, opportunities, and agenda for research, practice and policy. International Journal of Information Management, 57(2021), 101994.
  • Goldsmith, S., & Kleiman, N. (2017). A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative and Distributed Governance. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
  • Gunningham, N., Grabosky, P. (1999). Smart Regulation: Designing Environmental Policy. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • Hanington, B. M., & Martin, B. (2012). Universal methods of design: 100 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas, and design effective solutions. Beverly, MA: Rockport.
  • Howlett, M. (2019). The Policy Design Primer: Choosing the Right Tools for the Job. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Howlett, M. & Ramesh, M. (2003). Studying public policy: Policy cycles and policy subsystems. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press Canada.
  • Kuziemski, M., Misuraca, G. (2020). AI governance in the public sector: Three tales from the frontiers of automated decision-making in democratic settings. Telecommunications Policy, 44(2020) 101976.
  • Lindinger, H. (1991) Ulm Design: The Morality of Objects. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Manzini, E. (2015). Design, When Everybody Designs: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Mortati, M., Christiansen, J., Maffei, S. (2018). Design craft in Government, Positioning Paper – Track 4, Conference Proceedings, ServDes 2018, 18-20 June, Milan, Italy.
  • Mortati, M. (2019). The Nexus between Design and Policy: Strong, Weak, and Non-Design Spaces in Policy Formulation. The Design Journal, 22(6), 775. 
  • Recchi E. (2015); A Sterile Citizenship? Intra-European Mobility and Political Participation, in (ed) Recchi E., Mobile Europe, pp. 105-122, Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Rowe, G., Lynn J. F. (2005). “A Typology of Public Engagement Mechanisms.” Science, Technology, & Human Values, 30(2): 251–90.
  • Sangiorgi, D., & Prendiville, A. (Eds.). (2017). Designing for Service: key issues and new directions. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Toll, D., Lindgren, I., Melin, U., Madsen, C. (2020). Values, Benefits, Considerations and Risks of AI in Government: A Study of AI Policy Documents in Sweden. JeDEM, 12(1), 40-60. 

Uncertainty and Incompleteness in the Design of Public Policy and Administration


Professor Lucy Kimbell, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London, UK – contact person

Dr Catherine Durose, Director of Research, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, UK

Professor Liz Richardson, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK


Dr Jocelyn Bailey, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London, UK

Daniella Jenkins, PhD candidate, Social Design Institute, University of the Arts London and Lecturer, School of Management, Bristol University, UK

Professor Ramia Mazé, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Dr Anna Whicher, Head of Policy, PDD, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK

Others to be confirmed


This track invites theoretical, conceptual and methodological papers at the intersection of design research, political science and studies of public administration. The aim is to combine perspectives from at least two research literatures to mobilise understandings of incompleteness(Durose and Lowndes, 202), in relation to designing public policy and public institutions, in contexts of uncertainty, ambiguity and contestation. The track complements the related DRS track on Design for Policy and Governance: New Technologies, New Methodologies by offering a deep dive into two concepts – incompleteness and uncertainty – and by inviting use of at least two literatures. 

Designs relation to public policy and government has developed and expanded across the UK, Europe and worldwide in recent decades within a political economy of new public management, public sector innovation, co-production, digitalisation and datafication (eg Bason, 2017; Julier, 2017). In political science and studies of public administration, there is growing interest in design (eg Durose and Richardson, 2016; van Buuren et al, 2020). Much of the discussion in design literatures has emphasised use of skills and methods of designers in government and public policy such as bring citizenslived experience into view or enabling collaboration and sense-making. 

In this track, we aim to explore how capabilities associated with negotiating uncertainty, plurality and incompleteness associated with the anticipatory materialising practices of design (eg Björgvinsson et al, 2012; Farías and Wilkie, 2015; Akama et al, 2018; Escobar, 2018; Kimbell and Vesnic-Alujevic, 2020) can open up the design of organisational practices in public administrations. What kinds of public policies and administrative practices might result, that can aid with addressing todays urgent contemporary challenges? What different design logics might play out in public policy and administration, and with what consequences for equity and sustainability?


  • Akama, Y., Pink, S., & Sumartojo, S. (2018). Uncertainty and possibility: New approaches to future making in design anthropology. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Bason, C. (2017). Leading public design. Discovering human-centred governance. Bristol: Policy Press. 
  • Björgvinsson, E., Ehn, P., and Hillgren P-A. (2012). Design things and design thinking: Participatory design challenges. Design Issues, 28 (3), 101-116.
  • Durose, C. and Richardson, L. (2015). Designing public policy for co-production: Theory, practice and change. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Durose, C. and Lowndes, L. (2021). Why are designs for urban governance so often incomplete? A conceptual framework for explaining and harnessing institutional incompleteness. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
  • Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the pluriverse: Radical interdependence, autonomy and the making of worlds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Farías, I., & Wilkie, A. (Eds.). (2015). Studio studies: Operations, topologies and displacements. Routledge.
  • Julier, G. (2017). Economies of design. London: Sage.
  • Kimbell, L and Vesnić-Alujević, L. (2020) After the toolkit: anticipatory logics and the future of government. Policy Design and Practice, 3(2), 95-108.
  • van Buuren, A., Lewis, J., Peters, B.G., and Voorberg, W. (2020) Improving public policy and administration: Exploring the potential of design. Policy and Politics, 48(1), 3-19.

Ethics as Creativity in Design


Dr. Ir. Wouter Eggink, University of Twente (the Netherlands) – contact person

Prof. Dr. Steven Dorrestijn, Saxion University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands)


Jelle van Dijk – University of Twente []

Joseph Lindley – Lancaster University []

Geke Ludden – University of Twente []

Liesbeth Stam – KU Leuven []


Designing requires enormous social and moral responsibility as we are surrounded by products and services that shape – and simultaneously get shaped by – the way we live. Not only do these products and services serve utilitarian functions, but they also influence our norms and values in multiple and often unforeseen ways. The challenge of responsible design asks for active reflection on ethical issues. However, with the classical top-down approach, ethics may be perceived as restrictive, setting boundaries for what is allowed and what not. Within philosophy of technology, ethical reflection is moving towards a more constructive approach, accompanying technological development with careful considerations. We want to take a step further and are proposing a move towards something that could be called ‘creative ethics’, where a bottom-up approach in dealing with ethical issues fosters inspiration and imagination for desirable futures. In other words; we want to propose ethics as a basis for design, rather than an assessment criterion.

In this track theme we therefore welcome papers that investigate or show how incorporating ethical reflection in the design process can foster creative solutions for future use of technology.


  • Dorrestijn, S. & W. Eggink (2021). Making a Practical Turn: Philosophical design tools in an Ethical Parallel Track for innovations. In: S. Ammon, et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of the The Society for Philosophy and Technology Conference 2021 – Technological Imaginaries, Lille, The Society for Philosophy and Technology. p.128.
  • Eggink, W. & S. Dorrestijn (2018). Philosophy of Technology x Design: The Practical Turn. In: C. Storni, K. Leahy, M. McMahon, P. Lloyd and E. Bohemia (Eds.) Proceedings of the biannual Design Research Society conference (DRS) Catalyst, Limerick (Ireland), Design Research Society. pp. 190-199.
  • Eggink, W., D. Ozkaramanli , C. Zaga & N. Liberati (2020). Setting the stage for Responsible Design. In: S. Boess, M. Cheung & R. Cain (Eds.) Proceedings of the biannual Design Research Society conference (DRS) Synergy, Brisbane (Australia), Design Research Society. pp. 713-730.
  • Lindley, J., P. Coulton, H. A. Akmal et al. (2019). The Little Book of Philosophy for the Internet of Things. Lancaster: Lancaster University.
  • Sonneveld, M. (2014). Positive Ethics in Design Education. In: E. Bohemia, et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education; Human Technology Relations, Enschede, The Design Society. pp. 87-92.
  • Stam, L. & W. Eggink (2014). Why Designers and Philosophers should meet in School. In: E. Bohemia, et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education; Human Technology Relations, Enschede, The Design Society. pp. 226-231.
  • Verbeek, P.-P. (2013). Technology Design as Experimental Ethics. In: Ethics on the Laboratory Floor. S. van den Burg & T. Swierstra (Eds.). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan: pp. 83-100.
  • Verbeek, P.-P. (2017). Designing the morality of things: The ethics of behaviour-guiding technology. In: Designing in Ethics. J. van den Hoven, S. Miller & T. Pogge (Eds.). Cambridge University Press: pp. 78-94.


Wouter Eggink is a design professional and assistant professor of Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. His research centers around the relationships between design, technology and society, based on the collaboration between design research and philosophy of technology for which he coined the term “the practical turn”. Wouter is also coordinator of the Industrial Design Engineering master track “Human Technology Relations” and Research Fellow of the DesignLab of the University.

Steven Dorrestijn is a philosopher of technology and professor of ethics and technology at Saxion University of Applied Sciences, and developer of the Product Impact Tool. In his research Dorrestijn contrived a model of effects of technologies on people, and also focused on people’s practices when accommodating new technologies in their lives. This perspective on the role of technologies in people’s everyday practices is a much-needed complement to both the theoretical approaches in ethics and the practical approaches in user-centred design.



Li Jönsson (

Martín Tironi ( 

Pablo Hermansen ( 


In an often referenced keynote lecture for the Networks of Design, Latour (2008) introduced the titan Prometheus, who defaced the gods and gave fire to humanity, as a symbol of modernism for the design community. If the Greek titan inflamed progress by disruptive innovation, radically breaking the more-than-human order of the Gods, the opposite, namely, to design from within, mediating and negotiating in a careful and modest way, is to contest progress and its powers.

Consequently, we want to encourage design researchers to go along with Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus. Often depicted as the foolish brother, he was in fact the one giving each mortal creature the equipment it would need to live well, favoring reproduction over production, careful transformations over disruptive ones.

DOING AND UNDOING POST-ANTHROPOCENTRIC DESIGN calls upon design researchers to critically share experiences where the reproduction of democratic and sustainables forms of more-than-human coexistence are in play. We encourage a special attention to socio-ecological transformation and situated embeddedness. As Bellacasa (2017) asks, ‘What does caring mean when we go about thinking and living interdependently with beings other than human, in “more-than-human” worlds?’ What are the ‘Arts of living on a damaged planet?’ (Tsing et al 2017)

We hope this Theme Track will assemble provocative experiences and reflections, which address questions such as: What are the implications of designing on a planet in ruins? What needs to be undesigned, and how? What design-research instruments and repertories could promote reproduction over production, careful transformations over disruptive ones? How to design futures beyond the idea of human progress? 


  • De la Cadena, M. & Blaser, M. (2018). A World of Many Worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble. Duke University Press.
  • Hermansen, P., Tironi, M. (2021) Cosmopolitical interventions: prototyping inter-species encounters. In: Rucker, Stanley; Roberts-Smith, Jennifer; Radzikowska, Milena. editors. Prototyping Across the Disciplines. Bristol, UK: Intellect Books. pp. 22-44.
  • Hillgren, P.-A., Lindström, K., Strange, M., Witmer, H., Chronaki, A., Ehn, P., … Westerlaken, M. (2020). Glossary: Collaborative Future-Making.
  • Jönsson, L., Light, A., Lindström, K., Ståhl, Å., & Tham, M. (2019). How Can We Come to Care in and Through Design? Proceedings of the 8th Bi-Annual Nordic Design Research Society Conference.: Who Cares?, 1–8.
  • Latour, B. (2008). A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk). In J. G. Fiona Hackne & V. Minto (eds.), Proceedings of the 2008 Annual International Conference of the Design History Society (p./pp. 2-10), Florida: Universal Publishers.
  • Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2017). Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press. 
  • Tironi, M., Hermansen, P.  (2020) “Prototipando la coexistencia: diseños para futuros interespecie”. ARQ, no. 106: 38-47.
  • Tsing, A. L., Bubandt, N., Gan, E., & Swanson, H. A. (Eds.). (2017). Arts of living on a damaged planet. University of Minnesota Press.


Schön’s Design Inquiry: reinvigorating the quest for a pragmatist epistemology of practice


Frithjof Wegener, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Brian Dixon, Ulster University, United Kingdom

Anna Rylander Eklund, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Danielle Lake, Elon University, North Carolina, United States


The track-chairs will also act as reviewers


Schön’s ‘Reflective Practitioner’ (1983) argued against technical rationality as the foundation of professional practice. Drawing on pragmatist philosopher John Dewey’s theory of inquiry (1938), Schön (1983) sketched out an epistemology of practice as a form of ‘Design Inquiry’, foregrounding the idea of ‘reflection-in-action’. Reflection-in-action as competent practice, “arises momentarily in the midst of a flow of action [then] disappears, giving way to some new event, leaving in its wake, perhaps, a more stable view of the situation” (Schön, 1992, p. 125). Studying reflection in action requires methodologies that show this instability in the midst of a flow of action. As Schön pointed out in his later work (e.g. Schön, 1992; 1995), this epistemology of practice was unfinished. 

Due to the centrality of pragmatism (Dewey, 1938) to Schön’s Reflective Practice (Schön, 1983; 1992; 1995), we are looking for papers that explicitly draw on and relate their work to the writing of original pragmatists. Next to Dewey this includes Charles Peirce (e.g. on abduction and inquiry), George Herbert Mead (e.g. on identity, and dialogue), William James (e.g. on process and experience), Mary Parker Follett (on creativity and win-win) and Jane Addams (e.g. on practice and experimentation). Equally, we look for explorations of the methodological challenges of studying the reflection-in-action inherent to design. We particularity encourage papers addressing:

Comparing Simon’s Design Science with Schön’s Design Inquiry, extending the work of Dorst (1997), Buchanan (2007) and others

Critical engagement of Schön’s Design Inquiry (1983) with Dewey’s Theory of Inquiry (1938) and the wider pragmatist paradigm

Methodological work exploring methodologies for studying design inquiry, specifically the requirements to study reflection-in-action (e.g. Schön, 1992; 1995)


  • Buchanan, R., 2007. ‘Strategies of Design Research: Productive Science and Rhetorical Inquiry.’ In M. Ralf (Ed.), Design Research Now, pp 55–66. Basel: Birkhäuser.
  • Dewey, J. (1938). Logic The Theory Of Inquiry (pp. 1–550). New York: Henry Holt & Company.
  • Dixon, B., 2020. Dewey and Design: A Pragmatist Perspective for Design Research. Cham: Springer.
  • Dorst, K., 1997. Describing design: a comparison of paradigms. Delft: Technische Universiteit Delft.
  • Rylander, A., 2012. Pragmatism and Design Research – an overview. (2) Designfakultetens serie kunskapsammanställningar. Stockholm: KTH. 
  • Schön, D. A., 1983. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
  • Schön, D. A., 1992. ‘The theory of inquiry: Dewey’s legacy to education.’ Curriculum inquiry, 22(2), pp. 119-139.
  • Schön, D. A. (1995). Knowing-in-Action: The New Scholarship Requires a New Epistemology. Change, 27(6), 26–34. Retrieved from
  • Simon, H. 1969. The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Designing New Financial Transactions: Theories, Case Studies, Methods, Practice and Futures


Dr. Chris Elsden (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

Dr. Bettina Nissen (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

Inte Gloerich (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences & Transmission in Motion, Utrecht University)


Prof. John Vines (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

Prof. Chris Speed (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)


Talking about money can be difficult; designing with it, harder still. Though design is increasingly ‘value-centred’, this theme-track proposes the need for critical attention to how we actually represent, transact and exchange what we value. 

Recent technological innovations have produced a multitude of new ways to pay, and be paid. Virtual goods and platform currencies, such as WeChat Pay, Alipay, Twitch Bits or TikTok Coins facilitate novel ‘creative transactions’ between users and content creators (Elsden et al., 2021). These ‘special monies’ (Zelizer, 1989) position acts of payment as new forms of social media (Swartz, 2020). Cryptocurrencies continue to grow, alongside ‘decentralised finance’ (or ‘DeFi’) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), seeking alternative means to transact within digital economies. Finally, traditional financial and banking services are becoming increasingly mobile, inter-operable and programmable (e.g. Venmo, Monzo, N2,6 Klarna, Robinhood), producing rich transactional data about their users (O’Dwyer, 2019). 

Hence, it is clear that the design of money is undergoing rapid innovations, while new economies emerge in tandem with changing social, cultural, and political dynamics. This theme-track aims to highlight how designers can shape these new economies and social worlds through the design of new financial transactions and services.

We invite papers that address:

  • Designing for new forms of currency, tokens and value exchange
  • Designing for online, platform and decentralised economies
  • Theories, methods, patterns and frameworks to support the design of financial transactions and technologies
  • Designerly case studies of novel FinTech
  • Design futuring for new financial transactions


  • Elsden, C., Morgan, E., & Speed, C. (2021, May). Creative Transactions: Special Digital Monies in ‘Break Kickstarter’Crowdfunding Campaigns. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-13).
  • Elsden, C., Feltwell, T., Lawson, S., & Vines, J. (2019, May). Recipes for programmable money. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-13).
  • Gloerich, I., Lovink, G., & De Vries, P. (2018). MoneyLab reader 2: overcoming the hype. Institute of Network Cultures.
  • Kow, Y. M., Gui, X., & Cheng, W. (2017, September). Special digital monies: The design of alipay and wechat wallet for mobile payment practices in china. In IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 136-155). Springer, Cham. 
  • Lovink, G., Tkacz, N., & de Vries, P. (2015). MoneyLab reader: An intervention in digital economy. Institute of Network Cultures.
  • O’Dwyer, R. (2019). Cache society: transactional records, electronic money, and cultural resistance. Journal of cultural economy, 12(2), 133-153.
  • Speed, C., Nissen, B., Pschetz, L., Murray-Rust, D., Mehrpouya, H., & Oosthuizen, S. (2019). Designing New Socio-Economic Imaginaries. The Design Journal, 22(sup1), 2257-2261.
  • Speed, C., & Maxwell, D. (2015). Designing through value constellations. interactions, 22(5), 38-43.
  • Swartz, L. (2020). New Money. Yale University Press.
  • Zelizer, V. A. (1989). The social meaning of money:» special monies». American journal of sociology, 95(2), 342-377.

What Legal Design Could Be: Towards An Expanded Practice of Inquiry, Critique, and Action


Dan Jackson, Executive Director, NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law 

Jules Rochielle Sievert, Creative Director, NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law 
Miso Kim, Design Director, NuLawLab; Assistant Professor, Northeastern University College of Arts Media and Design 
Sankalp Bhatnagar, Senior Researcher, NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law


This Track is an opportunity to generate a shared language around what legal design could be and explore with the NuLawLab alternative roles for legal designers in the academy, professions, and beyond. Legal design is an emerging effort led by legal and design professionals applying design methods to challenges people face navigating legal systems, accessing legal services, and interacting with legal products. We see one outcome of successful legal design interventions as the enhancement of dignity for people dealing with legal institutions.

However, much of the work in this space has tended to rely on commercial methods, often developed in corporate contexts where designers are narrowly focused on solving problems, rather than posing them, or asking questions. As a consequence, existing approaches to legal design remain largely affirmative, maintaining the status quo by resulting in proposals that are too narrow in scope, reductive in nature, or constrained in capacity to bring about critical reflection in or on the legal and design professions.

This Track invites contributions that explore the role of designers in advancing legal design as an expanded practice of inquiry, critique, and action. The NuLawLab envisions a world where everyone is empowered to use the law and is equipped to both assert legal rights and question the role that law has in and on our lives. We believe that developing such an approach entails working with a different attitude toward a different direction than most of the field today.

We see an opportunity for legal design to draw on the established theory and practice of critical design, a discursive approach to design that works to prompt critical reflection upon our everyday beliefs, values, and worldviews through speculative proposals. This Track seeks contributions that document steps taken, challenges faced, or lessons learned deploying critical, speculative, and experimental approaches to legal design in the legal or design academy, professions, and beyond. 


Selection of Legal Design Labs & Organisations

  • Academy (US and Globally)

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School: (1998)

Center for Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007)

NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law: (2012)

Legal Design Lab, Stanford Law School: (2014)

The Law Lab, Illinois Tech Chicago-Tech College of Law: (2015)

Suffolk Law School LIT Lab: (2017)

Duke Center on Law & Technology, Duke University Law School:  (2017)

Innovation for Justice, University of Arizona School of Law (2017) 

LiTE Lab, The University of Hong Kong (2018)

Vanderbilt Program on Law & Innovation (POLI): (2018)

Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure, The University of Massachusetts at Amherst: (2020)

  • Professions (US and Globally)

Center For Court Innovation: (1993)

Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law: (2005)

Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability Lab Network (DESIS): (2009)

Sustainable Economies Law Center (2009)

Ardschap Foundation: (2010)

Accountability Lab: (2012)

Barefootlaw Lab: (2012)

Policy Lab, UK Cabinet Office: (2014)

IDEO Legal Design + Innovation Practice Group: (2015)

Legal Design Initiative, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice: (2015)

Corporate Accountability Lab (2016) 

Legal Tech Lab:  (2017)

Movement Law Lab: (2017)

Laboratorio de Diseño para la Justicia: (2019)

UAL Social Design Institute, University of Arts London: (2019)

  • Selection of Legal Design Publications

Davis, Martha F. “Institutionalizing Legal Innovation: The (Re)Emergence of the Law Lab,”  65 Journal of Legal Education 190 (2015)

Hagan, Margaret. «Law By Design” (2017)

Sandefur, Rebecca: American Bar Association: “Legal Tech for Non-Lawyers: Report of the Survey of US Legal Technologies” (2019)

Hagan, Margaret: “Legal Design as a Thing: A Theory of Change and a Set of Methods to Craft a Human-Centered Legal System”, Design Issues, Volume 36, Issue 3 (2020)

Jackson, Dan; Kim, Miso; Jules, Sievert: “The Rapid Embrace of Legal Design and the Use of Co-Design to Avoid Enshrining Systemic Bias”, Design Issues, Volume 36, Issue 3 (2020)

Davis, Martha F: «What Is Essential: Legal Design and Client Stories.» Elon L. Rev. 13 (2020)

Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. (2021). Justice Needs and Satisfaction in the United States of America. HIIL, Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law.

Perry-Kessaris, Amanda: Doing Sociolegal Research in Design Mode (2021)

Kohlmeier, Astrid; Klemola, Meera: The Legal Design Book (2021)

Compagnucci, Marcelo C; Happio, Helena; Hagan, Margaret; Doherty, Michael (Editors): Legal Design: Integrating Business, Design and Legal Thinking with Technology (2021)

  • Selection of Critical Design & Design Studies Publications

Dunne, Anthony: Hertzian Tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience, and critical design (1999/2005)

Fry, Tony: Defuturing: A New Design Philosophy (1999/2020)

Dunne, Anthony; Raby, Fiona: Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects  (2001/2021)

Clark, Hazel; Brody, David (Editors): Design Studies: A Reader (2009)

Fry, Tony: Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (2009)

Maze, Ramia: Design Act: Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today—Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics (2011)

DiSalvo, Carl: Adversarial Design (2012)

Dunne, Anthony; Raby, Fiona: Speculative Everything (2013)

Yelavich, Susan; Adams, Barbara (Editors): Design as Future-Making (2014)

Hunt, Jamer; Antonelli, Paola: Design and Violence (2015)

Malpass, Matt: Critical Design in Context (2017)

Redström, Johan: Making Design Theory (2017)

Willis, Anne-Marie (Editor): The Design Philosophy Reader (2018)

Escobar, Arturo: Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018)

Keshavarz, Mahmoud: The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility, and Dissent (2018)

Tharp, Bruce; Tharp, Stephanie: Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things (2019)

Costanza-Chock, Sasha: Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (2020)

Fry, Tony: Writing Design Fiction (2021)

Designing neighbourhoods: from the domestic to the community


Fernando Bajo, University of the Basque Country (Spain)


Jon Begiristain, University of the Basque Country (Spain)

Ezequiel Collantes, University of the Basque Country (Spain)

Ibon Telleria, University of the Basque Country (Spain)

Koldo Telleria, University of the Basque Country (Spain)

Juan Sadaba, University of the Basque Country (Spain)


Urban environment design is one of the main challenges facing architecture in recent decades. Urban design and the way of living must respond to environmental and social challenges to create sustainable and fair cities.

This approach cuts across several scales, from domestic space to urban planning, but it is especially relevant at the intermediate scale. This approach should be present in how we design domestic spaces, neighbourhood clusters, and proximity networks. 

The traditional way of designing the environment subordinates the general over the particular. Urban design usually starts from the macro scale and gradually approaches the specific. In the last decades, this procedure has shown shortcomings.  

Thus, we need to focus on specific needs and relate them to environmental (minimizing raw materials and energy, preserving natural resources, promoting sustainable modes of production, etc.) and social challenges (more inclusive cities, gender-sensitive spaces, safer environments, etc.). 

The objective is to design neighbourhoods in which domestic space is not merely an infill but the initial element to generate a healthier and fairer community. 

 This thematic track in DRS 2022 welcomes emerging approaches to design research that respond to the broad theme of innovative ways of cohabitating, focusing on the continuum between housing, neighbourhood, city, and territory.

The topics include but are not limited to:

  • Research on domesticity 
  • New housing typologies
  • Alternative modes of collective housing 
  • Community spaces of coexistence 
  • Urban networks of proximity 
  • The neighbourhood – city relationship


  • Hayden, D. (1982). The grand domestic revolution: A history of feminist designs for American homes, neighborhoods, and cities. MIT Press.
  • Hillier, B., & Hanson, J. (1989). The social logic of space. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rolnik, R. (2017). Guerra dos lugares: a colonização da terra e da moradia na era das finanças. Boitempo Editorial.
  • Rueda, S. (2012). Libro verde de sostenibilidad urbana y local en la era de la información. Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Centro de Publicaciones.
  • Madanipour, A. (Ed.). (2013). Whose public space?: International case studies in urban design and development. Routledge.
  • Tummers, L. (2016). The re-emergence of self-managed co-housing in Europe: A critical review of co-housing research. Urban Studies, 53(10), 2023-2040.
  • Valdivia, B. (2018). Del urbanismo androcéntrico a la ciudad cuidadora. Hábitat y Sociedad, (11).
  • Williams, J. (2005). Designing neighbourhoods for social interaction: The case of cohousing. Journal of Urban design, 10(2), 195-227.

Heritage and Memorilisation


Dr Alison Barnes, Western Sydney University (Australia)

Dr Robert Harland, Loughborough University (United Kingdom)

Dr Johnny Xu, China Academy of Art (China) 


Dr Roberta Bernabei, Loughborough University (United Kingdom)

Dr Yolandi Burger, Loughborough University (United Kingdom)

Dr Mirella de Menezes Migliari, Loughborough University (United Kingdom)

Dr Rob Tovey, Loughborough University (United Kingdom)


Heritage, Memorialisation and Design are intrinsically linked through a concern for representation in the traditional form of concrete objects that remind us of heroism, devotion, and achievement (Stroud 2019: 288). This now extends to digital form, and a wider consideration for materials, processes, services, experiences, environments, and storytelling.

Design research has been aligned with cultural heritage since the early part of the millennium (e.g. Corte-Real et al. 2005; Lupo, Giunta and Trocchianesi 2011; Parry 2013; Core 77: 2017). Alongside this, graphic design’s interest has also surfaced in its concern for patrimonio gráfico/graphic heritage (Kassam 2021) and memoria gráfica/graphic memory (Farias 2014: 202). Substantial research effort is also consolidating through the work of Spanish scholars (Agustín-Hernández, Vallespín Muniesa, Fernández-Morales 2021) and through design research between the UK and China (Harland and Xu 2021).

Inspired by existing research collaboration with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO, this theme track is proposed to further enhance Bilbao’s status as a UNESCO City of Design and ideal ‘venue’ to explore the potential for a DRS special interest group for heritage and memorialisation. To facilitate this, we have assembled a team of sub-chairs and reviewers with networked design research expertise in Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, South Africa and UK. 

The theme track invites a wide range of design researchers to propose and engage in all types of activities at DRS2022 – papers, conversations, workshops, events, or labs – to explore the potential for design research (analogue and digital) in the light of recent efforts by UNESCO to situate heritage interpretation and presentation as a remedy for reconciliation and memorialisation. Design research will have much to offer in this regard. Finally, it is hoped this track theme will also provide a useful conduit for those interested in the relationship between heritage and design history.  


  • Agustín-Hernández, L., Vallespín Muniesa, A., Fernández-Morales, A., (Eds.) (2020) Graphical Heritage, Volume 1 – History and Heritage, Springer Core 77, 10 Projects Addressing Social Design and Cultural Heritage During Ventura Lambrate, April 5, 2017, Accessed 22 July 2021
  • Côrte-Real, E., Duarte, C. A. M., Rodrigues, F. C. (2005). “Pride & Predesign: The Cultural Heritage and the Science of Design : II Encontro Internacional de Ciencias Do Design.” Portugal: IADE – Instituto de Artes Visuais, Design e Marketing.
  • Farias, Priscila L. 2014. On graphic memory as a strategy for design research. In Barbosa, Helena and Calvera, Anna (Eds.) Tradition, transition, trajectories: major or minor influences? Proceedings of the 9th International Committee for Design History and Design Studies. Aveiro: UA Editoria.
  • Harland, R.G., Xu, J. (2021) Repositioning Graphic Heritage, Graphic Design Research Unt, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK ISBN: 978-1-911217-32-9.
  • Kassam, A. ‘They capture history’: the projects saving Spain and Portugal’s shop signs, Friday 16 April 2021,, Accessed 5 July 2021
  • Lupo, E., Giunta, E., Trocchianesi, R. (2011) «Design Research and Cultural Heritage: Activating the Value of Cultural Assets as Open-ended Knowledge Systems.» Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal—Annual Review 5 (6): 431-450. DOI:10.18848/1833-1874/CGP/v05i06/38227.
  • Parry, R. (ed.) (2013), Museum in a Digital Age. New York: Routledge
  • Stroud, S. R., Henson, J. A. (2019) “Memory, Reconstruction, and Ethics in Memorialisation”, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 33(2). pp. 282–299.

Experiential SIG

Open SIG

Design for behaviour change sig strand DRS 2022


Prof Kristina Niedderer, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Prof Geke Ludden, University of Twente, NL

Dr Sander Hermsen, OnePlanet Research Center, NL

Dr Shital Desai, York Universuty, Canada

Prof Deborah Fels, Reyerson University, Canada

Prof Thea Blackler, Queensland University of Technology, AU


Design for Behaviour Change: Taking the Long View Fast

Design for Behaviour Change (DfBC) focuses on how design can support and offer ethical and practical solutions for addressing the big challenges in society and out environment, from climate change and threats to biodiversity to pandemics and mental health. The mounting weather, health and other catastrophes over recent years indicate that change is needed. They require a change in how people think about, and behave towards, themselves, others and the environment. 

The question frequently is how to bring about much-needed changes, what is considered desirable change and by whom. Policy-makers and politicians, business, professionals, educators and parents alike are looking for answers to these questions and for clear, practical advice and solutions that allow people to take decisive action. Existing approaches include regulation to eliminate or restrict choice, changing the physical environment in which choices are made, and tools to guide people through the decision-making process (1). The mindsets and methods vary between approaches and each has different ethical implications for the rights and responsibilities of individuals (2) as well as nature (3).

Two of those key challenges relate to: health and health related behaviours, and to views and approaches of sustainability. Seemingly separate, Tree (3) demonstrates the integral relationship between humans, animals, plants, their environment and health. Where one deteriorates, the other suffers and vice versa. This is both true for physical and mental health.  If the soil is depleted, our food supplies – animals and plants – will deteriorate, and our health will suffer. If we encroach on animal’s territories diseases can be transferred and spread unpredictably. Whereas a healthy natural environment benefits both physical and mental health.

Design (research) can play a key role in supporting people and organisations to change their behaviour towards better health and sustainability. Given the global scale of the challenges mentioned above, we are only starting to take up that role. These challenges are complex, requiring empowerment of priority groups who usually suffer most from health discrepancies as well as climate change, and requiring consideration of the ethical and political consequences of intervening in current praxis. Furthermore, there are challenges of efficacy: how do we know what works, and what works best, and how can we design solutions that engage and support, especially for those who need it most? Finally, in practice, work in this field is often interdisciplinary. How can design (research) best take its place among other disciplines, and create synergy when working together with behavioural, cognitive, medical, STEM, and computer sciences?  

In light of the above challenges, for the Design for Behaviour Chang (DfBC) SIG strand at DRS 2022, we invite submissions about the role and contribution of design in facilitating change. Submissions should identify and explore key challenges and novel approaches as well as the ethical validity of such solutions both short and long-term. 

Questions of interest include, for example:

  • What are the short and long-term consequences of DfBC actions?
  • What can we learn for behaviour change in the context of covid-19 pandemic compared to the time the concept of behaviour change was introduced?
  • Ethics in behaviour change: Who should decide what changes is good and for whom?
  • How can DfBC strategies support reconceptualisations of sustainability towards the ecocene to promote sustainable actions and their implementation?
  • How can DfBC strategies support better physical and mental health and wellbeing?
  • How can DfBC strategies related to engagement and motivation improve therapy and care?
  • How can we know what DfBC strategies are effective, preferably in a way that does justice to holistic and complexity aspects of design? 
  • How can designers / design researchers best contribute to transdisciplinary projects for behaviour change? 
  • What designerly methods can be transferred to other disciplines to furthering DfBC? 


behaviour change, ethics, health, mental health, sustainability 


  • House of Lords (2011), Report on Behaviour Change
  • Niedderer, K. Clune, S, and Ludden, G. (2017). Design for Behaviour Change. Routledge.
  • Tree, I. (2017). Wilding. 

Tent SIG

Next Open Call for Papers