Conference & Events

23 September 2015

Design historians continually revise and reflect upon their preoccupations, omissions, emerging methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches to design and research. Since design history’s emergence in the 1970s both as an academic discipline and as an intellectual practice concerning the past, present and future of design, this reflexive impulse has included several areas of critical discourse, including gender, material anthropologies, global narratives of design, histories of pedagogy, among others, with this panel’s added preoccupation with histories of design research.

The Design Research Society 2016 conference offers an opportunity to examine overlapping constituencies and interests between design history, design research and current practice and asks, what has changed over the last 50 years in the field of design research? This panel takes the anniversary occasion of the DRS, the first multi- disciplinary society for the international design research community, as a starting point and extends the question to include geographies, histories, figures, practices and new models. What can historians contribute to the understanding of design research as a methodology of history, theory and practice? How do social, cultural frameworks influence design research methods?

This theme aims to contribute to the formation of new knowledge about design research over the past 50 years in a global context. We invite contributions from a range of constituencies that take histories of future-focused design thinking as their remit. Proposals of interest include (but are not limited to):

Translation and shared vocabularies of design research (including geographic, disciplinary, theoretical and practice-led approaches to design and design language);
Experiments in and histories of design pedagogy;
Emergent constituencies of design research methodologies, agency and trans- national design;
Texts and contexts related to design research;
Gender in histories of design research and design practice.

Livia Rezende, Royal College of Art, UKMaya Oppenheimer, University of the Arts, London
Cheryl Buckley, University of Brighton, UKJeremy Aynsley, University of Brighton, UK

Information regarding submission, the conference and further themes available via the DRS2016 conference website:

Or contact the sub-chairs: Livia Rezende, Royal College of Art, UK & Maya Oppenheimer, London College of Communication, UK

Maya Oppenheimer, PhD
Teaching & Learning Officer, Design History Society
Senior Lecturer & Support CoordinatorContextual & Theoretical Studies
School of Design, London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB

Livia Rezende, PhD
Treasurer, Design History Society
Tutor in History of DesignLecturer and Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies
School of Humanities, Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU


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