Making the Case at the Design Research Society Conference, 2014

DRS2014, Design's Big Debates, Umea, Sweden

DRS2014, Design’s Big Debates, Umea, Sweden

06.15 am this Sunday morning, the taxi arrives to take me to Edinburgh airport to catch a flight to Umeå, Sweden. Twelve hours later with a short pit-stop in Stockholm airport (and a delicious shrimp salad), I arrive in the warm and beautifully bright European City of Culture, 2014. I can’t complain; despite the long duration for a relatively short journey it’s a nice start to the week.

For the past 15 years I’ve been researching how we understand design and communicate the value of designer’s thinking-through-making processes. Recently, some of the insights generated through this research, specifically about how we might curate knowledge through the method of exhibition, partnership working and, how we nurture design innovation through the model of ‘residency’ (2005-2010) are being developed. Indeed, they are being taken to new realms through the hard work, dedication and vision of Jo Bletcher and Saskia Coulson. Jo and Saskia are doctoral researchers funded by the ESRC, UK working under my supervision as part of Design and Craft at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.  The doctoral studies are sponsored by V&A Museum of Design, Dundee – a ground breaking initiative, intended to open to the public in 2016. Our joint paper, ‘Making the Case: collaborative concept development of products and services for a new design museum’ gives insight into concept development on two levels (strategic and operational). It shares where we (as design researchers) are in the journey of supporting a cultural transformation. We present our work on Wednesday 17th June and our paper is now available for download on the DRS2014 website. Meantime, the DRS debates are being streamed live so you can join and enjoy!


These times are adjusted for the UK time-zone, and for Central European Summer Time please add one hour (i.e. 09.30 – 11 am)

Monday,  June 16
08.30-10.00  Opening plenary / Life-Hacking Debate

Tuesday,  June 17
08.30-10.00 Opening plenary / No Future Debate

Wednesday,  June 18
08.30-10.00 Opening plenary / Open Worlds Debate

Thursday,  June 19
08.30-10.00 Closing plenary and concluding debate – the state of design research




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