DTRS9: Design Thinking Research Symposium (April 2012, Northumbria UK)

Theme: “Articulating Design Thinking”
Dates: 18 – 20 April, 2012
Location: School of Design, Northumbria University
Website: http://design.open.ac.uk/cross/DesignThinkingResearchSymposia.htm

Between the 18th and 20th April 2012, the School of Design at Northumbria University will host the ninth Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS9).  The symposium entitled, “Articulating Design Thinking”, will be run along similar (but different) lines to the workshop-based events that we have seen in past DTRS and related events such as the “Delft Protocols” in 1994, the DTRS7 event “Analysing Design Meetings” in London in 2007, and the “Studying Professional Software Designers” workshop held at the University of California, Irvine in 2010.  At these events, workshop delegates were asked to respond to a given common set of data (i.e. video recordings and transcripts).

DTRS9 at the School of Design, Northumbria University will, however, make a few changes to the workshop-based format.

The workshop will be run along the following lines:

  • Delegates will be given a generic design brief (attached below), which nevertheless permits a variety of design and other disciplinary responses.
  • Participants will make their own arrangements for tackling the brief, and can work either individually or as part of a larger team. The time you allocate to this activity and the “designed” outcome is unspecified.
  • Once the design brief has been completed, each invited DTRS9 participant is requested to write up the design activity in an academic paper to be submitted for peer review.
  • Participants are responsible for organising their own response to the design brief, arranging their design team, writing up their observations, analyses, interpretations and results in their paper.
  • Each submitted paper is then double-blind peer reviewed and assessed for inclusion in the “Articulating Design Thinking” conference and planned book.
  • DTRS9 is particularly keen to include novel and interesting papers that describe collaborations between industry (i.e. perhaps small SME-style enterprises, medium size companies or even global players), design students (i.e. undergraduate or postgraduate), academics and researchers from design disciplines and other relevant areas, and/or a combination of all of these.

The Papers

Invited DTRS9 participants should consider concentrating their paper on topical and relevant design research issues including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Understanding and articulating the design process;
  • Design communication;
  • Design context;
  • Design expertise;
  • Design thinking;
  • Design behaviour;
  • Disciplinarity issues in design;
  • Design knowledge;
  • Language in design;
  • Cross cultural issues in design;
  • Co-designing;
  • Socio-cultural issues in design;
  • and others.

The Timetable

Launch of DTRS9 Call-for-Participation – November 2010
Online Expression of Interest – closes 7th March 2011
Submit Full Paper – 30th May 2011
Final Paper – 24th October 2011
DTRS9 Event – 18th, 19th and 20th April 2012

More information on DTRS9 where you can formally state your expression of interest in taking part can be found here: http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/design/dtrs9

More information on past DTRS events can be found here:
http://design.open.ac.uk/cross/DesignThinkingResearchSymposia.htm

The Brief*

“Modern Age”
How can the design of products, spaces, and services make growing old seem more attractive and inviting?

11% of the world’s 6.9 billion people are over 60.  By the year 2050 that figure will have doubled to 22%.  If we are to support a growing number of older people we need to produce products, spaces, and services that allow them to stay healthy and well in and around their own home.  You are asked to design a domestic product, living environment, or service for older people that surpasses conventional expectations.  For
the purpose of illustration only, the following would all be viable responses to the brief:

  • a piece of furniture or furniture system
  • a domestic tool, product or appliance
  • an architectural intervention
  • a decorative item or scheme
  • an interior design or living environment
  • an adapted bathroom, kitchen or workshop
  • a new domestic service
  • …and many others are possible.

* Brief written by Emily Campbell of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

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About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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