Brighton i360 image 1 A3.jpg

Design + Research + Society

future-focused thinking


Design + Research + Society

future-focused thinking

The 50th Anniversary DRS Conference

Brighton, 27-30 June 2016

Thank You DRS2016 Delegates!

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to the conference and made it such a success. We hope you all had an enjoyable time in Brighton and an easy trip home.

The official conference proceedings of DRS2016 are now available on the website and we will be adding other content over the following weeks including official photos of the conference, details of Workshops and Conversations that took place, as well as other materials that were generated as part of the conference.

Please send us your feedback...

We are interested in your experiences at the conference, and of Brighton, so please let us know what you enjoyed, and what things we might improve or change for future conferences. Please send your feedback to admin@drs2016.org


June 25: Official drs2016 proceedings now available

The proceedings of DRS2016 are now published in ten volumes.
View and download the official DRS2016 proceedings

June 18: Full Delegate List now available

See the details of who else will be at DRS2016.
Download the full Delegate List (pdf)

June 17: Conference Guide and Maps now available

Hard copies of the following two items will be available to delegates as part of their delegate pack.

Download your complete DRS2016 Conference Guide (pdf)
Download your map of DRS2016 with Brighton Mini-guide (pdf)

June 16: 50th Anniversary event Tickets

If you have had problems with registration links in the email, try the link below. 
Purchase a ticket for the 50th Anniversary event
Purchase a partner ticket for the Conference Dinner
(Note: the conference dinner is included in the registration fee for all delegates)

June 15: Email to All Registered delegates

See the email outlining final preparations and joining instructions for the conference

June 10: keynote debates now online

See further information about the Keynote Debates

May 27: Workshop registration now available

See the DRS2016 Workshop information and register online (Deadline 20th June) 

May 24: Email to All Registered delegates

See the email outlining general guidelines and upcoming deadlines for the conference

may 6: DRS2016 is Sold out!

Keep me Updated

Latest DRS2016 Tweets

We like people joining the email list! We like them so much that they get to hear important news first. Sign up to be part of DRS2016! There are other ways to keep up to date too - you can follow us on Twitter (to the left).


Over the past 50 years design research has established a firm basis for our understanding of design. For DRS2016 we consider how design research can help us address the problems we face now and the challenges that lie ahead.  We ask three questions:

How can design research help frame and address the societal problems that face us?
How can design research be a creative and active force for rethinking ideas about Design?
How can design research shape our lives in more responsible, meaningful, and open ways?

DRS2016 is hosted by the University of Brighton in the UK, in association with the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London

Watch the Presentation for DRS2016 from the Conference Chair

Brighton i360 image 1 A3.jpg

drs2016 Location: Brighton, UK

27-30 June, 2016


drs2016 Location: Brighton, UK

27-30 June, 2016


As you can see in the photos below our main venue is stunning! The Dome is actually three venues collectively known as the The Brighton Dome.

Situated on Brighton's Royal Pavilion Estate, the venue hosts three dedicated theatres, comprising of: The Brighton Dome, The Corn Exchange and The Studio Theatre.

Originally built as the Prince Regent’s royal riding house in 1805, many famous performers have graced the main stage, the setting for the conference opening, from Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Nina Simone to Pink Floyd and Abba.

Alongside the 3 magnificent venues, The Dome also houses a fabulous galleried bar and mezzanine where you can relax, check your email, and network.

We will also be using other venues adjacent to the Dome - the Old Courtroom, used as a County Court until 1967, and the School of Art, Design and Media, part of the University of Brighton. 

The CGI image above is of the i360 moving observation tower which is currently under construction (as is the conference) and coincidently opens in the same month as the conference, June 2016! We're working on a special visit for delegates.




Situated on the South Coast of the UK, 1 hour from London by train, 30 minutes from Gatwick Airport, and 90 minutes from Heathrow airport, Brighton is an outstanding seaside destination, ideally suited to a relaxed but focused conference experience in a unique historic setting.

Brighton is a place which offers exceptional entertainment, accommodation, food, and cultural opportunities for an international audience. 


50th Anniversary Conference


50th Anniversary Conference

A 50th Birthday!

The Design Research Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016 and the conference will mark the occasion with presentations and an exhibition.  

The origins of the DRS go back to 1962 and the Conference on Design Methods (below, left).  This led to the formation of the DRS in 1966 and over the years the Society has hosted many ground-breaking conferences and events. Below right you can see the range of subjects that made up a 1980 conference on Design Policy. An archive of DRS Newsletter Covers from 1968-1999 contains further information relating to the history of the society. 

In the lead up to the conference next June the DRS is investing in a number of bursaries for researchers to look back at how design research has developed over the past 50 years and the influence that the DRS has had.  

You will be able to follow this work on the DRS2016 Blog and on Twitter with the hashtag #50yearsofDRS

The Terminology used in Design is a matter of much importance and one that must be resolved.
— 1962 Conference on Design Methods
Design Policy will tend to have as its special problem the generalisable, explicatory and social issues arising from the judgmental, creative, productive and specific aspirations of design activity.
— 1982 Conference on Design Policy