Stella Boess, Ming Cheung, and Rebecca Cain
The overall theme for DRS2020 is Synergy – the coming together of people and disciplines in design research to create a positive impact. On the one hand, design research champions the uniqueness of disciplinary knowledge and creativity, yet on the other hand, the complex world we now live in demands a more synergistic approach to creativity and problem- solving whereby different mindsets, backgrounds and perspectives come together to realise transformative visions of the future. DRS2020 celebrates these emerging synergistic approaches to design research and seeks to explore their exciting possibilities for addressing multi-faceted problems, supporting participation, and transforming problematic situations into desirable ones.
Renata Marques Leitão, Lesley-Ann Noel, and Laura Murphy
The virtual un-conference Pivot 2020 invited participants to consider how to design a ‘world of many centers and voices.’ In this forum, the aim was to pivot the discussion around decolonization from a critical perspective to a creative and generative one. The efforts to dismantle structures of oppression and hegemonic narratives have to be coupled with efforts to design otherwise and generate a different world. To refer to this world, the conference adopted the concept of the Pluriverse, proposed by Arturo Escobar (2018), which refers to a “world where many worlds fit”, in contrast to the “universal” single world generated by coloniality/modernity. Within the single world worldview, Western Europe and, subsequently, North America have been viewed as the main focus of what is good, innovative and desirable—namely The Center. The rest of the world, and its countless cultures, ways of knowing and ways of designing, have been peripheral to the main narrative of the world. Currently, as the movement to decolonize design gains strength, stages of the Center have been featuring more diverse voices, starting to include people who have been excluded from the main narrative of design. The purpose, however, of a radical design practice is not to fix the Center, but to help to create a world with multiple centers, in which many realities can co-exist. Therefore the following questions were asked at the conference: What does a world in which many worlds fit look like? What is needed to create this reality? Who is needed to support this change?
David Durling and John Shackleton
The theme for the 2002 DRS conference was 'Common Ground'. The aim was to bring together many of the sub disciplines and sub-groups of the design research community - to present current work, to explore areas of common interest, to connect, to argue, to integrate, and to celebrate both the commonality and the diversity of our shared interests and strengths. The larger purpose is to take a significant step forward and endorse the new maturity of our international, interdisciplinary community.