2006 Design Research Society
International Conference in Lisbon
(tecnical data and forewords in pdf format for print)
1. Design Research Society
The Design Research Society has always taken a lead in building the scholarly infrastructure for our research,
supporting conferences and publications. Our long-established Journal, Design Studies has set the quality
standard for refereed journals in our field under the wise editorship of our current President, Nigel Cross but,
until 2002, we did not have a flagship conference series, despite nurturing a great variety of conferences and
symposia on different topics and themes.
In 2002 we took a very big step to create a biennial cycle of international conferences that would be a forum
and showcase for the wide spectrum design research going on round the world. These events, starting at
Brunel University in England, going on to Monash University in Australia in 2004 and now at IADE here in
Lisbon, have quickly made a firm imprint on the field.
One aspect of that is our determination that we would use good peer review practice to attract and foster the
development of talented researchers, whether they are old hands with a history of building our knowledge or
new researchers feeling their way up the ladder. But it is also essential that a conference provides a good social
environment to allow people to get to know each other and exchange ideas, maybe even form collaborations
for the future. At each of these events the organizing team have worked long hard hours, while juggling
demanding academic jobs, to meet this challenge. Things go wrong, people have to race around behind the
scenes to fix problems while preserving a confident public smile, policy is wrangled over, often by email across
several continents, but somehow, on the first day of the conference, it all works.
So have a thought for the great team of people here at IADE, for whom this is the end of months of effort.
Look around at your colleagues at the conference and remind yourself that these are the people working with
you to build up this dynamic field of research. Take advantage of their experience and ideas, think about what
you have to share with them and don't forget to have some fun while you are here in this beautiful city.
DRS Council Chair
2. Design Research Reviews
When the Design Research Society launched our biennial conference cycle in 2002, we established a policy of
double blind peer review. The review process is important for two reasons. One is the scholarly and scientific
quality. The other is the fact that many universities make peer review a criterion for conference support.
Wonderground has developed the review process as a prelude to evaluating past experience and to plan future
policy. To do this, we studied a wide range of review policies. Some journals and conferences are invitational.
For others, editors or organizers review submissions. Double-blind peer review policies take three forms. The
first is summary review, acceptance or rejection without significant response. The second reports reviewer
opinion without offering suggestions for development. The third is a substantive response designed to help
each author to improve. Wonderground chose this path.
We examined dozens of conferences and journals to develop a review protocol based on best practices across
the spectrum of design research. Charles Burnette helped us to test the protocol, redesign it, test again, and use
it. Two hundred reviewers representing the entire field did the work while Martim Lapa wrestled with the
reviewing software. Eduardo Corte-Real describes our experiences in his article for the new DRS journal,
Design Research Quarterly, and I’ll discuss our findings in a special Wonderground workshop session on peer
Wonderground marks a new step for DRS, with more papers and more participants than at any past DRS
conference. We represent a broader field than we did, and we continue to improve in quality. What we learn
this year will help us to shape better conferences in the future for DRS and for the worldwide International
Association of Societies of Design Research.
The road to Lisbon has involved challenges and solutions along with occasional thrills and a few chills. As the
curtain goes up, three tenors welcome you to Lisbon with a strong program. It won’t be the operatic tenors,
but Eduardo, Terry Love and I will get by with a little help from our friends – and we have had many friends
in IADE and around the world helping us.
Welcome, friends, to Wonderground.
3. Lisbon Design Revisited
Wandering across the city up to the castle in warm sunshine. Feeling cobblestones and pavers through softsoled
shoes. Hearing rattle and squeak of electric trams coming so close. Smell of coffee. People with strong
legs and feet. Steep white stoned streets. Stimulating conversations in street cafes. Educated people educated in
everything. Fashion and silver crucifixes. Nightclubs till dawn. Trucks, cars parked like friends outside cafes
and clustered round bollards. Night scents of cuisine and seafood. Chiado and Bairro Alto. Lisbon is
Design and designs. Old - so very old. Modern and sometimes so post-modern it hurts. Home of
desenrascanco - designing the impossible!
Phoenician city here over 3000 years ago. Greeks named it Olissipo after Ulysses. Later a self-ruled Roman
city, Felicitas Julia. Famous for exports of fish sauce(!!) and fast horses. 400 years as a Muslim city and last 900
years under Christianity. New urban design supported by earthquake disasters. City redesign by the Marques de
Pombal after 1755 that reshaped the centre of the city rectangular. Art Nouveau everywhere. The present
liberal life of Lisbon grew from carnations in the guns of the peaceful 1975 revolution, rapid industrial and
knowledge economy development and recent membership of the EU..
Hot sun. Sitting with friends edge of Tagus river. Long restaurant table with a huge parasol. Seafood, white
tablecloth, red wine,soft breeze. Martim chatting with ladies in pearls. Fast driving.
Remembering 400 years Arab history. Pouring water from the carafe (garrafa(Portuguese), gharrafah (Arabic).
Spooning sugar (açucar, al-sukkar) into my coffee. Peeling an orange (laranga, al-naranj). Remembering the
climb up to the castle through tiny impregnable streets of Muslim-built Alfama (al-hammah, 'hot spring').
Thinking about empire, sailing and technology with admirals (almirante, amir al-bar), algebra (algebra, al-jabr),
almanacs (almanaque, al-manakh), azimuth (azimute, al-samt), sailing ship (caravel,qârib) zero (cifra, sifr).
Bright blue tiles everywhere (azulejos,al-zulayi). Arab design skills echo from the past to Lisbon's
Lisbon, people, design, skills: a place with a lever long enough to move the world. Lisbon, centre of first and
longest lasting global empire. Capital of of diaspora of over 4 million Portuguese family round the world -
visiting frequently. Educated and cosmopolitan. Lisbon.
4. IADE Design School
For IADE, Wonderground was the most important commission ever undertaken, apart from being funded
Curiously enough IADE is one of only sixteen independent art and design schools represented among the
institutions of our 254 presenters.
For the record, more than half of the presenters come from classical universities, colleges, schools. or
departments. Sixty come from technical universities or institutes, and nine come from universities of the arts.
The geography of the presenting institutions bridges 25 countries on five continents: eight from South
America, twenty-five from Oceania, twenty-nine from Asia, thirty-six from North America, and 126 from
Europe. Amongst the Europeans, forty-seven come from the United Kingdom, twelve from Portugal, and
eleven from Turkey. We like to think that this is the biggest overseas invasion of design scholars that ever took
place in Europe.
This means that -along with Africa- the Design Research Society biennial conference didn’t penetrate deeply
in art and design Schools.. This also means that a good half of the realm of design education is left still to
“conquer” or seduce.
The research tracks indicate an interesting themography . There are four major equal sized groups, theory and
philosophy, user studies, identity studies and architecture (from interiors to landscape). These correspond, in
total, to almost two thirds of the conference. There are three medium sized groups: strategic design, digital
design and sustainability studies. These correspond to less than one fourth of the conference. Finally, the
exquisite small groups of history and engineering correspond roughly to ten per cent. We decided to spread
design education among the others since, in the end, all is related to education.
IADE began organizing international conferences refereed by scientific committees in 2003. Since then, with
three conferences, IADE has welcomed almost six hundred design scholars, touched more than thirty
countries, and built links with over three hundred institutions.
Believe it or not, Lisbon, in Europe is in the shortest distance from: Philadelphia, New York, Chicago,
Pittsburgh, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Luanda and Cape Town.
In the “United States of Europe” we are struggling very hard to be California and not Florida. Nice sun and
surf spots as well as strong knowledge production. Many Northern Europeans choose our country as a place
to retire. They are very welcome but we also welcome productive, bright minds of any age.
People like Bruno Munari and Attilio Marcolli helped IADE’s Design School to rise up in the seventies. A
British Designer, John David Bear, seldom forgotten, marked the first years of the school working directly
with the students. Martim holds him in the memory as a true model of the insatiable designer mind.
Much like the advertisements for a famous watch, we are just taking care of IADE for the next generation. For
our generation, the honor of hosting the DRS biennial international conference is certainly a milestone in that