Call for Conversation

*The Call for Conversations is now closed*

Design as a Catalyst for Change

Design shapes our daily lives, influencing how we interact with each other and with our environment. When at its best, design is a powerful catalyst for change. DRS2018 Limerick invites design researchers to explore these relationships across an exciting four-day conference from 25th to 28th June 2018.

We seek Conversations that act as a powerful catalyst for change in one or more of the three areas of Design Research, Practice, and Policy.

In DRS2018: Catalyst we will critically engage with our key research questions:

  • How can design research help explore the changing territorial contexts of design practice and/or policy?
  • How can design, as a catalyst, shape the relationship between research and practice?
  • How can design, and social, economic and political change, shape each other?

Conversation is the DRS2018 format for sessions conceived as alternative to the traditional paper/presentation format, with the ambition of providing innovative venues for project-based research and work that is not easily captured or conveyed by the scholarly paper. A Conversation can be a structured discussion or experimental session format that advances dialogue around emergent forms of design research.

The aim of the Conversation format is to engage a limited number of attendees in open exchange in arriving at new understandings about a topic by:

  • providing an environment where a constructive dialogue can take place about issues of importance in Design Research, particularly to promote exchanges about topics not easily captured by the scholarly paper;
  • fostering open exchange, by talking, but also by means of play, prototyping, critique of others work produced on-the-spot, or even activism;
  • welcoming exchanges across stakeholders such as researchers, practitioners and other design stakeholders.

To prepare your Conversation Proposal for DRS2018 please download the Conversation Template.

Conversation proposals should be submitted to the conference submission system and will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the DRS2018 organisers led by the Conversation Chairs. To submit a conversation proposal, please visit the conference conftool system:

Review Criteria

We welcome Conversation proposals that represent diverse perspectives, that are experimental in nature and that will productively challenge our assumptions of what the topics and forms of design research are or could be. Conversations could focus on the artefacts of design, design methods and process, or reflections on practice.

Reviewers will use the following criteria:

  1. Engaging theory and practice;
  2. Relevance to overall conference theme; relevance of topic and activities to Conversations call;
  3. Originality of topic and format; we encourage experimental proposals that challenge the status quo;
  4. Diversity (cultural, geographical, disciplinary);  
  5. Participant involvement / audience engagement.


Successful proposals will demonstrate feasibility for an open and engaging Conversation session and productive outcome. Conversation submissions should adhere to the template criteria. Priority will be given to those proposals that already have agreements with all convenors that they will attend the conference and participate in the Conversation.

Online Forum and Dissemination

DRS2018 Conversation format aims to initiate an exchange ahead of the DRS2018 conference that includes support and tips. Dissemination results will be featured on the DRS2018 website following the conference.

As part of the review criteria, all Conversation proposals must detail their agreement toward an online forum and dissemination.

The Conversation convenors are expected to produce a concluding document from their Conversation sessions. Dissemination formats will be developed collaboratively in an online forum ahead of the DRS2018 conference. Online forums may take the form, for example, of a storify report, flarm, disqus or fanzine.’ A template with for the concluding document will be provided following notification of submission acceptance.

Review Process

Unlike the traditional papers at the DRS2018 conference, a Conversation Proposals will not be double-blind peer reviewed. Instead, a sub-committee of the DRS2018 organising committee will review the Conversation proposals to ensure that they meet the submission criteria outlined above.

Submission Requirements

Proposals will be reviewed by the Conversations sub-committee of the DRS2018 Programme Committee. We expect that a Conversation will be hosted by 3-5 convenors who present or elicit work and facilitate an open exchange for 1-2 hours.

Conversation proposals should be submitted to the conference submission system, ConfTool.

Conversation proposals should include:

  1. A list of 3-5 confirmed convenors, their job titles and their roles for this session;
  2. A title and short description (1-2 paragraphs) of the Conversation topic to be addressed;
  3. An organizing research question posed for the Conversation session;
  4. A description of the set-up for the Conversation session, including a plan on incorporating and documenting the contributions of others;
  5. A description of the type of space and equipment required;
  6. A strategy for documentation and dissemination. DRS2018 will provide an online forum to help refine such a strategy.

To prepare your Conversation Proposal to DRS2018 please Download the Conversation Template. To submit a proposal, please visit the conference conftool system:

Key Dates For Conversation Proposals

Submission opens: 5th September 2017
Submission Deadline: 15th February 2018
Notification of acceptance: 20th March 2018
Invitation to join pre-DRS2018 online forum: 20th March 2018
Online forum (Definitive dissemination format and call for participation): 17th April 2018

Contact Us

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