DRS 2016: Future-focused Thinking

I’m really looking forward to traveling to Brighton at the end of June to attend the Design Research Society conference. It’s the 50th anniversary conference and it looks like its going to be great! I’ll be presenting a paper that is a collaborative effort with Laureline Chiapello. I mentioned this project once before in a past post on my blog here.

Laureline and I met at the European Academy of Design (EAD) conference last year, and we got to talking about how many presentations included some kind of citation of Donald Schön‘s work. Schön’s name was/is everywhere. But understandings of his work and its utility or relevance to current research efforts were unclear. So we set out to try to understand the role that his work plays in contemporary DRS publications.

The paper was accepted, and we will be presenting on the first day of the conference, which is super exciting! You can find the schedule here.

Here is the abstract to our paper:

Donald Schön was one of the most influential scholars in the design field; his work was and still is among the most highly cited. But how and why do scholars cite Schön’s work? What do these citations do? In this paper, we present a content analysis of 63 texts published at the last two DRS conferences in an effort to understand the function of citations of Donald Schön’s work. We find scholars primarily cite Schön’s work either to support their own research topics, methods or methodologies, and arguments or to credit Schön for his concepts or ideas. And we observe few instances of citations that engage critically with Schön or build on his ideas. Our conclusions suggest that a deeper understanding of citation function would be an interesting and important project.

And here is a link to its listing on the DRS website: Schön’s Legacy: Examining Contemporary Citation Practices in DRS Publications

Please read it and let us know what you think!


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