The 12th Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS12) is an interdisciplinary conference linking international academics with a shared interest in design thinking and design studies coming from a diversity of disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, architecture, and design studies. DTRS12 aims to provide an international forum for pioneering and state-of-the-art research in design thinking focused on the study of design practice from various perspectives, addressing how designers and industries create new products and services.


Conference Theme

The theme of DTRS12 is: Tech-centred Design Thinking: Perspectives from a Rising Asia

In this symposium, the starting point is how Korean (or Asian) companies are ‘thinking design’ and what role designers play now and in the future. The idea for this theme was born at DTRS11 when the interest in the success story of Korean industry was expressed. But at the same time, there is a worldwide need for academia to cooperate with industry making knowledge and skills available and applicable.


A shared dataset

A unique approach of the Design Thinking Research Symposia is that, based on the conference theme, a shared dataset, covering design practices in an organizational setting, provides a common frame of reference. In previous conferences, the dataset often consisted of videotaped (collaborative) design activities on the spot. Protocol analysis was the method used by participants to interpret the data from their own perspective.

However, in DTRS12 the dataset consists of a collection of retrospective data about the role of designing and designers in Korea and Asia in general. We organised workshops with participants of five Korean companies, from conglomerate to medium-sized. Furthermore, we did interviews with some experienced professors from academia in Korea and with the design directors of two big companies, one in Korea and one from a big company outside Korea – but also active in Asia -, who knows both the European and Asian situation.


The outcome

The research papers from DTRS12 that have been refereed by reviewers from the DTRS research community and organizing committee will be published as a book, and some papers will be selected to appear in special issues in international peer-reviewed journals.