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Special Issue of Design Issues on RTD

Special Issue of Design Issues to be published in 2017

Guest editors: Abigail Durrant, John Vines, Jayne Wallace and Joyce Yee
Deadline for Full Paper Submission: May 16th 2016
Please note that the submission timetable has been extended.
Authors’ First Notification: August 12th 2016

Submit material to


The aim for this Special Issue (SI) of Design Issues is to bring together contemporary perspectives on ‘research through design’ as borne out through practice-based forms of inquiry. This collection will be produced in association with the Research Through Design (RTD) 2015 conference held in Cambridge 25th – 27th March 2015 (

By bringing together a set of perspectives on RTD 2015, the SI hopes to offer experiential insight from those who attended and exhibited, about what it means to both practice and disseminate ‘research through design’ (RtD) and what the opportunities and challenges are for this burgeoning community. By doing so the collection aims to contribute to a growing academic discourse about practicing design as a knowledge generating activity.

Call for Submissions

Special Issue themes

The unifying thematic for RTD 2015 was ‘21st Century Makers and Materialities’, engaging with what it means to be a contemporary design practitioner-researcher working with or responding to new and emerging tools, materials, cultures, and communities of practice. With this thematic we placed focus on design practitioner-researcher identities, and how these are variously expressed in professional academic life and work. The themes for the special issue correspond to and are adapted from those that formed the original RTD 2015 call.

We welcome submissions on practicing research through design responding to the following:

  • Ways of Making: Experiences, explorations, procedures & aesthetics;
  • Ways of Knowing: Methodologies of practice, intentionality & critical thinking;
  • Ways of Being: Craft practitioners; researcher identity; engagement & collaboration;
  • Process Interrupted: Work in progress; critical reflective practice.

We also welcome submissions on disseminating research through design responding to the following:

  • Appropriate & supportive dissemination formats for practice-based design research;
  • Academic submission & review processes for assessing & selecting work;
  • Research communication & publishing: presentation, documentation, archiving & publishing practice-based design research.

The SI will comprise of the following types of article:

RTD 2015 Extended

Articles extending work presented at RTD 2015: We invite articles (up to 5000 words) that extend authors’ accounts of their work included in the RTD 2015 Proceedings. We request that each submitted article contain approximately 30% new content and adhere to the journal formatting guidelines (see below). Authors are welcome to incorporate documentation and accounts about their work generated at the RTD2015 event.

RTD Reflections

New commentary articles responding to the RTD 2015 program: We also invite shorter articles (up to 3000 words) taking the form of new critical commentaries or reflective pieces that respond to the RTD 2015 program. We are particularly interested in articles that refer to:

  • The RTD 2015 submissions process, or more generally about the opportunities and challenges presented by practice-based design research for academic peer review, archival publishing, and impact;
  • The role that discursive dissemination formats may play in capturing, documenting and publishing discourse surrounding design research artifacts, including the ‘scribing’ activities at RTD 2015;
  • The RTD 2015 Provocations or broader conference program experienced by conference attendees;
  • The role and suitability of an ‘exhibition’ format especially in presenting work-in-progress.

We welcome articles that leverage visual argumentation in the formatting of prose and illustrations. Please note that the use of images in your article must adhere to the journal formatting guidelines (see below).

Download the Call for Submissions here as PDF.

Please contact the SI guest editors by email with any queries about submission:

Timetable (revised March 2016)

Submission Deadline: May 16th 2016
First Notification: August 12th 2016
Final Paper Submission: October 14th 2016
Final Version for Publication: February 3rd 2017
Publication Date: TBC

Guidelines for Authors

Please make sure to follow the journal formatting guidelines for authors provided here: Please prepare a Submission File that meets both the listed requirements and the following additional requirements. Authors are requested to specify which type of article they are submitting: ‘RTD 2015 Extended’ submission (up to 5000 words), or ‘RTD Reflections’ submission (up to 3000 words). Each submitted article should be no longer than 12 pages in length. Submission Files should be emailed to

We welcome articles that leverage visual argumentation in the formatting of prose and illustrations, whilst adhering to the formatting guidelines; and authors may include up to 14 images in their article.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of the SI reviewing committee. The committee will be formed of a panel of design researchers who have already participated as either a Programme Committee member or reviewer for RTD 2015, as they already have familiarity with the work and the conference. Submissions are not to be anonymized for review; reviewers will be required to declare any conflict of interest over reviewed work.

We look forward to receiving your submission.

Special issue guest editors

Dr Abigail Durrant and Dr John Vines, Newcastle University, UK;
Dr Jayne Wallace and Dr Joyce Yee, Northumbria University, UK.







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