About the Design Societies Research Unit

The Design Societies Research Unit (DSRU) brings together expertise in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and design at Goldsmiths, and beyond, to engage technoscientific and environmental matters of care and concern.

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We explore how design is implicated in climate change, socioenvironmental issues and the development of new technologies, as well as how design can combine with STS, through practice-based research, to explore possible futures for liveable more-than-human worlds.

On the one hand, matters of concern stress the problematic role of science and technology in the climate crisis and socioenvironmental issues. On the other hand, matters of care points to the acute need to cultivate ways of appreciating other-than-human interests in matters of concern. The question of care and design emphasises our interest in investigating new ways of understanding aesthetics and care enacted in and researched through design. On both counts, the unit seeks to inquire into alternative knowledge and making practices and their concomitant epistemologies, notably activist, decolonial and feminist approaches.

The unit consolidates longstanding expertise in and engagements between Design and STS at Goldsmiths and is committed to supporting the development of new ways of combining inventive practice-based design research with empirical social research. It also provides a platform for postgraduate research students and early career researchers to experiment with new ways of combining design and STS in the form of the Design Societies Studio.

Key to our approach is the cultivation of international research networks with like-minded scholars and practitioners. This involves visiting research visits, co-organising research colloquia as well as developing new research collaborations and projects. 

The unit’s activities involve organising academic colloquia, such as seminars, workshops and book launches, as well as practitioner-led events such as masterclasses and practitioner talks.

Please send enquiries to the Department of Design.