Design Next Studio

Design Next has a studio and an office on the Kensington campus in the Ainsworth Building (J17), Level 5, Rooms 503-504. It will support education, design thinking workshops, events such as talks and panels, exhibitions, executive education, and any other activities that support the mission of Design Next. The capacity of the studio is up to 130* people.

The studio is primarily available for the Faculty of Engineering events. Please contact Ana Naumoska or Lachie McGregor (mech.admin [at] for inquiries.

Booking policy

Please note that Design Next can accept bookings one month in advance of your event, and can accept only five bookings at a time.

The Studio has proven to be popular. Without this policy in place, it might be booked for months in advance.

Design Next Studio Space (1)
Design Next Studio Space (2)

These guidelines are not comprehensive but are intended to provide you with an overview of our terms and conditions, prior to confirming a booking. Please be mindful of the noise levels of your event as the Design Next Studio is surrounded by offices and teaching spaces. Repeated noise complaints will result in the cancellation of future events. Please contact if you have any questions.

  • Location: Level 5, Ainsworth Building
  • How to book: To book the UNSW Design NEXT studio, please send an e-mail to
  • Capacity: 130 maximum
  • Dimensions: 24 by 8 meters (storage space included)
  • Equipment: Use of 130 chairs, 12 trestle tables, UNSW standard AV system with three TV monitors replicating content, 7 large whiteboards on wheels.
  • Available hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm.
  • Suitable uses: Meetings, large classes, workshops, and small events.
  • Access information: If your booking is outside the following hours - Mon - Fri 8:00 - 18:00, please e-mail with your zID to get temporary access using your UNSW ID card. Access to the studio will be available within one to two working days. 
  • Catering and Audio Visual (AV): Catering and AV, beyond what has been noted above, is not included in the booking. For hirers requiring catering and/or specific AV setup, please contact UNSW Hospitality on 02 9385 1515 or email
  • Food: If you serve food, please organise it through catering to keep the space tidy.
  • Proper conduct. Do not leave anything disrespectful in the space. This includes objects and offensive drawings, slurs, and signs.
  • Bump-in/Bump-out: The studio is not a CATS space, so please allow set-up time prior to your scheduled booking. Ensure the facilities are vacated within the booking period.

Cleaning: Leave the studio in a clean and tidy condition. Please wipe any floor, table, chair, built equipment etc. that’s dirty and clean up any decoration and food. Please stack all tables and chairs in their designated storage area or on the window-side of room 504, and place all rubbish in the bins provided. Any additional cleaning will be incurred at your own cost.


Below are a list of resources to assist you on your design journey:

There are several editors among UNSW faculty:

Keep in mind the following journal. Prof. Michael Ostwald from Faculty of Built Environment is its Co-Editor in Chief:

Prof. Ostwald also edits this book series:

Prof. Koskinen from Design Next has in editorial roles in:

If you are a design editor or aware of other design editors at UNSW, please send a message to

A handful of design schools have built robust research programs that are consistently ranked at the top in the world. A common denominator is that these schools always have research at the forefront. They are also constantly being benchmarked by others. (This list does not include Australian schools but you should know them in any case).

Broad research programs

  • Politecnico di Milano’s INDACO department
  • Department of Design of Aalto University
  • Delft University’s department of Industrial Design Engineering

Design thinking and business-oriented design

  • Stanford University and its designschool
  • University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management
  • University of Texas, Austin, Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Lancaster University’s Imagination Lancaster

Interaction design

  • Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute (HCII), which is the world leader in its field, and currently led by a designer
  • Stanford University
  • MIT Media Lab
  • Indiana University’s School of Informatics
  • Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts & Technology
  • Northumbria University’s School of Design
  • Technical University of Eindhoven’s department of Industrial Design Engineering

Social issues

  • Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School


  • Loughborough University’s Design School

Artistic design

  • Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan
  • Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands 
  • Royal College of Art in London

Other leading design schools

  • Musashino Art University in Tokyo and Kyoto University of Art and Design
  • Tokyo has several world-class design schools under University of Tokyo, Waseda University, and Keio University
  • University of Tsukuba has had a very good technical design program
  • The leading schools in China are Tsinghua University and Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Tongji in Shanghai, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • TaiwanTech in Taipei and National University of Singapore have good design programs, and Korea has several strong schools, including Korean Advanced Institute of Technology in Daejon, Hongkik, Sungkyunkwan and Seoul National University in Seoul, and Ulsan University of Art and Design
  • North American schools are invariably good. Some of their most famous schools are Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Arizona State University’s design school in Phoenix, GeorgiaTech in Atlanta, California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Parsons in New York, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, OCAD in Toronto, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and Banff in Alberta, and University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • European schools to pay attention to are: Aalto University in Helsinki, Konstfack in Stockholm, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen, TU Delft, Design Academy, Rietveld and TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands, KIST in Cologne, Les Ateliers in Paris, Royal College of Art, Sheffield-Hallam, Lancaster University and Northumbria in the UK, Glasgow School of Art, University of Aberdeen, and University of Dundee in Scotland, University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and several Italian universities, including Politecnico di Milano and iuav in Venice
  • If you are interested in African and South American schools, contact Design Next

Design can be broken into many subfields, and most of these subfields have books most people know. There is no single book or source that covers all grounds, but here is a list of a few well-cited and respected papers and books. If you are interested in design history, read widely, take a history course as an elective, and do not buy into the idea that design started with the industrial revolution. In countries like Italy and China, its history goes back thousands of years. Where did all those thousands of Greek statues in ancient Rome come from if not from factories.

1. Computer science and engineering

In engineering and computer science, Herbert Simon laid the foundation for what is known as design science, while the book by Blessing and Chakrabarti is fairly up-to-date. Simon’s world is systems and early artificial intelligence, Blessing and Chakrabarti’s mechanical and industrial design engineering. They also describe a research process in engineering in detail. In engineering, other schools of thought are German (below: Pahl et al., Ulrich and Eppinger), and French C/K theory (below: Hatchuel and Weil).

  • Simon, Herbert A 1969. The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Blessing, Lucienne T. M., and Amaresh Chakrabarti 2009. DRM, a Design Research Methodology. London: Springer-Verlag.
  • Ulrich, Karl and Steven Eppinger 2008. Product Design and Development. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Cagan, Jonathan and Craig Vogel 2013. Creating Breakthrough Products. New York: Pearson.
  • Suh, Nam-pyo 2001. Axiomatic Design. Advances and Applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Pahl, Gerhard. W. Beitz, Jörg Feldhusen and Karl Grote 2007. Engineering Design. A Systematic Approach. Dordrecht:  Springer-Verlag.
  • Budynas, Richard and J. Keith Nisbett 2006. Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • An influential French theory about design is C/K theory, which was developed by Armand Hatchuel in the highly respected Mines ParisTech in – you guessed it – Paris. The main formulation of this theory is in French, but a short introduction is: Hatchuel, Armand and Benoit Weil 2003. A New Approach of Innovative Design: An Introduction to C-K Theory. Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED’03), Stockholm, Sweden, pp 109–124, Download.

2. Information systems

Information systems in business have built their variant of Simonian ideas about the moniker design science. Alan Hevner’s paper on design science in information systems in business is highly cited, but the field has had alternative perspectives from the nineties, as the Hirschheim et al. book shows:

  • Hevner, Alan R, Salvatore T March, Jinsoo Park, and Sudha Ram 2008. Design Science in Information Systems Research. Management Information Systems Quarterly 28(1): 75-105.  
  • Hirschheim, R., Klein, H. K., & Lyytinen, K. 1995. Information Systems Development and Data Modeling. Conceptual and Philosophical Foundations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3. Design: industrial, graphic, interior

Design schools have generated a rich debate about design over the last two decades. Richard Buchanan’s 2001 paper offers a respected definition of design. Keinonen’s book has excellent examples of concept design at its best in massive industries like shipbuilding. Koskinen et al.’s methodological study of design research has shaped art and design education worldwide at Masters and PhD level, and Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby’s influential book Speculative Everything shows that art and design are close cousins.

  • Buchanan, Richard 2001. Design Research and the New Learning. Design Issues, Vol 17 (2001), 3–23.
  • Keinonen, Turkka and Roope Takala 2006. Product Concept Design. A Review of the Conceptual Design or Products in Industry. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Koskinen, Ilpo, John Zimmerman, Thomas Binder, Johan Redstrom, and Stephan Wensveen 2011. Design Research through Practice from the Lab, Field, and Showroom. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby 2013. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Any blogs written by Michael Bierut, one of the world’s leading graphic designers
  • On graphic design theory, try googling books by Meredith Davis and Sharon Poggenpohl

4. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), interaction design, and computer science

Current design research, and by implication, design practice is in many ways in debt to HCI and design-oriented computing. Nielsen’s, Norman’s and Carroll’s texts are milestones, while the most recent debate about design tends to find its articulation in the writings of John Zimmerman and Bill Gaver and their colleagues.

  • Nielsen, Jacob 1993. Usability Engineering. San Francisco: Academic Press.
  • Norman, Don 1988. The Psychology of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books. A new version as Norman, Don 1998. The Design of Everyday Things. London: MIT Press.
  • Carroll, John 2000. Making Use. Scenario-Based Design of Human-Computer Interactions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Zimmerman, John, Erik Stolterman, and Jodi Forlizzi 2010. An Analysis and Critique of Research Through Design: Towards a Formalization of a Research Approach. Proceedings of Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 310– 319. New York, NY, USA: ACM.
  • Gaver, William 2012. What Should We Expect from Research Through Design? Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 937–946. New York, NY, USA: ACM.

5. Design thinking and design ethnography

Design thinking has brought design into business since 2005. The main milestone was Brown’s book. While Brown is a designer by training, Martin offers a business school version of design thinking and Verganti an engineering economics version. Please note that Verganti’s version builds on Italian design of the 1980s, which limits the power of his argument. The most recent work in Stanford has been taking design thinking towards foresight. Heskett was trained in economics at LSE in London, and offers a reliable, learned and intuitive theory of how design creates economic value. There are probably a few thousand design anthropologists in the industry worldwide by now. Their main gathering is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, which will be held in Melbourne in 2020. Susan Squires is a good guide to the history of design ethnography and Melissa Cefkin is tiny bit more technical. For contemporary work, search Dawn Nafus from Intel as well as companies like RED Associates in Copenhagen and Gemic in Helsinki.

  • Brown, Tim 2009. Change by Design. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Martin, Roger 2009. The Design of Business. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Lewrick, Michael, Patrick Link and Larry Leifer 2018. The Design Thinking Playbook. New York: Wiley.
  • Verganti, Roberto 2009. Design Driven Innovation. Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.
  • Heskett, John 2017. Design and the Creation of Value. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Squires, Susan & Bryan Byrne (Eds.) 2002. Creating Breakthrough Ideas. The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
  • Cefkin, Melissa (Ed.) 2010. Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter. Reflections on Research in and of Corporations. New York: Berghahn Books.

6. Contemporary themes, Australian, Italian design

Service design has been a growth area in design from the early 2000s and it is currently expanding into social affairs. Downton’s work provides a glimpse into Australian design, as does Dorst’s book where many examples are from Sydney. Lewis’ book provides techniques for quick sustainable design. Some architects have a footprint in design: Pallasmaa’s book about phenomenology is easy to read and deep, and Andrea Branzi is the grand old man of Milanese design. His “Seven Obsessions” looks 2,500 years back at Italian design.

  • Meroni, Anna and Daniela Sangiorgi (Eds.). 2011. Design for Services. Adelshot: Gower Publishing.
  • Penin, Lara 2017. An Introduction to Service Design. Designing the Invisible. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Chen, Dung-Sheng, Lu Lin Cheng, Caroline Hummels and Ilpo Koskinen 2016. Social Design. Special Issue on Social Design in International Journal of Design 10(1).
  • Downton, Peter 2005. Design Research. Melbourne: RMIT University Press.
  • Dorst, Kees 2015. Frame Innovation: Create New Thinking by Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Lewis, Helen, John Gertsakis, Tim Grant, Nicola Morelli, Andrew Sweatman 2001/2017.  Design + Environment. A Global Guide to Designing Greener Goods. London: Taylor & Francic.
  • Pallasmaa, Juhani 2009. The Thinking Hand. Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. Chichester, UK: Wiley.
  • Branzi, Andrea 1986. The Hot House. Italian New Wave Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT.
  • Branzi, Andrea 2007. What Is Italian Design? Seven Obsessions of Italian Design. Milan: Triennale di Milano and Electa.

7. Excellent hands-on books

If you love making things with your hands and need to build a model of a realistic-looking air conditioning unit from scrap materials, the best thing to do is  take a look at these books that describe design practice. Some references are dated, but good techniques and imagination does not age, especially if they have been honed with the likes of the architect Norman Foster, as described in King Chung’s book.

  • Skolos, Nancy and Thomas Wedell 2012. Graphic Design Process: From Problem to Solution. London: Laurence King.
  • Milton, Alex and Paul Rogers 2013. Research Methods for Product Design. London: Laurence King.
  • Hallgrimsson, Bjarki 2014. Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design. London: Laurence King.
  • Lucci, Roberto and Paolo Orlandini 1990. Product Design Models. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
  • Kemnitzer, Ronald B. 1983. Rendering with Markers. Definitive Techniques for Designers, Illustrators and Architects. New York: Watson-Guptill.
  • Shimizu, Yoshiharu, Kojima, Takashi, Tano, Masazo, Matsuda, Shinji 1991. Models & Prototypes. Clay, Plaster, Styrofoam, Paper. Tokyo: Graphic Publishing Company.
  • Karsen, Arjan and Bernard Otte 2014. Model Making. Conceive, Create and Convince. Frame: Amsterdam.
  • Chung, King Y. 2012. My 36 Years of Model Making in Hong Kong. Hong Kong:  MCMM Creations.
  • Moon, Karen 2005. Modeling messages. The Architect and the Model. New York: The Monacelli Press.
  • Thompson, Rob 2007. Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Thompson, Rob 2017. The Materials Sourcebook for Design Professionals. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Rob Thompson has also compiled several other very useful practical books on specific topics, including textile design, furniture design, graphics and packaging, sustainable materials, and prototyping technologies.

If you plan to go to design conferences, it pays to be selective and strategic. Conferences are important for young researchers who still have to build their personal networks. The quality of most design conferences is very variable, and for this reason, it’s good to think twice before investing too much time into writing conference papers. The main exception is interaction design, in which leading work is invariably presented in conferences and sometimes books rather than in journals.

Good engineering design conferences

  • CIRP Design Conference and CIRP IPSS Conference organized by the International Academy for Production Engineering, on
  • International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE) organised by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, on
  • International Conference on Engineering Design organised by the Design Society, on
  • ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition organised by American Society for Engineering Education, on
  • ICED stands for International Conference on Engineering Design. Its 2019 gathering is in Delft, the Netherlands, on
  • Design Conference bring people together in the amazing town of Dubrovnik in Croatia, at

Global design conferences

The largest global network that focuses on education is Cumulus. It used to be a club of European independent design schools, but is now a global behemoth, on It is particularly good for educators who work at Masters level.

Regional and topical conferences

  • Nordes is a Nordic conference that was quite good, but is in the process of being redefined, on 
  • EPIC
  • ServDes for service design has seen lots of papers of variable quality, but the best ones have been shaping the discipline, on

For interaction designers

  • CHI: Computer-Human Interaction
  • DIS: Designing Interactive Systems


  • The Academy of Management’s annual conference is the top of the management world, and sometimes includes design interest elements

The Design Management Institute organises conferences that are usually focussed on the practical rather than on the research side, but this may be

Some of the websites designers tend to follow are:

  • Design Research News, which is edited by Prof. David Durling in Birmingham is very useful
  • PhD-design list at is active, but you need to filter it

A few publishers to follow include:

  • Bloomsbury. Design publishing has consolidated almost dangerously over the last few years when Bloomsbury, a British publisher, started buying other publishers in the English-speaking world. Its volume is large, and although the quality is variable, it has its better moments as well.
  • The best practical books are published by Laurence King Publishers. Its Portfolio series has been particularly useful.
  • Thames & Hudson published lots of coffee-table books, but also useful historical textbooks, and sometimes gems like Rob Thompson’s massive handbook-style volumes about manufacturing processes, materials, and sustainability.
  • The leading Italian publishers are Rizzoli and Triennale di Milano. Milan and Rome have a lively publishing scene, but many of its publications are hard to find outside of Italy. If you can, keep an eye on FrancoAngeli, Magioli, and Politecnico di Milano, and follow their journal Disegno industrial, which traverses the boundary between practice and research really well.
  • BIS Publishers in the Netherlands has a good series with several well-known volumes. Its strategy tends to focus on textbooks and practical books.
  • MIT Press has a few series that publish design books. Like Bloomsbury, the quality is variable, but the most central is probably a series edited by Ken Freidman and Erik Stolterman. Friedman knows Australia; he was a dean of Swinburne University of Technology. The series has published great, influential work over the years.
  • Springer is a Netherlands based publisher with a niche strategy. While British publishers tend to focus on the textbook market, and MIT tends to be interested in big name authors, Springer pushes scholarship. It’s probably the best place if you are interested in scholarly publishing that creates academic merit (MIT being another good option). Design NEXT’s professor Ilpo Koskinen edits one of its series, called Design Research Foundations.

Design researchers routinely follow about ten journals, and practitioners read them occasionally too. The following list provides a few examples of those that you might want to keep checking once in a while. As a rule, if you want to make a mark in design, you should try to publish in these journals. Go where your peers go.

Top-tier design journals

Top-tier engineering design journals

Another set of journals design researchers follow

And then there are a few that are good for specialised communities, including Craft Research, whose editor Kristina Niedderer is highly respected for her work in turning craft into a research discipline, on

Some high cite journals which also consider design in architecture include:

Some other esteemed journals (typically Q2 but respected) which are interested in architectural design include:

  • Keep an eye on the Design Management Institute in Boston, on
  • Design centers keep popping up in many places. Recent examples include the University of California San Diego. There are currently several main types of design centres: Maker Spaces, Design Factories, and multidisciplinary spaces like Design Next. The UK’s Design Council publishes studies about design in the UK
  • Check occasionally on what the MIT Media Lab is doing. Its heydays have gone, but it’s still a place everyone benchmarks, so check it a couple of times a year to keep up with design discussions around media
  • Check the leading design firms: Fjord, Frog Design, IDEO, Pentagram, Wolff Olins, Arup, etc., and also check the Web sites of leading architects like Santiago Calatrava, BIG, and Norman Foster once a year
  • Some of the leading competitions: iF, based in Korea on, Braun Prize, based in Germany on, Dyson Awards, based in the UK on Every designer should participate in one competition to see how they work, but it is also good to be cautious. Many competitions are businesses, and if you pay the participation fee, you will get an award. Also, it is good to be slightly cynical about competitions. They put premium on concept, presentation and aesthetics, but these are not always qualities the market and users appreciate
  • There are several good museums that focus on design. Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has good exhibitions, National Gallery of Victoria exhibits design once in a while, 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo can be interesting, Museum of Modern Art in New York has an amazing collection, though it cannot define what is good in design anymore. Most European countries known for design have leading museums. These include Triennale di Milano, which is probably the best design museum in the world, Bauhaus Archive in Berlin and the Bauhaus buildings in Dessau, Röhsska museet in Gothenburg, The Design Museum in London, Boijmans van Beuningen and Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and Designhuis in Eindhoven, Designmuseo in Helsinki, Danish Design Center in Copenhagen, Musée des arts et métiers and Pompidou Center in Paris
  • Finally, there are several design weeks and festivals. These take place in most design-savvy cities and countries, including the Netherlands, Helsinki and London, and there are also design weeks in Nairobi. These are sometimes linked to design districts that market design-intensive neighborhoods like TriBeCa in New York, Söder in Stockholm, and Punavuori in Helsinki. The largest commercial design fairs are organized by Design Miami in the context of Art Basel in Switzerland