Design research and methodologies provide novel ways to characterize many of the theoretical issues at stake in our modern world. Below is a list of resources that are useful in studying design.


Design Issues

An academic journal that examines design history, theory, and cultural and intellectual issues surrounding design. There are critical and theoretical articles, book reviews, and articles on design education. The intended audiences are academics, students, and design professionals. (Available through U of T library).

Design Studies

The peer-reviewed journal reports on new research and innovations in the design field as well as topics on design education. The journal has a broad scope from the impact of bad design, computer aids in design, design and society, and design and manufacturing.  Intended for design professionals, academics, and students. (Available through U of T library).

Journal of Design Research (JDR)

This professional journal is about different design theories, research, products, and related disciplines such as engineering and architecture. Attention is paid to design as a social process, including topics like cultural differences in product design. This publication is geared towards design professionals and academics. Content includes original papers, review papers, case studies, conference reports, book reviews, notes, and commentaries. (subscription only)


Landviews is the online journal of LAND: Landscape, Art and Design. the site’s network includes artists, architects, designers, and ecologists concerned for the landscape. They are the American sister publication to the UK-based Landscape and Art Network. Their journal is archived on the site and freely accessible. LAND is developing a joint study program to include internships and independent studies with the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study Interdisciplinary Arts Program. More information on the program is available here


Design 21: Social Design Network

DESIGN 21: Social Design Network’s attempts to inspire social consciousness through design and how design can positively impact communities. DESIGN 21: Social Design Network is a collaborative project between the global design and merchandise company Felissimo and UNESCO. Design 21 features sustainable design competitions, news, projects, and a blog. There is also a vast international database of social design related organization and people.

Design TAXI

An online design resource about every topic or discipline remotely related to design. Resources available include an article database, job database, current design news, events, and competitions, etc. It is strongly industry orientated.

Free Soil

Free Soil is a collaboration of artists, activists, researchers and gardeners who use critical art to examine the urban and natural environment, sustainability, and social practice. The website includes news, and reviews about relevant artists, exhibitions, books, public projects, and articles browsable by category.

Green Museum

Green Museum is an online museum of environmental art. Environmental art is critical art that aims to inform and to improve our relationship with the environment. The practice is interdisciplinary and includes collaboration with scientists, educators, and community groups. Green Museum has detailed information and links about the artists hosted on the site. Other resources include a blog, discussion forum, critical essays, calendar of events, and related links.

Landscape & Arts Network

This is a British critical art organization concerned with creative arts, crafts, ecology and the environment. The network includes artists, landscape architects and designers, architects, environmentalists, commissioners, producers and funders. The organization organizes lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, site visits, and workshops. The site also contains the archived Landscape and Arts Journal, related book reviews, and recent events.


Orlo is a nonprofit organization using the creative arts to explore environmental issues. Orlo produces art exhibitions, live performance work, publications, and public awareness campaigns. There are videos and archives of exhibitions, news, and events. Their journal The Bear Deluxe Magazine can be downloaded off the site.

Seen and Unseen

Seen and Unseen is a project by Helix Arts, a registered English charity. Seen & Unseen promotes examples of how communities can work with artists and scientists to tackle their own pollution problems and explores the social role of art. Projects include building marshlands to treat water, teaching youths how to create internet radio broadcasts about the local environment.


SlowLab is a New York city based organization that promotes slow design. SlowLab defines the principles of slow design as; 1. Reveal:  Slow design reveals spaces and experiences in everyday life that are often missed or forgotten, including the materials and processes that can easily be overlooked in an artifact’s existence or creation. 2. Expand: Slow design considers the real and potential “expressions” of artifacts and environments beyond their perceived functionality, physical attributes and lifespans. 3. Reflect: Slowly-designed artifacts and environments induce contemplation and ‘reflective consumption.’  4. Engage: Slow design processes are “open source” and collaborative, relying on sharing, co-operation and transparency of information so that designs may continue to evolve into the future. 5. Participate: Slow design encourages users to become active participants in the design process, embracing ideas of conviviality and exchange to foster social accountability and enhance communities. 6. Evolve: Slow design recognizes that richer experiences can emerge from the dynamic maturation of artifacts and environments over time. Resources at slowLab are a blog, people profiles, projects, and slow design forums.

The Society of Design History

This organization is concerned with the history of design, craft and applied arts as well as contemporary critique and theory. The’ production, dissemination and consumption, cultural, economic and social meanings of artefacts is investigated. Resources a newsletter, scholarship and research awards, events, and links to design related archives, study programs, museums, association, and online resources. The society also produces the Journal of Design History  (available through U of T library). Special issues include “Technology and the Body” and “Do it Yourself: Democracy and Design”.

People and Groups

Critical Art Ensemble

CAE is a collective of five artists from various specializations who explore the intersections of art, critical theory, technology, and radical politics. The site hosts several critical website projects and the artists’ books are free to download. Their book projects include: The Electronic Disturbance (1997), Electronic Civil Disobedience & Other Unpopular Ideas(1998), Flesh Machine; Cyborgs, Designer Babies, Eugenic Consciousness (1998), Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media (2001), Molecular Invasion (2002), and Marching Plague (2006). The aim of the group is to promote an informed, critical public discourse of scientific research and its social implications and to demistify the scientific process. Many of their performance exhibits invite the public to participate in scientific experimentation. Descriptions of their exhibits are available here Their current focus is on biotechnology, but the critical framework they use can be useful in other studies.

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