The Design Principles & Practices Research Network is thankful for the contributions and support of the following organizations.

University of Newcastle

2022 Conference Partner

The University of Newcastle, Australia is a world-class university with a strong focus on student experience, excellence in teaching, and research.

Centro Roberto Garza Sada de Arte, Arquitectura y Diseño

2021 Conference Partner

The Roberto Garza Sada (CRGS) Center is a space for ideas and expressions that brings together and develops the best creative talent, thus consolidating itself as a seat for the formation, creation, and preservation of art, architecture, and design in Latin America.

Universidad de Monterrey

2021 Conference Partner

We are a higher-education institution of catholic inspiration, open to students and faculty of all creeds and backgrounds. The Universidad de Monterrey is notable for offering a unique Whole-Person Education Plan to each student; in accordance with their personal characteristics and professional interests so that they can fulfill their maximum potential in an environment of high academic rigor and an international vision.

Pratt Institute

2020 Conference Partner

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as a campus in Utica, New York (PrattMWP College of Art and Design), Pratt has an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars who challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression.

St Petersburg University

2019 Conference Partner

For more than 290 years, St Petersburg University has been committed to advancing science and training highly qualified professionals. The University dates back to 1724, when Peter the Great founded the Academy of Sciences and Arts as well as the first Academic University and the university preparatory school in Russia.

ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

2018 Conference Partner

Founded in 1961, ELISAVA was the first School of Design to be established in Spain. For this reason, the methodological guidelines it has developed have been adopted as a model by other schools.

ELISAVA promotes knowledge, research, development, and innovation in all the fields revolving around design, engineering, and communication. This is achieved by means of an academic training that prepares the students to meet professional challenges at an international level, promoting the relationship of our community with the business sector, as well as with institutions and nowadays society. In this way, the School ensures the student’s viability to transform themselves and grow in a global and changing environment.

ELISAVA wants to become a university centre with the status of international model, contributing to the transformation of human environment and the creation of new realities; combining the development of design, engineering and communication with creativity and quality.


2018 Conference Partner

DESIS Lab ELISAVA are change agents. We explore the relationship between design and social change and our goal is open the mind-set both in education in design-led social innovation practices and in research.

Desis Lab ELISAVA works as the hub of the Municipality and Government of Catalonia, foundations, associations, universities, schools and museums, both at local and international level.

It operates in the framework of the Desis Network, participating in large scale research programs, clusters and projects addressed to effect social change at the urban scale.

The Desis Network consists of more than 30 design labs based in design universities around the world orienting their teaching and research activities towards social innovation and sustainability.

DESIS Network

2018 Conference Partner

DESIS Network originates from three main international activities in the 2006-2008 period: the European research EMUDE, 2005; the UNEP Program CCSL, 2008 and the international conference “Changing the Change, within the framework of Torino World Design Capital, 2008.In different ways, these activities introduced the notions of creative community and social innovation in several design schools worldwide and created favourable conditions to start an international network on these topics.

The main ideas behind it were that social innovation could be a powerful driver towards sustainability and that design schools could help in supporting and accelerating the process. In 2009, this network took the name of DESIS: Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability. In the 2009-2011 period, DESIS spread in several regions of the world, establishing partnerships with other entities and evolving towards a network of Design Labs based in design schools and in other design-oriented universities and operating with local, regional and global partners to promote and support social change towards sustainability.

Since September 2014, DESIS is a no-profit and cultural association, with the purpose to promote design for social innovation in higher education institutions with design discipline so as to generate useful design knowledge and to create meaningful social changes in collaboration with other stakeholders.

Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College

2017 Conference Partner

The Institute without Boundaries (IwB) was founded in 2003 by the School of Design at George Brown College, in consultation with Bruce Mau. The IwB is a Toronto-based academic program and studio that offers unique educational experience and professional services. The Institute focuses on collaborative design practice with the objectives of social, ecological and economic innovation through design research and strategy.

Central to the work of the IwB are real projects of public and global significance that are executed by students, faculty and industry experts either as part of the academic curriculum, research initiatives and/ or creative projects. The Institute has three divisions: an academic postgraduate certificate program called Interdisciplinary Design Strategy; a research division that supports special projects that further the IwB’s objectives, and a professional projects division that offers consulting services.

As a top design training and research centre, the IwB is committed to collaborative and interdisciplinary design practice. At the Institute, we see the designer as a problem solver with the ability to affect positive change for humanity. We are a place where students, teachers, industry and community experts come together not only as creators and designers, but also as ambassadors of hope. We imagine how to live, learn, work, and play together as a global community and seek alternative development patterns and viable paths to a bright future.

Sapienza University of Rome

Network Partner

With over 700 years of history, over 113,000 students, 3,300 teachers and 2,000 employees, technicians and librarians, in addition to 1,800 administrative staff in university hospitals, Sapienza is the first university in Europe. Our mission is to contribute to the development of a knowledge society through research, excellence, quality education and international cooperation.


Network Partner

Cumulus is an international association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media. It is the only global association to serve art and design education and research. Cumulus exists as a forum to create partnerships, transfer knowledge and to share best practices. Currently, Cumulus counts 226 members from 49 countries.

European Academy of Design

Network Partner

The European Academy of Design was formed in 1994 to improve European-wide research collaboration and dissemination and to promote the publication and dissemination of design research. The Academy is headed by a committee of leading academics from across Europe, as well as from North America and Australia. To date, the Academy has hosted ten international conferences. Since 1997, The Design Journal had been published in association with the European Academy of Design. This refereed journal, published six times each year, provides a platform for the dissemination of design thinking and research. It aims to encourage discussion across traditional boundaries between practice and theory, and between disciplines defined by working media, materials and areas of application. The Academy also publishes the proceedings of its conferences. Membership is open to all of those interested in design research, whether academic, student, or practitioner.

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Network Partner

PUC-Rio was the first private higher education institution in the country, created by the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1940 by Cardinal D. Sebastião Leme and Father Leonel Franca S.J.

Beyond providing education, PUC-Rio undertook the task of assisting the community, based on Christian ethical values, solidarity and human respect. It represents a space for achievement, overcoming challenges and development of its students.

The university operates under the supervision of the Society of Jesus and under the supreme authority of the Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro as its Grand Chancellor.

PUC-Rio is a non-profit philanthropic institution.

It is thus a Catholic university based in Christian humanistic principles.

Past Partners

The Design Principles & Practices Research Network has had the pleasure of working with the following organizations:

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