Professor David Durling

My research vision

Following a commercial career, and after taking a PhD as a mature student, a career change led to several posts as a research manager in art and design, and as a design researcher. In the emerging research area of design, his interest grew in establishing high quality doctoral training often through consortia arrangements, in the development of robust peer review processes, and in facilitating networking among the international design research community. These interests led, for example, to: establishing ‘Design Research News’ which is published to over 8,500 researchers world-wide; and the Design Advanced Research Training scheme which is now hosted by Coventry University.

Professor David Durling profile photo.

Professor of Design Research

Building: Graham Sutherland

Room: GSG12


David Durling's expertise is primarily in design research management, doctoral training, research audit, and peer review processes.

He previously held a number of senior research management posts in UK universities. His education was in industrial design, and he holds a PhD in design education from the Open University. For more than a decade he ran a design consultancy specialising in science laboratory planning and equipment design, and has commercial experience in furniture, interiors, product design and design management. His research interests have ranged across: creativity and designer personality; peer review processes; doctoral supervision and examination; and research management.

He is past Chair of the Design Research Society.  He was a panel member for Art and Design in the UK Research Assessment Exercises in 2001 and 2008, and advises a number of leading departments on research quality. He has co-chaired significant international conferences such as 'Doctoral Education in Design' 2000 (France) and 2003 (Japan). He is currently Secretary-General of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR).

Selected outputs

  • Israsena, P., Tangsantikul, J., and Durling, D. (eds.) (2012) Proceedings of the Design Research Society Biennial International Conferences: Bangkok. 'DRS 2012'. Held 2012 in Bangkok.
  • Durling, D., Bousbaci, R., Chen, L-L., Gauthier, P., Poldma, T., Rowoth-Stokes, S., and Stolterman, E. (eds.) (2010) Proceedings of the Design Research Society Biennial International Conferences: Montreal. 'DRS 2012'. Held 2010 in Montreal.
  •  Durling, D., Rust, C., Chen, L-L., Ashton, P., and Friedman, K. (eds.) (2008) Undisciplined! Proceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2008. 'DRS 2008'. Held 2008 in Sheffield, UK.
  • Redmond, J., Durling, D., and de Bono, A. (eds.) (2004) FutureGround. Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference 2004. 'DRS 2004'. Held 2004 in Melbourne, Australia
  • Durling, D., and Shackleton, J. (eds.) (2002) Commonground. Proceedings of the Conference Common Ground Design Research Society International Conference. 'DRS 2002'. Held 05-07 Sep 2002 in London, UK.
  • Durling, D., and Friedman, K. (2000) Proceedings of the Doctoral Education in Design Conference: Foundations for the Future. 'DED2'. Held 2000 in La Clusaz, France
  • Durling, D., and Sugiyama, K. (eds.) (2003) Proceedings of the Doctoral Education in Design Conferences. 'DED3'. Held 2003 in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Durling, D., Cross, N., and Johnson, J. (1996) 'Personality and learning preferences of students in design and design-related disciplines'. In Smith, J.S. (ed.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Design and Technology Educational Research, 'IDATER 96'. Held 02-04 Sep 1996 in Loughborough, UK. 88-94.
  • Durling, D. (2002) 'Discourses on Research and the PhD in Design'. Quality Assurance in Education 10 (2), 79-85.
  • Durling, D., and Niedderer, K. (2007) 'The benefits and limits of investigative designing'. Proceedings of the International Design Congress, 'IASDR 2007'. Held 12-15 Nov 2007 in Hong Kong.

Selected projects

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020