Professor David Durling


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 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).



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Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021