Professional Associations

The Design Research Society

Website: The Design Research Society

The aims of DRS  include:

  • recognising design as a creative act common to many disciplines
  • understanding research and its relationship with education and practice
  • advancing the theory and practice of design

National Research Foundation

Website: National Research Foundation

The objective of the National Research Foundation (NRF) is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities, in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of the natural and social sciences, humanities and technology.



The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design is a global not-for-profit organisation that promotes better design around the world.



International Council of Graphic Design Associations is the world body for professional graphic design and visual communication..

German Design Council

Website:German Design Council

The German Design Council was founded as an initiative of the German Federal Parliament in 1953 to meet the growing need of the business world for information about design. Today, the German Design Council is one of the world's leading competence centres for communication and know-how transfer in the design field

Communication Research Institute of Australia

Website:Communication Research Institute of Australia

An interesting site filled with useful material and a host of articles on different aspects of design research.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (