top of page

Design Literacy International Network (DLIN)

The aim of the Design Literacy International Network is to bring together scholars who have an interest to critically explore sustainable and socially ethical perspectives to underpin the research on design and design education from kindergarten to PhD.

Our research links design literacy to democratic participation in design processes and the awareness of quality and sustainability in innovation, production and consumption. We want to uncover and make visible the impact of the public on environmental challenges in society, including in their role as consumers.

The 2019 workshop at the ADIM conference in London successfully borough together scholars who expressed interest to be associated and to support the goals of the Design Literacy International Network. One of the recommendations which came from the workshop was to create a webpage to facilitate sharing information of scholars’ research future projects and past research outputs such as papers, articles, conferences presentations, funding applications.

Read more about DLIN at the webpage

Monthly DLIN- events

Once a month the DLIN network arrange a one-hour event, where design researchers from all over the world are invited to share their research and engagement. The event is announced at the website:



Past events can be viewed here:

The events are free. Sign up for events here:

Design literacy in perspective - symposium, October 2022

In October 2022 DLIN arranged a digital symposium titled: Perspectives on Design Literacy.  The result from the symposium will be published in a special issue of the journal FormAkademisk.

Inauguration of the Design Literacy International Network (DLIN)

The DLIN network was inaugurated in 2019 during a workshop at the Academy of Design Innovation Management (ADIM) conference in London. The workshop was chaired by Liv Merete Nielsen, Erik Bohemia and Karen Brænne. Úrsula Bravo and Catalina Cortés co-chaired the workshop. 

The aims of the  DLIN- workshop were threefold
      (a) establish an international network on Design Literacy,
      (b) articulate how network membership might support personal goals,

      (c) share information regarding how the participants might contribute into the network in terms of research expertise,             funding, and networks.

A majority of the workshop participants had presented papers in Track 6b: Design Literacy enabling Critical Innovation Practices. Different perspectives on Design Literacy was presented during the four sessions of Track 6b and proved a valuable point of departure for further discussions in the workshop. Two papers from the track were awarded TOP III at the conference, Úrsula Bravo for best student paper and Eva Lutnæs for best paper. In her paper, Lutnæs’ raise the question of what it means to be design literate in a context of critical innovation and suggest the following definition:

Being design literate in a context of critical innovation means to be aware of both positive and negative impacts of design on people and the planet, approaching real-world problems as complex, voicing change through design processes, and judging the viability of any design ideas in terms of how they support a transition towards more sustainable ways of living (Lutnæs, 2019).

The proposed definition was displayed on screen and the concept of Design Literacy debated. How is Design Literacy different from other types of literacies, such as visual literacy? Is it vital to be able to address the negative impacts of design? How could the concept be kept wide and open to evolve? What is design illiteracy? How could indicators of design literacy be developed instead of making a definition?


A group of the Design Literacy workshop participants from left to right: Randi Veiteberg Kvellestad, Viktor Klimenko,

Catarina Lelis, Úrsula Bravo, Lucille Valentine, Catalina Cortés, Katja Thoring, and Roland M. Mueller.

After a plural session, the participants worked in groups and were encouraged to articulate how network membership might support their personal goals, articulate research ideas and expertise. This is an important aspect as we envisage developing a proactive network that support international colleagues with diverse career paths and visions. Thus, recognising that members’ context and diverse agendas will play an important part of how the Design Literacies will be taken up. Identifying the diversity provides a tipping point to succeed in the development of rich resources that can be adopted by the members of the Design Literacy International Network to develop specific research funding applications with a goal to produce tangible impact.


Liv Merete Nielsen, Else Margrethe Lefdal, Janne Beate Reitan, Tore Andre Ringvold, Irene Brodshaug,Anita Neuberg, Peter Haakonsen, Randi Veiteberg Kvellestad, Eva Lutnæs 

bottom of page