Types of membership

There are four types of personal membership of the Design Society: Member, Associate Member, Fellow and Honorary Fellow.


A member is normally an individual who is or has been actively engaged in a design field and who has professional and/or academic qualifications that allow them to practice as a designer, design teacher, Professor and/or design researcher in an appropriate design field. Apply NOW

Associate Member

An Associate Member is an individual who is actively engaged in a design field and who is achieving qualifications to be admitted into the Society as a Member. Maximum period as Associate Member is 5 years, or 2 years after PhD graduation – whichever comes first.

Applications are welcome. Each application is considered by the DS Applications Group. Apply NOW


A Fellow is an individual recognised by the Society to have made a truly significant contribution to the Society and its aims and objectives. A Fellow must be nominated by other members. The process of becoming a Fellow is managed by the Fellowship Committee. The grade of Fellow is reserved for Full Members of the Society.

Honorary Fellow

An Honorary Fellow is an individual recognised by the Society to have rendered outstanding services to the aims of the Society or to the design community in general, due regard being paid to the fact that this is the highest honour the Society can bestow. An Honorary Fellow is chosen by the Advisory Board and Board of Management.

Other membership conditions

Retired Members

Retired Members are asked to pay the same fee as Associate Members; please note that retirement must be declared to the Board of Management (membership at designsociety dot org) – regulations vary internationally so if you don’t tell us we wont know!


Departmental Membership

This is for a department that wishes to apply for DS membership for its design team. Applications go through the Administrator.

DS Departmental members have full access to the DS website, discount on DS events and voting rights at meetings.


Institutional Membership

Institutional Membership is suitable for large groups working in industrial research or higher education who need access to the latest body of research on design.

Read more about Institutional Membership here.

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