Since the ‘empirical turn’ in design studies, many methods drawn from the social and human sciences have been applied to the study of designers' activities. Recently, conversation analysis (CA) has been gaining some attention as one of these approaches that may offer promise for design studies. In this paper, we present an analysis of design work informed by CA. Our analysis is intended both as a means of exemplifying how the approach can be applied to design, and as empirical groundwork for sketching out what a CA program of research in design studies could offer the field. We argue that CA can provide an empirical respecification of central conceptual and theoretical topics in design research.