The next PhD By Design event will take place on Monday the 27th June 2016 and is part of the Design Research Society (DRS) conference which runs on the 28th - 30th June 2016.

It is an opportunity to present work and discuss the diverse aspects of what it means to do a practice-based PhD in Design. In connection to the DRS conference, this one day event will explore what the future holds for design research and how this future is being enacted through practice-based PhD design projects right now.


The aim of the event is to vocalise, discuss and work through many of the topical issues of conducting a practice-based PhD in design and to explore how these are re-shaping the field of design. It will bring together designers undertaking practice-based doctoral research as well as supervisors to explore the many aspects of knowledge production within and across academic institutions. This event will provide a forum for early career researchers.

What will happen?

The day will include ten discussion sessions where every participant will present their work, a series of peer-to-peer workshops and the collective production of the third PhD By Design Instant Journal bringing together the learnings of the day. In the three days of the DRS conference, we will become one voice and take questions raised from the PhD By Design event, and put them to the rest of the research community. This will then form a series of blog posts, producing a dialogue of pressing and critical issues that are relevant to design researchers today.

Download the #3 Instant Journal Call HERE.

How to get involved

The application deadline has now passed and we are unable to accept any further applications for the PhD By Design event on Monday the 27th June. We will however be hosting a series of workshops from our PhD By Design Hub Space throughout the DRS conference (Tuesday 28th - Friday 1st July). See workshop programme below. The Hub space will also act as a workspace for anyone that wants to have some down time from the rest of the conference or just meet other PhD’s. 



Alex Wilkie

Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Alex Wilkie is the Director of the MPhil/PhD programme in Design, Co-Programme Leader of the MA: Interaction Design and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process. He has been working at the intersection between design and science and technology studies (STS) for over sixteen years.



Bill Gaver is Professor of Design and co-director of the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research on design-led methodologies and innovative technologies for everyday life led him to develop an internationally recognised studio bringing the skills of designers together with expertise in ubiquitous computing and sociology.

Cameron Tonkinwise

Carnegie Mellon University

Cameron Tonkinwise is the Director of Design Studies and Doctoral Studies at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He also directs the School of Design's Doctoral research program. Cameron has a background in philosophy and continues to research what designers can learn from philosophies of making, material culture studies and sociologies of technology. His primary area of research is sustainable design. In particular, he focuses on the design of systems that lower societal materials intensity, primarily by decoupling use and ownership - in other words, systems of shared use. 

Guy Julier

University of Brighton/Victoria and Albert Museum

Guy Julier is Professor of Design Culture and the University of Brighton/Victoria and Albert Museum Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design. His books include New Spanish Design, the Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Design since 1990, The Culture of Design and he is also the co-editor of Design and Creativity:  Policy, Management and Practice. Previously a Visiting Professor at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Southern Denmark, his academic work includes the development of Design Culture Studies as a scholarly discipline alongside strategy work for the AHRC and other organisations on social design and public sector innovation. Since 2012, he has convened the V&A’s Design Culture Salon.

Ramia Mazé

Aalto Univeristy

From August 2015, I am appointed Professor of New Frontiers in Design at Aalto Univeristy to pursue a programmatic vision in "Designing Our Common Future". As a researcher, educator and designer, I specialize in critical and participatory approaches to design for systems and products that alter social practices and public life. While design is traditionally formulated in relation to industry, my work explores the expansion of design roles in society.

Rebecca Ross

Central Saint Martins

Rebecca Ross leads the MA in Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins. Her work engages with the ways in which images, media, and data, are actively intertwined with the built environment as well as the design of academic practice. Her project London is Changing, was displayed on digital billboards around Central London during 2015. Ross is founding co-editor of the Urban Pamphleteer (since 2013) and is currently working on a book about postcodes and addressing.



Joanna Boehnert is a design practitioner, theorist and researcher concerned with the visual communication of complex information. As a practitioner she uses images and digital technologies to address complex problems on issues of the environment and social justice. Joanna is a Research Fellow in Graphic Design at CREAM at the University of Westminster. In 2013-2014 she developed the Mapping Climate Communication research project while employed as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR) in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder.  

Jonathan Chapman

University of Brighton

Jonathan Chapman is Professor of Sustainable Design and Director of Design Research Initiatives at the University of Brighton. Best known for his concepts of emotional durability in design, Professor Chapman's work seeks to reveal the behavioural phenomena that shape patterns of consumption and waste. His research into sustainable design – and product life extension in particular – has advanced product design and business thinking in a range of settings, from Sony, Puma and Philips to the House of Lords and the UN.

Terry Irwin

Carnegie Mellon University

Terry Irwin is the Head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and has been teaching at the University level since 1986. Her research is in the area of design for society and the environment. In particular it explores how principles and behavior of living systems and Goethean Science can inform a more appropriate and responsible way to design. 




Tobie has worked as a design researcher since 2003, with the Interaction Research Studio and as a Helen Hamlyn Research Associate. He is committed to taking a collaborative and speculative approach to design, and in providing empirical and critical accounts of that practice. Tobie’s PhD thesis provided an empirical analysis of Material Beliefs, where speculative design and public engagement with science and technology become mixed up, and he is able to supervise PhD students dealing with complimentary topics. 

Local Organising team

Alessandro Esculapio

Alessandro is a writer and PhD candidate at University of Brighton. His research examines fashion practices that reframe fashion objects as sites of personal memory. The aim of the study is to expose deeper social purposes that are overlooked within dominant consumerist narratives in fashion. Before undertaking his doctoral research, Alessandro obtained an MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design in New York. There, he worked as Teaching Assistant at both undergraduate and graduate levels and co-founded BIAS: Journal of Dress Practice. He has contributed to Vestoj and the Journal of Design Strategies among others, and co-authored the books Just Fashion: Critical Cases of Social Justice In Fashion (2012) and The Fashion Condition (2014).

Twitter: @thealessandroe



Giovanni is a doctoral researcher at the University of Brighton, School of Arts and Humanities, since 2015. He is also member of the University’s Critical Studies Research Group and his practice-led research is AHRC funded through the Design Star CDT Consortium. Having completed an MA in Design at London’s Central Saint Martins, Giovanni’s current work is concerned with design intended as a critical practice, with a particular emphasis on its political and philosophical dimension. His doctoral research revolves around the nature and ethical implications of persons-artefacts encounters in the context of quotidian activity. The study ultimately seeks to propose design objects as performative tactics for the enactment of an alternative practice of the everyday.

Twitter: @giomarmont

Email: G.Marmont (at)


Lilian is a designer and Doctoral researcher at University of Brighton, School of Arts and Humanities. Her practise-based PhD explores the discourse of design as a mode of contemporary practise, with particular attention to the articulation of design research and practice within ‘social design’. The practice-led elements of the research, will investigate the genealogy of design methodologies within a political and economical context, for the enhancement of public services, and policy design. Previous to her studies at University of Brighton, Lilian completed a master’s degree in Design History and Theory, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. Her work in design includes, collaboration with the Institute for the Development of Crafts, in conjunction with local communities in the north of Mexico, for the promotion of traditional crafts in the region.

Twitter: @LilianSMoreno 

Email: L.Sanchez-Moreno2 (at)


Merryn is a designer and PhD researcher at University of Brighton. Her practice based research is an industry led, AHRC funded collaboration between University of Brighton and Philips Lighting. The main focus of the project is to explore the integration of Emotionally Durable Design, Service Innovation and Circular Economy thinking into the new product development process of consumer lighting with this study building upon the foundation research carried out by Philips, TU Delft and Jonathan Chapman. This work draws from her previous experience as a graphic designer within innovation consulting, her time as a product and furniture designer/maker but also her Masters in Design and Innovation for Sustainability from Cranfield University, where she managed and completed other industry focused projects in product development with Oxfam GB and Whirlpool LAR.

Twitter: @mezhgcom 

Email: m.haines-gadd1 (at)



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