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 in Brighton, UK.

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 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.

How to get involved:

All participants are asked to submit one future-focused question they are grappling with through their PhD. These questions will be used to form discussions sessions where each participant will present current or unfinished PhD research in 5 minutes to a group of fellow researchers to share learnings, provide feedback and search for answers together.

If you would like to run a 90 minute workshop for up to 20 people, please send us a proposal when you complete the application form. The workshop can be ran individually or collaboratively but you must provide all materials. Issues that emerged during the last conference that could be potential workshop topics are: material design tools; what constitutes good supervision (both from the side of the PhD candidate and the supervisor); what would an inclusive and sustainable working environment for design researchers look like. We would be happy if people would come forward to run workshop sessions on these topics.

We are using a peer-review submission process to ensure that each discussion session is focussed on common interests. When completing the submission form, please consider how your work speaks to the conference theme and convey this in your bio, research statement and the question you submit.

To attend this PhD By Design event, you must register for the DRS conference.1

Information for submission:

  • A research bio (70 words)
  • A short description of your research (max 200 words)
  • One image of your work (at least 2 to 4 MB)
  • One future-focused question
  • Three key words
  • Workshop proposal (optional) (200 words)
  • You can access the application form here.2

Registration fee:

There is no additional cost for attending the PhD By Design event if you have registered for the DRS conference. You must register for the DRS conference to attend this event. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided

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