PhD by Design

*Call now closed*

PhD by Design Call for Participation


On Monday the 25th June 2018, PhD By Design will hold a one-day event prior to DRS2018 to vocalise, discuss and work through some of the many issues of conducting a practice-based PhD in Design. The event 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.

Since 2014,  the PhD by Design platform provides a supportive and engaged environment for design research students in which to share experiences, dilemmas, failures and doubts connected to practice-based research in order to strengthen but also push the boundaries of the wider practice-based design research community.

In connection to the DRS2018 conference, this one day event will explore how and to what extent  design research(ers) can be a catalyst for change. We invite participants to interrogate their role as catalyst of change in relation to their PhD research.

  • How does your PhD in Design, frame and address the societal problems that face us?
  • Where do you see your role as early career researcher when wanting to act as catalyst of change?
  • What values and worldviews do you draw on when working towards change?
  • What kind of change do you want to bring about through design?
  • With whom do you collaborate in order to bring about change and how do you negotiate different agendas?
  • What desirable or undesirable effects does your practice-based research have?
  • In what ways do you think that your research is re-shaping the relationship between different social, economic and political actors?
  • In what ways do you think your PhD is re-framing ideas about what design can do in the world?

Participants will share their own doctoral research through short presentations, workshops and activities which will contribute to our understanding of how design is a catalyst for change and, more specifically, what kind of change design is creating. The aim is to explore how the participants’ evolving research contributes to wider discussions taking place in the field of design and other research communities

As during DRS2016 in Brighton, the one day event will kick-start conversations which will continue into the DRS conference in the days following, through a programme of activities, workshops and the fifth issue of the Instant Journal. All of this will take place in PhD By Design ‘Hub‘ space in the heart of the DRS2018 conference.


There will be the possibility of running a series of workshops both within the PhD By Design event on Monday the 25th June and throughout the week of the conference from the PhD By Design Hub space. If you would like to run a 90 minute workshop in relation to design as catalyst of change, 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.


The PhD By Design event is limited to 60 participants, however, the workshops and Hub activities are open to all DRS delegates.

Submission Requirements

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 question around designs role as a catalyst for change

                   Three key words

                   Workshop proposal (optional) (200 words)


Applications must be made through the PhD By Design website:

All submissions must be in the English language.

Key Dates for PhD by Design

Deadline for PhD By Design event and workshop applications: 15th February 2018.

Notification of submission and workshop outcome: 20th March 2018.



Contact us

@phdbydesign #phdbydesign

Facebook /PhDbyDesign


Contact details and Information about past events is available at:

Any enquiries about the conference should be directed to:


Sign up for updates on our conference website:


Follow us on Twitter: <> #drs2018