Practice based research

Things sure change fast around here. (No, not another Time Flies post, although time is a bit of a theme). I’m taking another unexpected turn – not directly away from iPhone development, but something new, in tandem: I just enrolled in a full time PhD at RMIT University.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of work in and around RMIT for the last few years, and when the potential PhD candidate for the Circus Oz Living Archive project fell through, I was there to catch it. This is something very new and very different for me – I’m used to being employed to perform a particular technical task or to solve a specified design problem, but as a PhD candidate I’ll have to define a research topic and act on it. I’ve never even worked in a single job or on a single project for three years, let alone defined my own boundaries and focussed intently on a single research question.

What I’ve found from talking to academics that I’ve been working with lately is that a lot of what I am currently trying to do in my design practice is, in fact, a process of design as a way of inquiring and producing knowledge – design as research. What I don’t have is the theoretical background and frameworks to back up and support and know about what it is that I am practicing. Yet.

So this blog will be changing again too, (the third shift in its short life) to document my PhD progress along with my iOS development work.

Three years is a long time… starting now…