“Dialogue and PhD Design Supervision”


Morrison, Andrew; Vaughan, Laurene; & Mainsah, Henry; & Ball, Cheryl E. (2015). Dialogue and PhD design supervision. In Proceedings of LearnXDesign. The 3rd International conference for design education researchers. Chicago, IL.


A doctorate in design stretches experience, acuity and knowledge in design practice into analysis and long form expository writing in an academic oriented thesis. The PhD in design is a mix of theory and practice, with innovation in practice-based inquiry and acknowledgement of insights and articulations based on design work. Supervision of design PhDs is a largely unresearched domain of design studies, culture and pedagogy. Much may be gleaned from this supervision that has wider import for other domains of doctoral mentoring where praxis is significant. The paper addresses these thematics through the dialogical reflections of four doctoral design educators and supervisors from two settings, one in Australia and one in Norway, and education systems experience in four continents. We have coordinated and taught PhD programmes in design and supervised numerous students from different countries and language backgrounds. As learning by design and designing for learning, our paper takes the form of a themed reflection on our supervisory challenges, experiences and reflections in engaging in dialogues of socio-culturally framed pedagogy in doctoral design along with our own changing professional, teacherly and research practices. We suggest extending the arguments and reflections presented to additional educational and cultural contexts.

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