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Twitter: (at) phdbydesign and #phdbydesign

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The PhD by Design initiators:

Alison Thomson

Alison started her doctoral studies in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths in October 2012. Her practice-based PhD explores how design-research can re-do ‘the patient experience’ considering the multiple realities of Multiple Sclerosis and its ontological politics. A core empirical part of this involves working as a Visiting Researcher with Professor Gavin Giovannoni and the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary, University of London.

Through using performative design-led interventions, the research is uncovering the various ontologies of Multiple Sclerosis at play in the outpatient clinic at The Royal London Hospital, in the Neuroimmunology Group at the Blizard Institute and at international scientific conferences. This practice-based research hopes to expand on the potential implications for design research in studying enactments of MS through proposing alternative service interactions.

Email: a.thomson (at) gold (dot) ac (dot) uk

Twitter: @somehow_related


Maria Portugal

Maria currently works for Dartington Service Design Lab as a Communications and Design Specialist. She began her doctoral studies in Design exploring how designers approach collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. Her practice-based research is an analysis of the position of the designer as a participant within a research project, mediating the tensions between different fields of research, languages, and voices within the individual and sociological spheres. Alongside she worked as a lead designer for the project Knowing disease: Patients first  - carried out at the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology at the University of Porto (Ipatimup) and funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Previous to her studies, Maria completed her Masters in Design and worked as a designer at the School of Arts and Design in Oporto (ESAD - Portugal). Here, she investigated contemporary and political approaches of Design, focusing on experimental and participative methodologies. Currently, she also have been collaborating with other academic communities and multidisciplinary projects in London such TTML over the last couple of years.

Email: info (at) nofaithindesign (dot) com

Twitter: @mariajgportugal

Bianca Elzenbaumer

Bianca completed her doctoral degree at the Design Department at Goldsmiths in 2014 and is now working as a Junior Research Fellow at Leeds College of Art. Her thesis 'Designing Economic Cultures', investigates the political economy of design and explores, by way of practice-based research, the potential of peer-to-peer activities to enable structures that support the resilience of socially and politically engaged design practices.

Since 2005, Bianca has worked with Fabio Franz as the collective as 'Brave New Alps'. Here, they produce design projects that engage people in discussing, rethinking and intervening in social, political and environmental issues. The projects combine design research methods with radical pedagogy, conflict mediation, communication design as well as ‘DIY’ making techniques.

She currently works on the practice-led research project Precarity Pilot where she continues to investigate how the political economy of design can be transformed.

Email: bravenewalps [at] gmail [dot] com

Twitter: @bravenewalps