Make happen: Sense-making the affordances of a practice-based PhD in design

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Grocott questions the relevance of a degree that bears little resemblance to her current practice. Curious as to the connection between her design-led Phd and her practice trajectory Grocott reflects on the potential for the Phd as training for designers seeking work beyond corporate consultancy. With the understanding that in interdisciplinary collaborations Grocott’s role as a designer is to keep the research human-centered and solution-seeking she proposes-through-sketching five ways of making: to make known, make tangible, make sense, make possible, and make happen. This expanded conception of making is the framework for making sense of how the Phd became a catalyst for transforming her practice from a communication designer to transdisciplinary researcher.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractice-based Design Research
EditorsLaurene Vaughan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781474267816
ISBN (Print)9781474267809
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Practice-based research
  • grounded theory
  • doctoral education
  • design thinking
  • participatory design
  • prototyping
  • reflective practice
  • interdisciplinary research

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