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    Why Designers Do a PhD?

    India HCI 2010/ IDID 2010

    India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010
    20 - 24 March 2010
    Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India


    Anirudha Joshi


    PhD programmes in design seem to be becoming increasingly popular though questions about design research have been raised. In this paper I present a short survey that I did with designers from India, who either have done a PhD in design or are doing one. An online questionnaire was circulated among 34 design researchers. Twenty responded. As expected, the PhD has improved their ability to do research. The impact on ability to do design and impact on salaries seems to be mixed. Among the reasons for starting to do a PhD, opinion was divided about a PhD helping improve job prospects in the industry and even more divided about it being a requirement in academic institutions. But why do designers do a PhD then? The reasons are interest in the area of their PhD, because it will help them grow as a person and because they are interested in research. PhDs have helped people become a better researcher, a better design teacher and also a better person but it has not helped them become a better designer.


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