A reflection on the disputas of Einar Sneve Martinussen from a beginning PhD candidate perspective – by Bruce Snaddon

The term disputas entered my discussions with Andrew Morrison and Henry Mainsah very early on when exploring the possibility of my doing a PhD at AHO. I think it was one of the distinguishing factors that defined the Norwegian PhD experience from others and Andrew always had a glint in his eye when talking about it. I wasn’t sure exactly why until this last week when I attended the PhD defence by Einar Sneve Martinussen, Pockets and Cities: Investigating and revealing the networked city through interaction design (06 October 2015).

What I witnessed on the day was a rather enthralling display of academic prowess coupled with a moving and respectful celebration of excellent work very well done. As someone whose field is far from close to Einar’s I let myself be guided and informed by the first part of the day, the public lecture. This was done with some elegant efficiency and my interest was drawn through to the end – not least by the fact that Andrew (in supervisor mode) had privately tasked me with the job of evaluating the lecture.

By the time we’d arrived at the opposition from Guy Julier and Aylish Wood I felt as though I’d been given a very priviledged whirlwind tour of many years work and was exteremly curious about the challenge that was to come. Not knowing what to expect I was struck by how genial and generous Guy was and how he created a space for Einar to elaborate on certain points that he felt needed more explanation. Guy in closing thanked Einar for his compelling and expansive PhD, and I quietly agreed on his choice of words. I do hope that my PhD will also one day be called compelling, because without this kind of work being compelling to identified audiences (and to bystanders such as I) I can’t see much lasting value in these huge academic efforts. Aylish came with some intriguing questions for Einar and I could sense approval from the audience – she probed around his use of the word meaningful and how he’d decided which meaning mattered and to whom, and the paradox of boundary objects being both porous and robust. Einar deftly fielded the questions and elegantly used the podium to further articulate and expound on his work and its very interesting reach beyond academe.

I also witnessed the special moment at the end of the day when supervisor and PhD fellow (now Dr?) quietly acknowledged the huge task they’d accomplished and spoke of exciting next steps. This generative nature of research work laying a path forward was very good to see and hugely encouraging for me as a beginnig PhD candidate. I also appreciated the inclusion of family and I speculated on the possibility (prompted by Andrew’s suggestion of a digital link-up with Cape Town) of mine being virtually here when I finally arrive at my own disputas.

William's Weekly Zotero Tip #3

I like to attach my PDFs from an external folder, as opposed to having them saved internally in the Zotero app. In order to maintain my 'PDF references' folder in an orderly fashion, I use the reference metadata to generate the title for the PDF. 

Towards Sustainable Design Development

DESIGN RESEARCH SEMINAR, 8-9 October, Group Room 3

As a continuation of discussions held at different events and projects, some design scholars have for a while been talking about the urgent need to both widely advocate a more general approach to Sustainable Design and, perhaps more importantly, also swiftly explore much more radical approaches to address pressing matters of climate change, the transformative potential of design and new strategies for making and research. This seminar focuses on the latter.

The seminar will bring together design researchers that already have these issues high on their own agenda and already acknowledge that we can't ‘grow' our selves out of this predicament. Development as we know it - and as championed in the west/north - has successfully exported a global single-lane path to prosperity that again and again has proved to be inherently unsustainable


William's Weekly Zotero Tip #2

I am so excited about the new ahophdlive.com website, so I felt the urge to contribute even on a Thursday. (weekly tips are scheduled for Fridays. I must be mad).

This weeks zotero tip is a video explaining various forms of in-cite referencing in the APA format, commonly used by journals such as The International Journal of Design.

Going public

This time it's for real! Many thanks to all of you who have provided the initial feedback necessary to getting this site up and running. I hope you are all, as I am, now hoping for great things to come. Extra special thanks to Etienne Gernez, William Kempton, Nicole Martin, Trude Løw Hansen, Trude Kleven, Reier Møll Schoder and Andrew Morrison for your highly productive critical-constructive inputs to this project still in-the-making.


UiO Library visit

Contact Frida Almqvist and Elisabeth Sjödahl for organising group trip to UiO Library for meeting with subject librarians. We need to establish a list of sub-subjects so check UiO Library structure for librarians and specialist subjects you might want to meet.

William's Weekly Zotero Tip - #1

Good Friday to you all,

You should all know by now that Zotero is the best reference program, so I will start with a weekly Zotero tip, as I have so many!

Problem: I found a reference in "My Library" but i cannot remember in which categories i placed it (you can place a ref in several categories).

Solution: Let's hold down the 'alt' button on our keyboards and see where it went!




Draft site 02

After intense discussion lasting for hours that felt like days, the ahophdlive.no site is now one step closer to opening to the public.

Draft site 01

While there are still some technical issues to sort, such as waiting for the registration of the final domain name (ahophdlive.no) to resolve, this is nonetheless a start. No fanfare just now, mind you - save your precious energy for passionate, engaging, reflective involvement in our cause. We´ll settle for grudging interest, too. Thank you and good night / Jérémie.