The last few months my PhD studies have been like wading through the Bog of Eternal Stench …

At first I put it down to the anxiety and depression, I know how that affects my ability to think, to concentrate, to understand. But as time went on I started to doubt my actual abilities, who was I to think I was smart enough to study for a PhD? Then I had a brilliantly enlightening conversation with one of my supervisors.

When I first began this journey I ended up under Sociology because of reasons, I was OK with that although I’d never actually studied it. However, apart from having no grounding in the subject it turns out that my aims for my PhD were not ‘sociological’ (my terminology not my supervisor’s). As she explained, sociology is all about the ‘why’, but what I wanted to do was all about the ‘how’ and I wanted to do something more practical in nature.

Of course, after four years working with design researchers it’s only natural I’ve picked up some design knowledge, inhaled some principles and ways of thinking. Over the xmas holidays I had a good think and me and my supervisors came agreed that I would transfer my PhD to Design. I’m currently in discussions to find two new supervisors and re-jigging my Research Proposals and questions.

I feel lighter, re-energised, on (mostly) home ground. All the floundering was because there was so much about sociology I didn’t understand, and didn’t have time to understand being a part-timer with a job. I’ve ideas flowing, I’m enjoying the work again. I have a direction to go, a path to meander.

New working title –

Building Relationships with Imagination: trust and collaboration between design researchers and third sector organisations in north-west EnglandĀ