I had the distinct opportunity to participate in the PhD by Design event this June, a one-day event held prior to the DRS 2018 (Design Research Society) Conference in Limerick, Ireland (June 25-28, 2018). This event was established as a vehicle to vocalize, discuss, and work through some of the many issues of conducting a practice-based Ph.D. in Design. I sincerely enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many great people working in the field of design research, hailing from 48 different institutions and 27 different countries. The event enabled each one us to share our doctoral research through short presentations and contribute to an understanding of how design might function as a catalyst for change.

I also loved the fact that each of us received a personal coffee cup, listing our research themes—I’ve been using it ever since as an inspirational tool to get started writing each morning.

Following the PhD by Design event, a few of my favorite highlights from the larger DRS2018 Conference was Gaby Hernández’s presentation on Transforming Design; Tania Allen’s presentation on Critical Placemaking, Stacie Rohrbach’s presentation on Designing for Transitions; and so many interesting conversations with new friends (Ilze Līze, Brenda Duggan, Stella Hackett, and Shelly Mayers) about new voices in design.

Thanks to everyone for making this trip such a memorable, educational, and inspiring experience!