End-of-life is a profound and inevitable part of life, and thus, human condition. It raises significant and critical questions around the meaning, purpose, fairness and quality of life - on multiple individual, inter-personal, and societal levels. As societies, we have tended to historically ‘religionise’ and ‘medicalise’ death. Such ‘singular expertise’ however, is neither applicable, nor acceptable in a human centred era. How can we reclaim control and power over our end-of-life narratives and experiences? How can we ‘humanise’ death? And how could Design facilitate and contribute to both such critical conversations and experiences?
AIM & SCOPE:
Design for end-of-life is an emerging and fascinating area, gaining visibility and interdisciplinary interest. Current contributions around design and end-of-life are however, limited and lacking in critical knowledge base and strategic vision. While valuable, such rush into interventional, operational and incremental contributions, is archetypal of design’s ‘problem-solving’ approach. Such problem-solving approach would risk obscuring the broader and potentially significant ‘theoretical’, ‘methodological’, and ‘empirical’ contributions between design and end-of-life.
This PhD builds the case for adopting a ‘problem framing’, ‘transdisciplinary’, and ‘systemic’ approach to this emerging field. By initiating, for the first time, a theoretically and empirically informed critical discourse between the two fields of Design and End-of-life, critical questions, strategic opportunities, and significant contributions between the two fields could be identified, outlined, and accordingly explored.
This is an excellent opportunity to conduct an original, significant and timely exploratory design research with a strong interdisciplinary focus.
Only strong, ambitious and intrinsically motivated applicants are encouraged to apply. Fields such as Social gerontology, Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, History, and Law will be explored alongside core design disciplines and approaches such as Human centred design, Meaning centred design, Critical design, Speculative design, and Empathic design.
We are seeking candidates with a minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) first degree in Design or a highly related subject. Previous experience or knowledge in social sciences, healthcare, palliative care, and similar areas is desirable. Strong communication, interdisciplinary approach and team working skills is required. Good publication record and critical research evidence is desirable.
HOW TO APPLY:
Candidates are strongly encouraged to read the paper “Design Meets Death. A case of critical discourse and strategic contributions” (Nickpour, 2019) - see references - and contact Dr Nickpour prior to application, in order to highlight their interest in the topic: [email protected]
Please apply through the University of Liverpool’s online system https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/
with all documents required by the application system, please also include a covering letter for your application.
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