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PHD-DESIGN  December 2010

PHD-DESIGN December 2010

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Subject:

Re: How hard is it to publish in a high quality, refereed journal

From:

Johann van der Merwe <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Johann van der Merwe <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Dec 2010 16:35:12 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Now then, dear list members, who do I listen to, [1] the very voracious
members of this list, or [2] the members of faculty that tell me NOT to
listen to this list (i.e., [1] that tell me to bend the knee before a
superior argument, or [2] not to give too much credence to arguments
that demand equal compensation for unequal work ...) ...

The truth is that I will not bend the knee like an obedient, imperialist
subject to anyone ... and this is said in absolute provocation, and, if
you remember the post from Rosan Chow some years ago, in exactly the
same anti-imperialist vein, no more, no less (very few of the present
to-the-fore protagonists elevated their voices then - another
provocation).

I absolutely refuse to believe that there is any designer that is worthy
of the name of a contemporary designer that will in all good conscience
agree to an equivalency between a complex and quite difficult
co-argumentative procedure that is the modern design context, and any
"artist" that  offers an exhibition of works usually totally out of
context.

Do I discount all works of art? No, I do not.
I do, however, discount rubbish that imitates, e.g.,  a circus act that
a 'recently' graduated student performs in the middle of a public street
in the City of Port Elizabeth, waving his bandaged arms about and
gesturing towards an empty suitcase ... all in stupid imitation of
Joseph Beuys ... and his DEGREE SHOWCASE was a 20 minute "performance"
of him drumming in a corner, and then eating carrots out of a milk pail
... 
This is not simply embarrasing, it is insulting.

Are there works of contemporary art that come close to a work of design
theory (and all its connotative and denotative implications?).
Yes, but they are few and far between. 
Why?  Because they were simply not conceived to be academic examples of
"research" outputs ... don't you get it?? 
At the recent 20th European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research
in Vienna (April 2010) I listened to and experienced presentations by
Glenn Davidson and Michael Schreiber, artist and mathematician
respectively, and it did not matter which was which, because they wished
to communicate and share information ... period, and what they
communicated was an energy beyond imagination. Yes, it can be done, but
...

Try telling  someone who has laboured for between 5-10 years on a
doctorate, that an art exhibition that took 12 months or less can
overtake you in energy and importance, and be prepared to really listen
to these people, instead of trying to set fire to what is after all YOUR
invented straw men, not the opposition's.

Johann


"The average postbaccalaureate time needed to obtain the master's degree
is two years and the PhD, about eight years. The lengthy time required
for
an anthropology master's and doctorate is due in part to the custom of
completing a field project for the thesis or dissertation and mastering
several bodies of knowledge about the area, including comprehensive
language training, before departing for the field site. The field
research
is generally several months for the master's student and 12 to 30 months
for the doctoral student."



Johann van der Merwe
HOD: Research, History & Theory of Design
Faculty of Informatics and Design
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
South Africa
>>> "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]> 12/06/10 2:05 PM >>>
Regarding time to completion of an American PhD:
In anthropology, you're looking at 8 years, according to the American
Anthropological Association (see below).

When I was at the University of Chicago in the late 1990s (when there
was
hardly a PhD in design option in the US), the average was 8.7 years
(data
from the past 100 graduates).   80-some% of the graduates finished
within
11 years.  Only 3 of the most recent 100 graduates had finished in 5
years
or less.  Scholarly and field language proficiency acquisition; lengthy
field work of at least 1 year, often 2;  and relatively sparse
governmental funding for field work and dissertation writing were cited
at
that time by the AAA as reasons for this (undoubtedly still true).  At U
of C, admission was to the doctoral program and students had to finish a
masters thesis prior to admission to candidacy (after passing qualifying
exams). So, rather than an MA being a "parting gift," (or "courtesy MS
degree" as Don noted in science/engineering) for not passing exams, it
was
something that you definitely earned prior to taking your qualifying
exams.

There was a correlation at the U of C between lengthy time-to-PhD and
getting tenured faculty positions at top-tier institutions.  It was not
unusual for students to be published in peer-reviewed journals before
graduation, and to be competitive for positions at  top-tier
institutions,
this was almost necessary.  (The University is consistently ranked #1 or
co-#1 by the National Research Council, which may make doctoral
candidate
publishing more common than by students at other institutions.)   But
when
compared to what might be a more typical 5-year PhD in art and design,
one
would hope, if not expect, that with these extra years students were
publishing.






"The average postbaccalaureate time needed to obtain the master's degree
is two years and the PhD, about eight years. The lengthy time required
for
an anthropology master's and doctorate is due in part to the custom of
completing a field project for the thesis or dissertation and mastering
several bodies of knowledge about the area, including comprehensive
language training, before departing for the field site. The field
research
is generally several months for the master's student and 12 to 30 months
for the doctoral student."

Source: http://www.aaanet.org/profdev/careers/careers.cfm



BRUCE M. THARP, PHD
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Industrial Design
University of Illinois at Chicago

[log in to unmask]


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