Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reading my old PhD dissertation

After six years in Indiana, I just got all my books shipped to me from Sweden. Among the books, I found a few copies of my PhD dissertation from 1991. The title is in Swedish "Designarbetets dolda rationalitet" [in English "The Hidden Rationality of Design Work "]. It was written in Swedish. Only one chapter is translated to English. Anyway, today I read parts of it and realized two things. First, I think the text is still quite good, which is kind of a surprise. I have not read or looked at it in more than ten years, maybe more. Secondly, I realized that almost all my scholarly work I do today can be traced back to my dissertation. This is not so much of a surprise, since I know other who have the same experience. You only do research on a very small set of ideas during your lifetime.

Anyway, even though the text was published in 1991, I am thinking about translating parts of it, or maybe more correct, translate and re-write parts of the text. It might finally become a book in English :-)


micah_gideon said...

I hope one day to share this experience!

Phoebe Sengers said...

The non-Swedish-speakers among us would also enjoy reading your dissertation!

Erik Stolterman said...

Micah, you will!

Phoebe, thanks for the nice words. I will hopefully be able to re-work some parts of it into something readable even for non-Swedes. Or maybe it is better to keep it as a more mysterious unavailable text :-)

Daniel said...

Erik... go ahead and do it!
It's long over due. :-)
I still pick it up from time to time. Last read was ch. 6.2.
It triggered me.
Thought for a while and came to the conclusion that
Design Intuition..
"Den rätta känslan" is somewhat like Fly Fishing.
It takes a day to get up and
running but a life time
and more to master.
Kudos to you and your peers
who put down your ideas/ideals
in writing.
I imagine that your work will be read in the future...
Like "The Complete Angler". :-)
Take care ...
/Daniel (aka svph9630)

Help With Dissertation Writing said...

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Lydia Okeefe said...

It is always good to reminisce all the good things that happened in life, and I think the dissertation is a milestone in our life. I just hope that the one chapter that was on English is the thesis abstracts, because it would be easy for people to understand what your paper is all about even though they don’t know Swedish and just read the abstract.