Dhaval Vyas’ PhD

I was very pleased to be part of the committee for Dhaval Vyas‘ PhD defense last Friday.

Dhaval’s thesis “Designing for Awareness: An Experience-focused HCI Perspective1 is well worth a read with ethnographic studies of academics (!) and designers at work; and also technical interventions in both situations: Panorama a public screen photo-montage-style display and CAM a way to tag and discuss physical objects.

While reading the thesis I also realised that ‘awareness’  is one of those slippery words, that has a slightly technical meaning in CSCW, and one you sort of understand by example and diffusion, but is surprisingly hard to pin down. Dhaval does not have a precise definition and neither do I: the HCI textbook says “generally having some feeling for what other people are doing or have been doing” – hardly precise!  I have some half-formed thoughts on this, but will leave them for another post.

I first knew Dhaval when he was doing his MSc at Lancaster in 2001/2002.  He has always been dedicated to pursuing an academic career and it is wonderful 10 years on to see this come to fruition.  There have been a lot of barriers on the way and so this is a testament to Dhaval’s strength of character as well as intellectual attainment.

  1. Dhaval Vyas (2011). Designing for Awareness: An Experience-focused HCI Perspective. University of Twente. download thesis (PDF 4.9Mb). DOI: 10.3990/1.9789036531351 (not yet resolving).[back]