My doctoral research, an ethnographic case-study of an alternative school in India called the Learning Home, examined design in the context of curriculum. I spent two months in India collecting data in the form of interviews, observations, and documents at my research site. The Learning Home is Grammangal's urban pedagogical site. Grammangal is a non-profit educational organization working with tribal,
rural, and urban children.
My research findings propose that design can be understood as an organic, humane, and spontaneous response rather than a standardized process. The study of the Learning Home shows that understanding curriculum-making as an act of design allows teachers and students to experience empowerment and personal growth. The study also highlights the importance of the context in the study of design. My future research interests lie in exploring a reconceptualized view of design in art educational contexts.
My doctoral journey provided me with the opportunity to conduct pilot studies with six non-profit organizations in India in 2014, as precursors to my doctoral research. The pilot studies and the dissertation research convinced me of my passion for qualitative research. I am interested in narrative methodologies, ethnographic approaches, phenomenology, and design based research. I love exploring various data analysis methods, and have experimented with NVivo—a data analysis software. I am interested in exploring how research methodologies align with and respond to the researcher’s personality and ways of thinking.
I am interested in researching the relationship between design in/and curriculum by studying various pedagogical contexts. Design in curriculum refers to design processes in curricular contexts, and curriculum as design examines ways in which curriculum making functions as acts of design.