Experience PhD Student Profile: Pinar Simsek Caglar

Pinar Simsek Caglar is one of the six newly started doctoral candidates researching experience design. All the PhD’s are starting their doctoral studies during 2019 and engage in multidisciplinary experience research in different Aalto schools. The group of six students is fully funded through the Academy of Finland Profi4 funding for the next three years. The highly multidisciplinary theme of experience fits with the Aalto University’s core strategy Shaping the future: science and art together with technology and business. Aalto Experience Platform supports the candidates and follows their research achievements through social media.

Pinar’s research focus is on design research and particularly on how employee experience emerges through interactive tools. Pinar received her undergraduate and master degrees from Middle East Technical University in Turkey before starting her PhD in Finland. She has graduated as an industrial designer and gathered work experience as an industrial and product designer. She has also co-founded a design consultancy company. During her earlier studies, she became interested in how physical spaces accommodate work practices and studied furniture designers’ role in design and emergence of new office environments. During this time, she realized that professional furniture designers mainly focused on creating pleasant experiences for the employees and discovered, that designers tend to correlate the employees’ creative potential with the designed experiences at the workplace. These notions attracted her to deeply understand the employee experience in the creative fields and highlighted the importance of understanding human experiences in design.

Pinar’s current PhD studies focus on investigating, how interactive tools afford and affect the employee experience in creative work contexts. She originally found the PhD opportunity online and thought that it was a perfect fit for her research interests. She has just started her research journey in Aalto ARTS with joint supervision from Aalto ARTS and BIZ. The most exciting part for her is, that the research at Aalto is highly multidisciplinary. She also applied knowing, that Aalto also is one of the most prestigious design universities in Europe and therefore offers a wide range of immaterial and material resources for her PhD studies. 

The Finnish Academy Profi4-funding has enabled Aalto to profile into multidisciplinary experience design research within six multidisciplinary PhD’s that aims to create new knowledge within the field experience research. This knowledge will allow us to design better experiences and to understand, what constitutes human life and experiences. As the shift from the post-materialistic economy into experience economy is relevant and on-going, there is an emerging need for competence and knowledge in the domain of experience research and design.

This PhD research is funded by Academy of Finland University profiling funding (Profi4).


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