Edit: on the June, 6th I successfully defended my thesis and received the PhD. Hooray. Now escape from the academia for a while.
Today a funny thing happened while on lunch at my parents'. My mom asked me what is the title of my PhD thesis. When I told her, she didn't have a clue what it means. Oh, the title is: Integrating users in the interaction design of ubiquitous systems. And don't get me wrong, my mom is an intelligent person, very much so. But still, she didn't understand neither what's the difference between integration and involvement, or the meaning of ubiquitous systems. Not to get started with interaction design… While I was pitching my thesis to her, I was realising, again, how detached academia is from everyday life. At least here in Slovenia. One friend even got asked to change her PhD title, to make it sound more "sophisticated." WTF?
OK, I get it, the whole point of doing a PhD is to be smarter, to theorise and kick some academic butts. But at the end most of the dissertations are almost non-readable to people outside of the small bunch of the "chosen ones." For example, I'm a designer working with hard-core techies. But we get along extremely well. At first I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, but slowly they started adapting to my presence and after 4 years at the University I consider them my good friends. And it's not that I started studying embedded systems, circuits, sensor networks etc. NO, it's them who, often in ironic ways, adjusted when I was around. The same goes the other way around. I started poisoning the guys with design thinking, I even persuaded one of them to join us for the Service Jam, right Bojan? :) What happened is magical. We started talking, ideating and creating cool stuff. Art installations, robots, sensor boards, ubicomp prototypes… It's almost like the stuff one of my favourite childhood heroes used to preach. That's Captain Planet and his "Be your powers combined" mantra. Sadly this call for interdisciplinary collaboration and "happy sharing-is-caring" did not spread to the higher ranked "wise men."
So, yes, I decided to change that and share the stuff I learned. Big time. Hence I started pitching my academic stuff to whoever I meet. Be it my mom or that one professor I always disliked. And it's fun. And you know what, I think that's how it should work. But than again, who am I to tell. I'm leaving the University in two weeks after all :)