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Disputationer

Via universitetsbibliotekets databas över doktorsavhandlingar kan du söka publicerade doktorsavhandlingar vid Göteborgs högskola/universitet från 1902 och framåt. Databasen innehåller också information om kommande disputationer.

UB:s databas över doktorsavhandlingar

Kommande disputationer

(In)Consistencies as Cues to Deception

[2017-08-21] Title: (In)Consistencies as Cues to Deception Authors: Deeb, Haneen Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to examine statement consistency types (between-statement consistency, within-statement consistency, within-group consistency, and statement-evidence consistency) within various contexts of deception. In Study I (N = 150), between-statement consistency was examined when question format was changed across two interviews. Participants provided free recall accounts of two events in the first interview. In the second, they either freely recalled the events again or responded to specific questions sequentially (one event at a time) or non-sequentially (both events together). Liars uttered fewer repetitions across interviews (less between-statement consistency) than truth tellers, particularly when questions were non-sequential, but they unexpectedly showed more within-statement consistency than truth tellers. In Study II (N = 98), the Devil’s Advocate approach was used to investigate within-group consistency for opinions. Pairs of participants who shared strong opinions about a controversial topic were matched and permitted to prepare for individual interviews about their true/false opinions. They were asked an ‘opinion-eliciting question’ for arguments supporting those opinions followed by a ‘devil’s advocate question’ for opposing arguments. Prepared truth telling pairs were more consistent with each other on the opinion-eliciting question than on the devil’s advocate question. As predicted, deceptive pairs were equally consistent in response to both questions. In Study III (N =144), the effects of counter-interrogation strategies and familiarity with the alibi on statement-evidence consistency and between-statement consistency were examined. All participants visited a restaurant for 10 minutes (high familiarity) or 30 seconds (low familiarity) to use it as an alibi in two interviews involving visuospatial tasks. Liars who knew about the interview technique prior to committing a mock crime provided significantly more non-salient (particularly if they were highly familiar with the alibi) and salient details than truth tellers and liars who did not possess this knowledge, but they did not differ on statement consistency types. In Study IV (N = 71), police officers were surveyed about their perceptions of suspects’ statement (in)consistency types. Officers were most likely to look for statement-evidence inconsistency and least likely to look for within-statement inconsistency. This finding was explained by their belief that liars attempt to eliminate within-statement inconsistency more than other types of inconsistency unless incriminating evidence is strategically disclosed during the interview. The results of this thesis extend previous findings demonstrating that liars attempt to maintain statement consistency types unless specific interview techniques are used to increase differences between liars and truth tellers. Critically, familiarity with the reported event seems to help both liars and truth tellers to provide consistent statements, whereas counter-interrogation strategies may fail or may succeed at the expense of one or more consistency type(s). Practitioners need to be aware of these effects and to consider all consistency types simultaneously rather than separately to detect deception.

Measurement of sensitivity to DNA damaging agents

[2017-08-18] Title: Measurement of sensitivity to DNA damaging agents Authors: Mathew T, Sherin Abstract: There is a large inter-individual variation in intrinsic sensitivity in patients receiving treatment with DNA damaging agents. Cancer therapy exemplifies this problem where patients experience varying degree of normal tissue side effects in response to radiation or chemotherapy. For this reason, it is necessary to develop an assay to predict sensitivity of a patient prior to treatment with DNA damaging agents. This may allow more individualized treatment and improve the therapeutic index. In paper I and II we focused on developing and validating a flow cytometry - based cell division assay (CD) that uses the thymidine analogue EdU (5-ethynyl-2’-deoxyuridine) to measure the proliferative ability after DNA damaging treatment. In paper I, the CD assay measured sensitivity to radiation of human skin fibroblasts with a correlation similar to the standard clonogenic survival assay in a relatively short time frame. Using the easily sampled peripheral blood lymphocytes, the CD assay found variation in intrinsic sensitivity to radiation and detected increased sensitivity in patients with DNA repair defects. In paper II, the CD assay was further validated for measurement of cell sensitivity to DNA damaging drugs. The results indicated that the assay can be used to identify sensitive patients. Exposure to ionizing radiation generates free radicals that carry out most part of the toxic effects. The cellular antioxidant system regulated by the Nrf2 transcription factor plays a key role in protecting cells against radical induced damage; hence in paper III we have investigated if pretreating cells with Nrf2 activators influence the sensitivity to radiation. Results from paper III demonstrated that repeated treatment using the isothiocyanate sulforaphane protected human skin fibroblasts from toxic effects of ionizing radiation in an Nrf2-dependent manner. In paper IV we found that repeated pretreatment of cells with Nrf2 activators, sulforaphane or synthetic triterpenoid bardoxolone methyl trained the cells to acquire resistance against higher toxic concentrations of both drugs. Together these results indicate that repeated stimulation of Nrf2 system can enhance cytoprotection and that adaptation to stress may be a general feature of the Nrf2 response mechanism.

Essays in Environmental Management and Economics: Public Health, Risk and Strategic Environmental Assessment

[2017-08-18] Title: Essays in Environmental Management and Economics: Public Health, Risk and Strategic Environmental Assessment Authors: Slunge, Daniel Abstract: Abstract Current large-scale environmental and climate change leads to the emergence of new and potentially dramatic risks for individuals and societies. The welfare costs associated with these risks largely depend on our ability to take them into account in decision-making and adapt to new circumstances. By analysing how people perceive and manage risks individually and collectively, this thesis aims to improve the understanding of how these environmentally related welfare costs may be reduced. Papers 1–3 focus on risk perceptions and decision-making at the individual level and concern how people perceive and manage risks in relation to the increasing incidence of Lyme borreliosis (LB) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The empirical analysis is based on a survey with 1500 randomly selected respondents in Sweden. Papers 4 and 5 focus on risk assessment and decision-making at the collective level and concern how strategic environmental assessments are used to manage environmental risks in low- and middle-income countries. The empirical analysis is based on interviews with stakeholders involved in environmental assessments of policy reforms. Paper 1: Learning to Live with Ticks? The Role of Exposure and Risk Perceptions in Protective Behaviour Against Tick-Borne Diseases We analyse the role of risk perceptions and exposure for five protective measures against tick bites and the related diseases TBE and LB. We find a strong positive association between exposure and checking the skin for ticks, but no or weak associations between exposure and the use of protective clothing, tucking trousers into socks, the use of repellent or avoidance of tall grass in areas with ticks. Paper 2: Valuation When Baselines Are Changing: Tick-borne Disease Risk and Recreational Choice We estimate willingness to pay to avoid recreational areas with ticks, LB and TBE risk. In northern Sweden, where the presence of ticks is relatively new, the willingness to pay to avoid risk is significantly higher than in southern Sweden, where ticks are endemic. We also find that TBE-vaccinated respondents have a lower willingness to pay. These differences in willingness to pay for risk reduction between groups with different baseline risk should be taken into account when estimating welfare costs of the spread of disease vectors to new areas due to environmental and climate change. Paper 3: The Willingness to Pay for Vaccination against Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Implications for Public Health Policy: Evidence from Sweden We estimate the TBE-vaccination rate to 33% in TBE-risk areas and analyse the role of vaccine price, income and other factors influencing the demand for vaccination. We project that a subsidy making TBE vaccines free of charge could increase the vaccination rate in TBE risk areas to around 78%, with a larger effect on low-income households, whose current vaccination rate is only 15% in risk areas. Paper 4: Greening Growth through Strategic Environmental Assessment of Sector Reforms Based on an evaluation of a World Bank programme, we analyse whether strategic environmental assessments can contribute to greening sector reforms in low- and middle-income countries. We find that the institutional context plays a crucial role for the performance of environmental assessments and suggest that increased attention to institutional aspects could improve effectiveness. Paper 5: Challenges to Institutionalising Strategic Environmental Assessment: the Case of Vietnam We develop a conceptual framework for analysing constraints to the institutionalisation of strategic environmental assessments at four different institutional levels. The framework is tested in an empirical analysis of the environmental assessment system in Vietnam.

Acute and chronic effects by stimulants on behavior and striatal neurotransmission in the rat

[2017-08-18] Title: Acute and chronic effects by stimulants on behavior and striatal neurotransmission in the rat Authors: Lotfi Moghaddam, Amir Abstract: Nicotine and amphetamines are the most widely abused stimulants. The main aim of the studies in this thesis was to investigate how these two drugs of abuse affect distinct regions of the rat brain involved in development of habitual and compulsive behavior, namely subregions of striatum in the rat. To this end, using a battery of tests including behavior, brain slice electrophysiology, and molecular biology, we have evaluated acute effects by nicotine and amphetamine, as well as progressive changes induced by their chronic use and discontinuation. We show that nicotine acutely depresses synaptic activity in dorsal striatum, an effect that involves multiple receptors. In chronic experiments, we show that a brief exposure to nicotine (15 days) or amphetamine (five days) induces persistent behavioral changes, which sustain over long periods of withdrawal. In addition, we demonstrate that following the drug exposure period, dorsal striatal subregions are engaged in a temporal manner, such that effects in lateral portions only appear after protracted withdrawal, where they sustain for a long time. We also demonstrate that drug-induced effects on behavior and synaptic activity are enhanced in younger animals. In summary, we show acute and long-lasting effects by stimulants on behavior and neurotransmission in striatal subregions, where they also reveal spatiotemporal and age-dependent components.

Ownership or donorship? Results and ownership in Swedish international development cooperation

[2017-08-16] Title: Ownership or donorship? Results and ownership in Swedish international development cooperation Authors: Brolin, Therese Abstract: This thesis is a critical investigation of how the increased demand for results in international development cooperation has influenced relations between donors and partner countries. The increased demand for results, manifested in the so-called results agenda, and partner country ownership are considered key factors to increase effectiveness and efficiency in international development cooperation. There are, however, challenges in how to combine the implementation of the results agenda, which is mainly encouraged by donors, with a development cooperation that is owned and driven by partner countries. The aim of this study is to explore how the results agenda has influenced relations between donors and development partners, and thereby partner country ownership. A factor that complicates the implementation of the results agenda is the lack of a common understanding as regards what qualifies as a result, why results are required, and whose results should be achieved and measured. A central concern of this study has, therefore, been to examine how stakeholders within development cooperation have been framing the results agenda and partner country ownership. This study gives examples from Swedish development cooperation and Swedish development relationship with Uganda and Mozambique. Semi-structured interviews have been carried out with informants at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sida in Stockholm, and with informants from Sida and development partners in Ugandan and Mozambique. Swedish policies and guidelines on development cooperation have also been analysed to get an overview of how the framing of results and partner country ownership has changed over time. Development stakeholders have different ways of framing the results agenda, especially as regards the reasons to report results. While the Swedish Government’s main reason for implementing the results agenda is to increase accountability, development partners report results mainly for learning purposes. The implementation of the results agenda has altered the relations between development stakeholders by changing their mandates and responsibilities. The Swedish Government has become more involved in the formulation of results requirements, and its mandate to define development objectives has thereby increased. Development cooperation has also become more instrumentalised: protocols and procedures are given priority over the achievement of development objectives. Development partners are responsible for achieving and reporting results in line with protocols decided by donors, which entails that their responsibilities for development failures have increased. The implementation of the results agenda has thus had a negative effect on partner country ownership. However, this study argues that it should be possible to combine the results agenda and partner country ownership. The concluding discussion addresses the implications of the findings from this thesis and suggests how the results agenda can be reconciled with partner country ownership.

Mellan fromhet och vidskepelse: Materialitet och religiositet i det efterreformatoriska Sverige

[2017-08-15] Title: Mellan fromhet och vidskepelse: Materialitet och religiositet i det efterreformatoriska Sverige Authors: Zachrisson, Terese Abstract: I avhandlingen undersöks olika förhållningssätt gentemot det materiella i fromhetslivet under 1600- och 1700-talen. Avhandlingens första del behandlar kyrkorummet och dess föremål, som sidoaltare, bilder och reliker. Den andra delen utforskar sakralt laddade punkter i landskapet, som heliga källor och fristående kors, och hur den lokala topografin kunde upplevas och förstås utifrån föreställningar om helgonens närvaro. Tidigare forskning har betonat hur de lutherska reformatorerna aldrig avvisade de materiella fromhetsuttrycken, utan att de omtolkades och anpassades till evangeliskt kyrkoliv, och att äldre föreställningar om hur sakrala föremål ägde en inneboende gudomlig kraft förhållandevis tidigt trängdes undan. Denna studie visar dock att frågan om materialitet var betydligt mer laddad än vad tidigare forskning gjort gällande. Under hela undersökningsperioden uttryckte personer inom kyrkoledningen avståndstagande, oro och avsky gentemot företeelser som helgonbilder och heliga källor. Att appropriera de heliga föremålen var en utdragen och komplicerad process. Bland de bredare folklagren föreställdes ofta dessa föremål kunna utstråla och förmedla en läkande och beskyddande kraft, och de brukades i ritualer som inte sällan motarbetades av kyrkoledningen. Det lokala prästerskapet tycks under 1600-talet haft en tolerant inställning till fromhetsbruk som tangerade gränserna för det renläriga, medan avstånden mellan kyrkoherden och allmogen ökade under 1700-talet.

Interviewing to assess and manage threats of violence

[2017-08-15] Title: Interviewing to assess and manage threats of violence Authors: Geurts, Renate Abstract: Persons who pose threats of violence can be rich sources of information for professionals charged with ensuring safety and security. The interviewing of threateners is thus considered important among such professionals, but research on the topic is scarce. This thesis seeks to advance current knowledge by proposing a scientific perspective on effective threat assessment and management (TAM) interviewing. What are the expected dynamics when interacting with persons who threaten to cause harm and, given these dynamics, which interview methods work best? A novel experimental paradigm was developed and employed in Studies I, II, and III. Participants were given a fictitious case describing two conflicting parties and were then asked to take on the role of the threatening party in a subsequent interview with the conflicting party. Study I (N = 157) examined whether individuals’ intent to actualise a threat becomes evident in how they verbalise that threat. Intent was manipulated across three conditions through the likelihood to actualise the threat: low likelihood (no intent: bluffers), medium likelihood (weak intent: conditional actualisers), and high likelihood (strong intent: decisive actualisers). Based on theory and research in cognitive psychology, it was predicted that decisive actualisers would provide the most detail about the implementation of the threat, followed by conditional actualisers, and bluffers would provide the least. The opposite trend was found: Persons more likely to actualise a threat were found less informative about its implementation. Study II (N = 179) tested the effect of two interview techniques (low vs. high suspicion-oriented) on the information provided by bluffers and actualisers. Drawing on psychological research examining lie detection, it was theorised that the need to be believed would be more urgent for bluffers than for actualisers. Hence, bluffers were expected to be more forthcoming when questioned about their threats and, in particular, when the questions communicated suspicion. As expected, bluffers provided more information in response to specific questions as compared to actualisers, especially with regard to implementation details (replicating Study I). However, the difference between bluffers and actualisers was not further accentuated by the use of suspicion-oriented questions. Furthermore, Study II explored whether threatening participants had used counter-interview strategies. Participants were found to be forthcoming, while also being strategic and adaptive to interviewers’ responses. Study III (N = 120) tested the hypothesis that rapport-based interviewing would be more effective for threat assessment and management purposes than direct interviewing. Against expectations, no differences were found between interview protocols pertaining to the threateners’ use of counter-interview strategies, their information provision, or their willingness to pursue/discuss the threat. Furthermore, the study advanced Study II by exploring what types of counter-interview strategies threateners employ. Again, threateners were found to be both forthcoming and strategic. The most frequently reported strategies were to prove capability and to conceal information. Study IV was an online study that investigated whether threat assessments made by professionals were of higher quality than those made by non-professionals. Threat assessment professionals, university students, and laypersons assessed the risk for violence in three fictitious cases. In alignment with the literature on expert decision-making, it was predicted that professionals (vs. students and laypersons) would agree more with one another with respect to risk assessments, and that their information search would show more resemblance with empirically supported threat cues. The results supported both hypotheses. Taking the results of the studies together, it could be concluded that threateners are semi-cooperative interviewees, whose attitudes may not be impacted by general interview approaches (e.g. rapport-based, suspicion-oriented). Instead, the findings suggest that more strategic techniques developed from the perspective of threateners (which result in their motivation to be informative prevailing over their need to be strategic) are needed.

On tissue reactions to dentin as a bone substitute material

[2017-08-15] Title: On tissue reactions to dentin as a bone substitute material Authors: Farzad, Payam Abstract: Background Reconstruction of the jaws due to resorption of the alveolar crest may require bone augmentation prior to installation of endosseous implants. Active research on new bone graft materials with bone regeneration ability equivalent to autogenous bone but without the limitations of allogenic, xenogenic and synthetic bone are constantly ongoing. From clinical and experimental studies, it has been demonstrated that replanted teeth without a viable periodontal membrane will ankylose with the bone. The dentin of such teeth is fused with the bone, and will be gradually replaced by bone, also called replacement resorption or osseous replacement. In order to possibly modify treatment protocols and also exploring possible cost-benefit alternatives to commercially available bone replacement materials, there has been an increased interest to explore the use of human dentin as a source for graft material. Aims The aim of the first study was to evaluate and compare the host tissue response to autogenous and xenogenic non-demineralized dentin blocks implanted in non-osteogenic areas, the abdominal connective tissue and femoral muscle of rabbits. The objective of the second study was primarily to evaluate the healing pattern of xenogenic non-demineralized dentin granules and dentin blocks grafted to maxillary bone of rabbits and secondarily to study integration of titanium micro-implants installed in grafted areas. In paper III, we sought to evaluate the healing pattern of xenogenic demineralized dentin granules and dentin blocks grafted to cavities created in tibial bone of rabbits, secondarily to study integration of titanium micro-implants installed in grafted areas and thirdly to investigate the morphological appearances and differences between demineralized and non-demineralized dentin by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX). Finally, the objective of study IV was to compare the host tissue response and remodelling of onlay grafts of demineralized dentin in comparison to onlay bone grafts transplanted to the native tibial cortical bone wall. Material and methods In study I, fifteen 6-month old New Zealand male white rabbits were used. Dentin autografts taken from the same rabbit and dentin xenografts taken from human premolars were implanted in abdominal connective tissue and femoral muscles. All rabbits were sacrificed after 12 weeks for light microscopic analysis. In study II, fifteen 6-months old New Zealand male rabbits were used. Dentin blocks and dentin granules from human premolars were implanted in cavities prepared on either side of the maxilla (n=15x2). After a healing period of 6 months, one micro implant (5 mm long, 2 mm in diameter) was installed in each surgical site. All rabbits were sacrificed 24 weeks after implant installation. The specimens were studied by light microscopic and histomorphometrical analysis. Study III included twelve 6-month old New Zealand male, white rabbits. Dentin blocks and dentin granules from human premolars were implanted in cavities prepared on both tibial bones. Twelve hours prior to grafting the dentin grafts were rinsed in saline and demineralized on its surface by being placed in 24% EDTA neutral, pH7, for 12 hours. After a healing period of 24 weeks, one micro implant was installed in each surgical site. To characterize the grafts, twelve additional dentin blocks were prepared in standardized sizes. All samples were conditioned in 24% EDTA neutral, pH7, for 12 hours followed by a second x-ray analysis. Four samples were chosen for conventional SEM and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), both image mode and element analysis mode. In study IV, we used eight 6-months old New Zealand male rabbits. Standardized sized dentin blocks from human premolars and similar autogenous bone blocks, harvested from tibia were grafted as onlay blocks on each tibia (n=8x2). All animals were sacrificed after a healing period of 12 weeks. Descriptive histology as well as histomorphometrical analysis of the remaining dentin, bone graft and soft tissue was determined using light microscopy. Results Study I showed only minor signs of heterotopic bone formation. There were no significant differences between autografts and xenografts or grafts implanted in connective tissue or muscle with regards to tissue reactions except for a significant difference (P = 0.018) in findings of more local inflammatory cells in relation to grafts placed in connective tissue in the autograft group. In study II, no statistically significant difference could be observed in BIC and BA between dentin and native bone. Overall the BIC and percentage of new bone fill of the block specimens were higher than the same parameters for the particulate graft. Study III showed a tendency towards higher BIC and BA for the EDTA conditioned dentin in conjunction with installed implants, but the difference was not statistically significant. In addition, on the demineralized dentin surface the organic marker element C dominated, as revealed by EDX image mode. The hydroxyapatite constituents Ca, P and O were close to devoid on the dentin surface. A similar pattern was discerned from the semi-quantitative data analysis where the organic markers C and N dominated. Study IV showed that in general, both the dentin and bone block grafts were fused to the bone, resorbed and replaced by bone and connective tissue to a varying degree. Resorption cavities could be seen in the dentin with bone formation. Zones of osseous replacement resorption of the dentin could be noted. In both graft types, higher rate of bone formation was seen at the interface between graft and recipient site. Conclusion Non-demineralized dentin, whether autogenous or xenogenic did not have the potential to induce bone formation when implanted in non-osteogenic areas such as the abdominal wall and abdominal muscle of rabbits. Limited or no bone contact between micro-implants and xenogenic non-demineralized dentin grafts could be seen. Demineralized xenogenic dentin onlay grafts showed similar resorption characteristics as autogenous bone onlay grafts, being resorbed in a similar rate during 12 weeks. New bone formation occurred mainly in terms of replacement resorption in the interface between dentin/bone graft and native bone. The bone inductive capacity of the dentin material seemed limited although demineralization by means of EDTA indicated a higher BIC and BA value in conjunction with installed implants in the area. Keywords Grafted dentin, tissue reaction, bone blocks, dental implants, experimental study

The role of fusion oncogenes and cancer stem cells in myxoid liposarcoma

[2017-08-07] Title: The role of fusion oncogenes and cancer stem cells in myxoid liposarcoma Authors: Dolatabadi, Soheila Abstract: Myxoid liposarcoma (MLS) is characterised by the FUS-DDIT3, or the less common EWSR1-DDIT3 fusion oncogene and is the second most common type of liposarcoma. The fusion oncogenes encode chimeric transcription factors that are causal factors in tumourigenesis however, their functions are poorly known. Notwithstanding continuous progress in treating MLS patients, existing therapies suffer from a major flaw as they do not target the cancer stem cells (CSCs). Unique features of CSCs include self-renewal, tumour initiating capacity and increased resistance to radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced cell death. Thus, CSCs are crucial targets for successful therapy. The aims of this project were to define the role of fusion oncogenes in tumourigenesis and to define signalling pathways controlling CSC features in MLS. Here, we demonstrated that MLS has an intact TP53 system that may explain why this tumour entity is genetically stable. We investigated the regulatory mechanisms, expression levels and effects of FUS-DDIT3 in detail, and showed that FUS-DDIT3 was uniquely regulated at both transcriptional and post-translational level. We also screened 70 well-characterised kinase inhibitors and determined their effects on cell proliferation and FUS-DDIT3 expression at mRNA and protein levels. To facilitate these studies, we developed a novel direct lysis approach that enables us to quantify, cell proliferation, mRNA and protein expression in the same sample. This method allowed us to identify a number of previously unknown signalling pathways that regulated the expression of FUS-DDIT3. To study cell division and growth in detail, we applied single-cell analysis on unsynchronized cells at different cell cycle phases and cell sizes. We found that the total transcript level per cell and the expression of most individual genes correlated with progression of the cell cycle, but not with cell size. Detailed studies of cell cycle predictive genes revealed a previously unknown G1 subpopulation. Finally, we showed that MLS contains cells with CSC features and that JAK-STAT signalling controls their numbers. Leukaemia inhibitory factor stimuli increased the number of CSCs, while JAK inhibition depleted the CSC pool. Inhibition of JAK-STAT also showed synergistic effects when combined with chemotherapy in vitro. Our findings concerning FUS-DDIT3 function and CSCs have increased our molecular understanding of tumour development and therapy resistance in MLS that will facilitate development of specific treatment strategies.

Embodying Openness: A Pragmatist Exploration into the Aesthetic Experience of Design Form-Giving

[2017-06-12] Title: Embodying Openness: A Pragmatist Exploration into the Aesthetic Experience of Design Form-Giving Authors: Ariana, Amacker Abstract: This thesis explores the tension between a reflective view of design and design as an embodied, aesthetic experience. Most research exploring the nature of design follows a tradition of practice-based design research, which aims to empirically establish what constitutes design by studying what designers do and say. The challenge with this observational approach is that it depends on design as an object of study and can therefore only deal with its rational or cognitive dimension. The inherently aesthetic and subjective dimension of the immediate perception of designing remains largely unexplored in design research. To address this lack of research, this project builds on the Classical Pragmatist non-dualistic view of experience and knowledge. In particular, drawing on Dewey’s thesis in Art as Experience, I explore the embodied, aesthetic dimension of design through investigating in detail my experience of the activity of form-giving. This methodological perspective maintains continuity between thinking-feeling in action and in terms of subject-object relations. From this non-dualist view, I critique the specific claim made by researchers and design practitioners who advocate that designers exhibit an attitude of openness that contributes to creativity. Assuming that openness is a quality that can be felt, I ask how this quality is felt in my experience of designing, and what openness means practically with regard to direct sensory and physical engagement and what it conceptually means in the way a designer approaches the world. To explore an integrated experience of designing in the present, I follow an artistic method of movement improvisation called Butoh. Butoh provides a specific context of inquiry for exploring perceptual and physical engagement in the present through a heightened state of somatic awareness. The empirical work is comprised of four direct experiences from my Butoh training that are examined through the lens of Pragmatism and embodied cognition. Together, they show how I actually engage my ‘self’ through concrete sensory, emotional, and feelingful frames of experience of form-giving in the present. This research makes theoretical and methodological contributions through developing an embodied, aesthetic perspective of practice-based and artistic approach to design. It suggests the potential of openness-capacity as a concept for understanding and actually practicing the type of creative approach attributed to a designer’s attitude of openness. It provides a critique of rational mechanisms underlying the contexts of design inquiry, as well as having practical implications for design education and the kinds of teaching and learning that support the creative, self-directed, exploratory capacities of designers.  

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