About the researcher

My name is Ian Walden and first and foremost, I am a designer and maker. By way of career, I am a graphic designer, and art director. Leaving school at 16, I went directly to my first job as junior designer, working for a small agency in Chiswick, London. My career has spanned over 35 years, working for large and small design agencies in multi disciplines, from technology, publishing through to branding and packaging, including brand strategy and management. I am an accomplished bookbinder and binding tutor, and my design practice now focuses on the arena of discursive design.

Research interests

  • Design theory and methodology
  • Death studies

Ian Walden
Ian Walden

PhD abstract

Thesis title

A good death: Creating discursivity around end of life choices through design


My practice-led research will consider how a discursive design approach might be used to facilitate discourse around attitudes and challenges associated with end of life (EOL) choices. The overarching aim of the project is to test discursive design as both a theory and methodology, using EOL as its central pivot. I will employ a human-centred design methodology of Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test, with the inclusion of a discursive design approach at the ideate stage, to create a series of artefacts that help to generate discourse and reflection around the subject of EOL.