Life Design

A Prototype for Integrating Life Design and Research Design

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Life design concepts have the potential to impact the research design process in a positive and meaningful way. I am prototyping the integration of life design into an active research project, which will be documented in a series of blog posts.

The Research Project

In addition to being a Life Design Educator, I’m an archaeologist. I’m part of the Southern Red Sea Archaeological Histories Project led by Dr. Michael Harrower of Johns Hopkins University and we investigate the archaeology and ancient history of the Horn of Africa. One of our key projects takes place in the ancient town of Beta Samati in Ethiopia.

I’m currently leading the archaeobotanical analysis of the site’s ancient plant material. We recruited undergraduate student volunteers interested in gaining archaeological lab experience to help analyze the ancient seeds coming out of Beta Samati.

Images of the 3D-modelling and excavation at Beta Samati.
Photo Credit: Image taken from Harrower et al. 2019 and originally created by C.HickmanM.J. Harrower, and J. Mazzariello

The Role of Life Design

The student volunteers for this all have an interest in archaeology. Most of them are currently considering pursuing a career in this field. Volunteering on this project provides an opportunity to gain experience in one of the many methods and analyses that are part of archaeological research.

Life design’s envisioned role in this research project aims to provide:

  • a framework for students to routinely reflect on their research experience
  • an experimental mindset to develop skills that they feel are relevant to their life and career trajectory
  • a feedback loop to impact research design in a positive way

Integrating Life Design and Research Design

I will document this experience in a series of blog posts found below. Be sure to check this post for updates and new posts.

This prototype is on hiatus due to COVID-19. I hope to restart this effort once it is safe to do so.

Blog Posts Documenting the Prototype

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