Mathias Poulsen

Play Activist & Researcher @ Designskolen Kolding

Category: PhD

  • PhD defence materials

    PhD defence materials

    On April 9th 2024, I had my PhD ‘defence’ (which I insisted was not actually a defence, but more like a ‘campfire conversation’), where I presented my PhD project, ‘The Junk Playground as Agora: Designing for Playful Democratic Frictions’, to the committee and all the lovely people in the room. It was an intense, but…

  • After the PhD Defence

    After the PhD Defence

    Wow. These days, after my defence-not-a-defence on April 9th, I’m exhausted, hardly hanging together, but also deeply, profoundly grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to pursue this wild, unpredictable passion project; grateful for the generous support along the way; grateful for the careful reading by the committee, and not least grateful for all the incredible people…

  • Recovering from the PhD

    Recovering from the PhD

    It’s been a few weeks (well, more like a month, if we’re counting) since I handed in my PhD thesis at Design School Kolding. The final title is this: The Junk Playground as Agora: Designing for Playful Democratic Frictions The very careful observer may notice that it changed a little from my long-standing working title,…

  • There Will Come Soft Rains

    Just as the rain started to fall softly, almost cautiously, after a month of warm, dry weather, I stumbled upon a poem by Sara Teasdale, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (thanks Rikke for sharing!), and while apparently it’s written at the end of WWI in 1918, it feels strikingly timely: There will come soft rains…

  • A Trembling World

    I was visiting a local artist one day, where we talked about the inadequacies of Enlightenment ideals, the myth of the disembodied (yet distinctly male), autonomous individual and all that. She said: “Those ideals, they will soon die. Everything is trembling, almost falling over. Can’t you feel it?” Yes, I replied. I feel it, too.…

  • Doing Democracy Otherwise

    This was not meant to be shared, it was just something I had to get out of my system, to clear my thoughts, but now I put it here (as the joke goes, this is exactly the place to put things to avoid people reading it). It’s hastily written and polemic, no references, no nothing,…

  • A letter to me

    In this journey of transformation and becoming that I have embarked on with the PhD, writing has been one my biggest blessings – and one of my most painful curses. I love writing so much that my world almost falls apart when I suddenly can’t write. Then I spend hours and days just staring at…

  • Democracy & design – fruitful tensions?

    Democracy & design – fruitful tensions?

    It’s funny. When I’m at work, surrounded by skilled designers and talented design students, I feel a little bit like an imposter, because I am not trained as a designer. Then, when I’m among democracy scholars and political scientists, as I have recently been at the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) workshop “Democratic Assemblage:…

  • Becoming a researcher

    Becoming a researcher

    This long and rambling post, or essay, maybe, began in Melbourne, as I was sitting on a bench in the vibrant Fitzroy North neighborhood with a cup of coffee and a beautiful pain au chocolat. Spring had arrived properly, I had been there for 3-4 weeks, and so much had happened already, my head and…

  • Om deltagelsesmuligheder

    I dette indlæg skitserer jeg muligheder for deltagelse i de eksperimenter, jeg kommer til at gennemføre i mit PhD-projekt, Designing for Playful Democratic Participation.