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Bruce Tharp Receives Fulbright

Photo of Bruce M. Tharp wearing a black t-shirt, jacket, and glasses.

The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board recently announced that Stamps School Associate Professor Bruce M. Tharp PhD has been awarded a U.S. Fulbright Global Scholar grant for the 2021 – 2022 academic year.

Since its establishment in 1946 by Congress, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 

Tharp will spend his Fulbright year in Scotland at the Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School’s Health & Wellbeing Programme and Digital Health and Care Institute, researching and creating a series of discursive design interventions (artifacts and interactions), which enable the public to better reflect upon and discuss with loved one their end-of-life values, and potentially take actions toward advance care planning.

Tharp also plans to collaborate with the interdisciplinary End of Life Studies Program at University of Glasgow and national programs run by the Scottish government, including Cycling Without Age. 

In addition to his role as a professor and researcher at the Stamps School, Tharp is an author, an award-winning product designer, and an entrepreneur with patents, corporate and non-profit clients, international exhibitions, licensed product ideas, and small-scale and mass-manufacturing for over 20 years. He has also worked as a design researcher and sociocultural anthropologist within a corporate context investigating the future of work and the built environment prototyping speculative artifacts and generating insights for future strategy and product design.

Discursive design is particularly good at helping surface users’ values, beliefs, and attitudes, which are more difficult in conventional design research that emphasizes aesthetic, usability, and usefulness preferences of artifacts,” Tharp said of his hopes for the upcoming Fulbright year.

End of Life is an important topic and one in which sensitivity is important to understand and which is likely generalizable or relates to other complex interpersonal and social issues.”