Research Week / Research Inquiries / Research Perspectives / Research through Design (MA) Konstfack

This course has varied in name, scope and intent over the years. From 2015 on, as Konstfack's annual 'Research Week,' the course engaged not only all master's students but also researchers and invited research experts as well as the public. Between 2007-2014, the 5 to 7-week course was focused for all master's students. When first launched in 2007, the course consolidated three previously separate courses – Research and Practice, Critical Terms, and the Master’s Colloquium – within a comprehensive approach and interdisciplinary faculty. The shape and duration of the course changed over the years as research has developed within the school, in Sweden and elsewhere. The course has been a site for experiments with and controversies over definitions of artistic/design research at Konstfack, different approaches to theory and practice, and direction from a dedicated faculty and department-directed activities.

The course is structured to engage interdisciplinary student groups of varying sizes through diverse pedagogical methods. From the start, the course intention has been to equip students with terms, methodologies, examples and experiences of their discipline in relation to theory, history and practice-based research. The course is significant in how it exposes students through critical and creative approaches to research and practice in and across arts disciplines. Theory and practice are not presented sequentially or hierarchically, rather these are woven together within overlapping and parallel series of lectures, small seminars, individual and group work, studio work, reading days, and critique formats. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to: identify and analyze the relationship between their practice and the bodies of knowledge relevant to research in their chosen field; be familiar with a range of perspectives and methodologies relevant to research, identify the appropriate methodologies for their own practice; identify, analyze and discuss both established and contested concepts and terms within art, craft and design theory from a point of view informed by the history of ideas; recognize their information need, find the required information, critically evaluate documents, apply information and its sources; demonstrate the ability to independently and creatively formulate new questions and contribute to knowledge development, and; to critically reflect upon their own and others´ artistic and theoretical approaches to issues discussed in the course.

Level Masters (MA) compulsory for all programs at Konstfack
Credits 5-7.5
Dates 2007-2009 and 2013-2015
Number of students approximately 90 students and some open/public sessions

My role
In 2015, the course was reconceptualized, restructed and implemented by Magnus Ericson and myself as Konstfack's annual 'Research Week.' When I participated in 2007-2009 and 2010-2013, the course was led by Rolf Hughes, and I was a core faculty member in launching the course. Throughout, my role has included participation in conceptualizing, planning and evaluating the course, as well as varied teaching responsibilities over the years.

Image (above)
Graphic identity by Moa Sundkvist and Gabriel Kanulf
/ Research Week 2015 program booklet (PDF)