The thesis of Risto Kujanpää, Archives of the North, conducts research into the oppressed and threatened languages of the Sami people in Fennoscandia and asks whether a typeface can become a vessel for communicating values of inclusion and for facilitating change? The thesis provides a strong and convincing combination of theory and practice to essay a response to this question and to situate typography at the heart of a political issue . The jury appreciated how Risto had used this thesis not only try to understand his position as a practitioner in the world but also to problematize that position. His research benefits from its site specificness, use of interviews and primary sources. It also exciting to realize that the author is not done with this topic; it’s a starting point for a critical practice.

Risto Kujanpää, Archives of the North. KABK, 2018.


Laura Frías Muñoz del Cerro’s thesis Millennial Heritage, Reactivating the places of our memories, is the ultimate winner. It’s an excellent example of design research, where mapping, drawing, and a visual taxonomy are deployed as research methods and beautifully integrated with the writing to create the impression of effortless cohesion. The text itself juxtaposes a personal, fictionalised evocation of the experience of being displaced from and not recognizing the city where one grew up and a historically and theoretically grounded essay on the global context for this experience. While the thesis deals with heritage, memory, amnesia and nostalgia, it is notable for its future-facing approach which proposes, authoritatively but modestly, how to reactivate aspects of the urban landscape. The design of the book is exquisitely done and well thought through, supporting the content through use of layered images and different paper stocks and page sizes to differentiate the personal narrative from the more objective analysis.

Laura Frias Munoz del Cerro, Millennial Heritage, Reactivating the places of our memories. KABK, 2018.


The jury found the thesis of Lucy Cordes Engelman, Reclaiming Cinema Through a Feminist Impulse: An Ethics of Possible Presence, a splendid and exciting exemplar of artistic research. The writing is sophisticated, layered, subtle yet confident. The first half is theoretical support and the second half provides the applied/fictional interpretation. Almost ready to be published, this thesis deserves a special mention.

Lucy Cordes Engelman, Reclaiming Cinema Through a Feminist Impulse: An Ethics of Possible Presence. KABK, 2018.