The Design / Research Club is a forum for tutors, heads, (research) staff, workshop supervisors and PhD candidates from the KABK and Leiden University involved in research about, or through design-related disciplines. Research can take the form of scholarly investigation into design as subject matter, or it can be practice-led, using design as the method and means of enquiry. Club meetings are organized several times a year and convened by the Design Lector, Dr Alice Twemlow. During these meetings, participants are invited to share their research in progress and engage in discussion about shared points of interest in research such as methods approaches and references as well as in practical matters such as funding, organisation, publishing and dissemination of research. The aim is to identify and nurture emergent and developing research projects, share findings and best practices and create a network of potential collaborators and mentors.

Design / Research Club #1
The first meeting of the Design / Research Club took place on Friday 1 June 2018.
—see abstract booklet #1 (to be uploaded soon)

Design / Research Club #2
The second meeting of the Design / Research Club took place on Friday 2 November 2018.
see abstract booklet #2.

Participants in previous meetings of the Design / Research Club include:

Participants and the projects they are developing/have developed as part of the Design / Research Club

History leaks into the present
Alexander looks at various implementations of archival materials via projects developed with collaborator Ghalia Elsrakbi, as Foundland Collective, while looking to discern and develop research approaches which propose a slowing down and critical reflection on historical events.

How to draw an S. On unforgiving math, exploring complex geometry, inevitable tool development and letterforms
In this project, Erik van Blokland aims to contribute to the discourse on format specification and library tools, and develops visualization tools while working on new typefaces. What kind of spaces are available to type designers between what their ideas demand and what is possible?

Letters and Architecture
The purpose of van de Burgh's project is to investigate collaborations between letter/type designers and architectural offices, examining to what extent letters/texts can be considered as an integral part of the design and the concept of a building.

Saga creek stories
Christiaansen and Montens have waded through, mapped, excavated and dredged the creek network in Saga City, Japan, collecting the memories and stories which were presented tin an exhibition. Now that the exhibition is almost over, their main question is how they can further consolidate and share this research.

Space-time in Japan. Research by (exhibition) design
Through re-enactment of a 1978 exhibition curated by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, van Dam aims to further explore the potential of the Japanese concept of 間 [Ma] (roughly translated as a ‘gap’ or ‘difference’ immanent in things) for contemporary Euro-American design and pedagogical practice.

The Art (of) Going International
Dutta intends to study why, what and how higher education institutions of art and design will 'go international and the possible outcomes of this. Dutta aims to analyse and interpret similarities and differences in the way internationalization is carried out across different art academies in Europe.

Evolving Game Terrains through Living Organisms
Van Eck’s project explores the concept of evolving game terrains through intermediation of living biological organisms and presents a proof of concept realization thereof.

Crafting your thinking, reflecting your craft
Gieskes aims to develop a robust teaching method that enables simultaneous engagement with theoretical and material research in workshops that bring together the previously separate activities of reflection/research/theoretical on the one hand, and making on the other.

Homelessness and nomadism
This research project starts from the case of the destruction, by controlled implosion, of the buildings of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis, United States in 1972. It explores the reactions to that event and seeks to understand in more general terms the ways in which the fundamental belief that design and social engineering can make a better world has been shaken.

Using primary sources in (theory) classes
Grootes investigates how primary sources can be meaningfully used in theoretical classes for art students, focusing particularly on the photograph and the ways in which it can be considered as both an object and an image.

The (Im)possibilities of friction // ctrl+c
By means of hands-on cross-disciplinary workshops and by producing and highlighting frictional experiences, Groten’s inquiry reframes the discourse about what is often described by tech-optimists as ‘innovation’. The workshop format developed by Groten provides the means to ‘force quit’ (ctrl+c) and re-evaluate accelerated technological processes.

360˚ – relationships and interactions between the human body, robotic technology and architectural manifestations
The research intends to provide the foundation for an interactive and performative installation, which reframes the ‘body image’ by focusing on the expressive, ephemeral potential of human movement.

Designing attitudes: towards an appreciation for the quotidian
Kamp asks how do we go about developing ‘topic’ attitudes – that is, attitudes that question the dubious lure of the word ‘new’ and involve appreciation of the quotidian? Could the development of ‘topic’ attitudes be aided by design? And if so, is it desirable to design attitudes?

Artists and designers who work with textiles from 1980s to present
The aim of this project is to provide an overview of the ways in which artists and designers work with textiles today as context and vocabulary for the next generation.

The politics of design: the liberating potential of communication design in post/modern times
Kuijpers' research project starts from the questions: What is the relationship between discourse (mentality), social conditions and forms (of expression) of communication design? How and under what conditions can communication design develop operational strategies that empower the onlooker by encouraging the formation of independent opinion?

HYPERGARDEN – HedgeBlocks: Low input food production in the urban environment
By reusing materials and repurposing products, Looman and his studio, Since Today, have designed and built a low-cost vertical garden that is used as a trial to monitor and document 40 different planting combinations to see what will grow well in the warm and dry urban environment with very little input and low running costs, in comparison with conventional fossil-fuel-powered agriculture.

The role of strategic and design thinking in the creation of better objects, products or spaces
Meniakina's research project seeks to develop a more robust and inclusive visual and process design methodology, based on design thinking and stakeholder engagement.

Original copy. Modern trompe-l’oeil in the hyperreal
Nuijen’s project examines how our society is influenced by a culture built on imagery and representations that trick us into thinking they are real and thus become our model for reality: a hyperreality.

Moving Membranes
This project focuses on the ways in which Frontex, the semiprivate governing agency held responsible for the management of border control in the Schengen area, engages in artistic expression through their annual photo competition. How do the artistic images produced by Frontex’ employees relate to the broad range of analytical imagery produced by the agency as a whole? And more generally, how do contemporary image-reading machines distinguish in their ‘reading’, ‘screening’ or ‘analysing’ of these images?

Stage design as a method for thinking
In this project, Roos explores the idea that articulate thinking can be enabled by creative practices such as stage design. From this point of view, stage design can be conceived as a way of (or a method for) thinking ‘in action’, or as philosophers of language would put it, ‘nonpropositionally’.

Nomadic design strategies
Salihine explores the potential of using a ‘nomadic’ design strategy, to free the object and its user from oppression by settler objects and therefore create a more fluid, dynamic and heterogeneous approach to design

Design Thinking as a research instrument outside and inside the academy and design practice
In this project, Shafir seeks to understand what significance Design Thinking (DT) could have as a research instrument outside design practice and to define how DT could unlock a new approach to education in the arts, focusing on students’ changing prospects for professional practice.

See the text, read the image
Smit’s work as an artist focuses on the shifting relationship between language and image. She is interested in processes of projection, translation and signification. Her work can roughly be divided into two directions, from language to image and from image to language. The aim of this project is to get more clarity about these contrary movements.

Ethnographic research on artistic strategies of young Muslims in the Netherlands
Termeer's project examines to what extent young Muslims in the Netherlands are able to exit the dominant integration discourse by means of artistic production and it investigates what kind of images, stories and subjectivities are generated in the practice of opting out.

Bioplastic for systemic design
Increased awareness of the Anthropocene, and the harmful role that design has played in bringing it about, has led to a reshaped understanding of eco- and industrial systems in design. Through the study of material narratives and material flows Vailly argues that bio-plastic materials are the perfect media to foster systemic thinking in design.

The shortcomings of the photo-camera
Starting from the observation that his photographic images often fail to reflect his experience of the landscape they depict, Van Vliet explores ways to overcome the inherent limitations of the camera in terms of capturing the progression of time and movement through space.