With this initiative, we aim to identify and share a range of research methods practised at KABK that use the tools, approaches, and capacities of art and design to create and surface new knowledge. They include prototyping/probing, mapping/diagramming, drawing and sensing.


In this third edition in a series of explorations of research methods in art and design, the KABK Design Lectorate focuses on how research is conducted through listening and with sound and the sonic. As with the previous editions, which focused on walking and touching, the project comprises a video-interview, an exhibition, and a publication.

The project features the practices, perspectives, and research of students, tutors and workshop instructors from the extended KABK community. At its centre is the research-practice of sound practicioner and educator Femke Dekker, who teaches in BA Interior Architecture & Furniture Design.

Design Lector Alice Twemlow visited Femke Dekker at Murmur in Amsterdam, a listening bar which offers platform and space for sound practitioners and sonic enthusiasts to come together to listen and explore sound together. We wanted to learn about the role of listening and the sonic in Femke's research and teaching.

Watch the video interview here:

Punctuated by sonic samples from Femke's vinyl collection, the conversation touched on topics such as embodiment of sound, different ways of listening, how to teach listening and how sound can form a call for action.

I just wish people would listen to the climate changing and do something about it. So I made this really meditative mix tape, which is entirely composed of field recordings of natural disasters. So forest fires, melting glaciers, traffic jams, you name it, but then composed and mixed and re-edited in such a way that it sounds like this really meditative state, which I thought was like parallel to the way that we react to climate change, which is we don’t.
Femke Dekker

The sound practioner also spoke about the importance of the appreciation of sound practices within art education. This is why the Design Lectorate is hosting 'The Department of Sounding' IST course this year, tutored by Femke, in which students will think through what a department dedicated to the sonic might sound, look and function like.

As the curator of an exhibition in the KABINETS, to open January, 2024, Femke will further explore this approach together with the students. The exhibition will include a selection of sound experiments that together will form a manifest for a 'Department of Sounding' at the KABK.

It’s not too late to get involved! If you conduct research with sound, noise, music and the sonic, let us know.

Credits for video interview:

Femke Dekker
Tutor, KABK Interior Architecture & Furniture Design in conversation with Alice Twemlow, KABK Design Lector

Initiative: Niels Schrader and Alice Twemlow

Art Direction: Niels Schrader

Director of Photography: Roel Backaert

Camera and Editing: Yannick van de Graaf

Sonic samples:

Loma Doom
Meditation For The Damned

Jacki Apple
The Garden Planet Revisited

Tamia & Pierre Favre
Mit Sang und Klang

Black Merlin

Slumberland & Sainkho Namtchylak
Dolls Toys

Pablo Diserens
Ice Growlers Melting Underwater (Svinafellsjökull Glacier)

Music: Laura Dilettante

Production: Martha Jager

Location: Murmur Amsterdam