Faculty research

At the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK), research is considered to be an integral part of artistic and design practice. Tutors conducting research through their own practices incorporate the insights gained and questions raised into their teaching. Conversely, many tutors consider the educational programmes to serve as an environment in which they can hone and expand upon their ideas and research. As such, there is continuous interaction between teaching and research.

Research Group

In order to support tutors in their research endeavours, a Research Group was established in September 2015. Chaired by one of the lectors, this Research Group enables a selected group of tutors to conduct specific research projects within the framework of their teaching appointments. Each year, both practice and theory tutors are invited to apply through a call for proposals. The nature of the participants’ research projects varies, from research driven by, within and through one’s own practice to research into pedagogy; from material or technological research to academic research in preparation for an eventual PhD-trajectory. The year concludes with a symposium where participating tutors share the outcomes of their research projects with the KABK community of colleagues and students, as well as invited respondents.

Teaching Tools Research Group

In 2017 a second group was initiated: the Teaching Tools Research Group. In the monthly meetings of this group, participants work with the Design Lector, and in close cooperation with the KABK Workshops, to develop a pedagogical tool or toolset for use in the workshop, studio or classroom. In the first phase, participants are invited to define parameters and refine their research question in relation to the existing needs within their department and/or the academy at large. Based on this initial inquiry, participating tutors will develop a prototype to be tested out with students, the results of which will be documented and analysed. The insights gained and the (prototype) tools developed in this process will be made available to the wider KABK teaching community.

Design / Research Club

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 in, about, or through design-related disciplines. Research can be scholarly investigations into design as subject matter, or practice-led research that uses design as the method and means for investigation. Club meetings are organized several times a year and convened by the Design Lector. During these meetings, participants are invited to share their research in progress, and engage in discussion about shared points of interest such as methods, approaches and references as well as practical matters such as funding, organisation, publishing and dissemination. The aim is to identify and nurture emergent and developing research projects, share findings and best practices, and create a network of potential collaborators or mentors.

Theory Platform

The Theory Platform is an academy-wide platform for bringing about educational innovation. At bimonthly meetings chaired by one of the lectors, an ongoing dialogue is facilitated about teaching methods, forms of collaboration between theory tutors and practice tutors, the meaning of research, its relationship with artistic practice, thesis requirements, quality criteria, et cetera. These bimonthly meetings constitute an environment in which critical (self)reflection and experiment can thrive and different viewpoints and experiences can be exchanged and measured up against one another. In collaboration with the lectorates, the Theory Platform organizes seminars and expert meetings and initiates publications.

PhD incentive scheme

The KABK invests in a PhD Incentive Scheme (‘Stimuleringsregeling’) for tutors who are interested in doing PhD research. The KABK offers financial support for the development of a PhD proposal (encouragement premium or incentive premium) or to do PhD research (doctorate grant). This is in line with the agreements with the Ministry of Education and Culture to increase the number of staff members with a master’s or PhD degree. Some of the participants in the PhD incentive scheme have been accepted into the PhDArts doctoral programme at Leiden University, others are affiliated to other universities.