Design / Research Club meetings are convened by Alice Twemlow, head of the Design Lectorate.

  • Design / Research Club #1
    The first meeting of the Design / Research Club took place on Friday 1 June 2018.
    See abstract booklet #1 (will 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
  • Design / Research Club #3
    The third meeting of the Design / Research Club took place on Friday 24 May 2019.

Are you interested in participating in the next club meeting? Please let us know by sending an email to You are welcome to attend whether or not you attended the previous meetings. If you are signing up as a new participant, please indicate the topic of your research (one sentence) and what type of project (early stages, in progress, completed) you would like to present.

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

Lauren Alexander

tutor, BA Graphic Design and MA Non-Linear Narrative
History leaks into the present
Alexander looks at various implementations of archival materials via projects developed with collaborator Ghalia Elsrakbi, as Foundland Collective, while trying to discern and develop research approaches which propose a slowing down and critical reflection on events.

Erik van Blokland

head, MA Type and Media
How to draw an S. On unforgiving math, exploring complex geometry, inevitable tool development and letterforms.
This project aims to contribute to the discourse on format specification and library tools, and to develop 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?

Marja van der Burgh

coordinator, MA Type and Media Letters and Architecture
The purpose of the 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.

Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens

tutors, BA Interior Architecture & Furniture Design
Saga creek stories
Christiaansen and Montens have trodden through, mapped, excavated and dredged the creek network in Saga City, Japan, collecting the memories and stories the creeks contain and presenting the outcomes in an exhibition. Now that the exhibition is almost over, their main question is how to further consolidate and share this research.

Renske Maria van Dam

tutor, BA ArtScience and BA Interactive Media Design
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.

Aparajita Dutta

head, KABK International Affairs | PhD candidate, Leiden University Dual PhD Centre
The Art (of) Going International
This research project intends to study the why, what, how and the possible outcomes of internationalization in higher education institutions of art and design. Dutta aims to analyse and interpret similarities and differences in the way internationalization is carried out across different art academies in Europe.

Wim van Eck

tutor, BA Interactive Media Design | PhD candidate, LIACS, Leiden University
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.

Vibeke Gieskes

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

Jan Frederik Groot

tutor, BA Photography
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. The project explores the reactions to that event in particular, 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.

Ingrid Grootes

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

Anja Groten

PhD candidate, PhDArts, KABK/Leiden University
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 aims to reframe 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.

Lyndsey Housden

tutor, BA Interactive Media Design
360˚ – relationships and interactions between the human body, robotic technology and architectural manifestations
The research is intended 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.

Merel Kamp

tutor, MA Industrial Design
Designing attitudes: towards an appreciation for the quotidian
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 such ‘topic’ attitudes be aided by design? And if so, is it desirable to design attitudes?

Anna Kruyswijk

tutor, BA Textile & Fashion
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.

Els Kuijpers

tutor, BA Graphic Design | PhD candidate, PhDArts, KABK/Leiden University
The politics of design: the liberating potential of communication design in post/modern times
The research project starts from the question: 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?

Jonathan Looman

tutor, BA Interactive Media Design
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 garden 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, compared to conventional fossil-fuel-powered agriculture.

Victoria Meniakina

tutor, BA Interior Architecture & Furniture Design
The role of strategic and design thinking in the creation of better objects, products or spaces
This research project seeks to develop a more robust and inclusive visual and process design methodology, based on design thinking and stakeholder engagement.

Kim Nuijen

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

Marthe Prins i.c.w. Benedikt Weishaupt

tutor, Preparatory Year and ACPA Practicum Artium
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 imageries 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?

Carlos Roos

university lecturer, ACPA, KABK/Leiden University
Stage design as a method for thinking
In his 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, ‘in a nonpropositional’ way.

Yassine Salihine

tutor, MA Industrial Design
Nomadic design strategies
This project 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.

Lena Shafir

tutor, BA Interactive Media 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.

Tanja Smit

tutor, ACPA Practicum Artium, KABK/Leiden University
See the text, read the image
Smit’s work as an artist focusses 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 the other way around. The aim of this project is to get more clarity about these contrary movements

Bregje Termeer

university lecturer, CA-DS, Leiden University
Ethnographic research on artistic strategies of young Muslims in the Netherlands
The project examines to what extent young Muslims in the Netherlands are able to exit the dominant integration discourse by means of artistic production and investigates what kind of images, stories and subjectivities are generated in the practice of opting out.

Thomas Vailly

tutor, BA Interior Architecture & Furniture Design
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. Vailly argues that bio-plastic materials – through the study of material narratives and material flows – are the perfect media to foster systemic thinking in design.

Loek van Vliet

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