Annually, theory teachers from various departments of the Royal Academy of Art nominate their department’s best thesis for the thesis award.

An independent and annually changing jury decides on the winning thesis award. The jury consists of a chair, an artist or designer teaching at the academy and/or the previous winner of the thesis award and an external member.

Jury 2020

Joost Grootens, ACPA staff member, Leiden University (jury chair)

Astrid Vorstermans, founder Valiz Publishers, Amsterdam (external jury member)

Marina Otero, director of research, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (external jury member)

BA Thesis Award Winner

Department: Bachelor Photography

Name: Ashleigh Wilson

Title: Of Song and Suffering. Tales from the Realm of the Abject

Link to thesis

Link to visuals

The Jury finds the thesis very impressive, the writing is compelling and the thoughts developed are intriguing; the thesis is nuanced and grounded. The topic of the thesis is important and urgent. It addresses the post-conflict of Northern Ireland. The Jury admires how the author is able to link the personal history to the theoretical concepts, struggling with the meaning of ‘representation’. It is partly a first person record of a family history, partly analysis of the history of a country, partly a reflection on trauma, photography and violence, partly a collection of text fragments from popular culture. All of these seem to make the case that silence, burying the truth is not an option but instead speaking, singing, shouting, making images are the only way to come to grips with the trauma

BA Thesis Award honourable mention

Department: Bachelor Graphic Design

Name: Nicolai Schmelling

Title Hot Monster Compost

Link to thesis

The jury found this thesis intelligent, funny and unique. The thesis touches upon subjects like subculture; gender; fantasy; porn. The thesis is also excellently written and has a very clear structure and language. The author achieves three things: he guides us into the world of erotic fan-art of animal-human hybrids, providing analysis and an insightful glossary. Through interviews with three of these fan-artists he reveals their motives. And thirdly, by using insights from a variety of sources manages to open an original interpretation. The only missed opportunity is the visual format of the thesis, especially for a Graphic Design student.

MA Thesis Award Winner

Department: Master Artistic Research

Name: Adele Dipasquale

Title: All The Stories We Might Tell

Link to thesis

The Jury finds the thesis wonderfully written it’s complex, layered, knowing, reflective. Using carefully chosen words to question language. They appreciate the high ambition of this thesis . It is a true master thesis in that it explores the own position in relation to the subject, the field and the world. The author explores questions that are relevant today. The author is trying to unpack terms and go beyond the general definitions, pushing definitions and contradictions. The Jurys was especially intrigued by ‘feminism’ in relation to ‘nature’.

Digital theses

Link to all digital thesis nominations

Department: Bachelor ArtScience

Name: Gökay Atabek

Title: Feasibility of Importing Frozen Salmon

Subtitle: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding If It Is a Feasible Idea to Import Ten Metric Tonnes MSC Certificate Compliant Frozen Salmon Cubes through Alibaba Into Europe

Link to thesis

Department: Bachelor Fine Arts

Name: Karolina Rupp

Title: I wanted to write about the Sublime

Link to thesis

Department: Bachelor Graphic Design

Name: Nicolai Schmelling

Title Hot Monster Compost

Link to thesis

Department: Bachelor Interior Architecture & Furniture Design

Name: Cristina Palicari

Title: Consuming the World

Link to thesis

Department: Bachelor Interactive Media Design

Name: Marlot Meyer

Title: Embodied Multi{(Body; Space; Time; Performance;)}

Link to thesis

Department: Bachelor Photography

Name: Ashleigh Wilson

Title: Of Song and Suffering. Tales from the Realm of the Abject

Link to thesis

Link to visuals

Department : Bachelor Textile & Fashion

Name: Inge Vaanderin

Title: The Ambiguous Relationship between Human and Object

Link to thesis

Department: Master Artistic Research

Name: Adele Dipasquale

Title: All The Stories We Might Tell

Link to thesis

Department: Master ArtScience

Name: Sebastien Robert

Title: Exploration or appropriation

Subtitle: The position of contemporary sound artist towards Indigenous music.

Link to thesis

Department: Master Industrial Design

Name: Honor Newman

Title: Contents (download link to videos on request)

Department: Master Interior Architecture

Name: Mary Farwy

Title: Spaces of Unknown

Subtitle: Proposing a new ‘normal’ to out-grid norms in spaces

Link to thesis

Link to sheets

Department: Master Photography & Society

Name: Ana Nuñez Rodriguez

Title: Cooking patata stories

Link to thesis

Department: Master Non Linear Narrative

Name: Cyan Bae

Title : The-Intimate-Voice

Link to thesis

Department: Master Type and Media

Name: Céline Hurka

Title: Super Grotesk

Link to thesis