27 September 2009

Communication and Human Development: The Freedom Connection

Professors Michael Spence and Amartya Sen join leading ICT (Information-Communication Technology) experts Yochai Benkler and Clotilde Fonseca in a public discussion of the role of communication and ICTs in human development, growth and poverty reduction. Michael Best will moderate the discussion. What has changed, been learned, not been learned, needs to be learned, needs to be done most urgently?

This talk was organized by the International Development Research Center, and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on September 23, 2009. See notes from Ethan Zuckerman's liveblog here: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/20


Lee Dirks on Transforming Scholarly Communication

Lee Dirks, Director of Education & Scholarly Communications in Microsofts External Research division proposes a vision for the future of research and the need for semantic-oriented computing by exploring eResearch projects that have successfully applied relevant technologies. He suggests that a software + service model with scientific services delivered from the cloud will become an increasingly accepted model for research.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Harvard Business School Knowledge and Library Services, Harvard Law School Library, and the Office for Scholarly Communication.


End the University as We Know It

Published: April 26, 2009 New York Times

GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades, and the seeds of this crisis go as far back as the formation of modern universities. Kant, in his 1798 work “The Conflict of the Faculties,” wrote that universities should “handle the entire content of learning by mass production, so to speak, by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee.”


04 May 2009

Fleshspirit - Theorizing Art or Artifying Theory.

Lecture by Andreas Nobel at Midsommargården, May 8th, 1-3 pm.

Konstfack, Stockholm.

Friday May 8, 13-15 AT MIDSOMMARGÅRDEN (at Telefonplan) Lecture: Fleshspirit - Theorizing art or artifying theory Reflections on relationships between theory and practise Lecturer: Andreas Nobel, Ph.D. candidate, Konstfack The lecture will be an introduction to my research starting with a presentation of my educational and professional background. After this follows an introduction to the subject of my research: The relationship between theory and practise in a craft-based design process. I will then present one example of my research method (so far), which involves a deliberate mix-up between theory and practise. While reasoning about these issues the inevitable question is: Why artistic research? One way of treating this question is to formulate in what ways artistic research differs from other fields of research as well as from art and design itself. The fairly new field of artistic research can be justified only if we think that it can provide new and other kind of knowledge and/ or experience than the established scientific traditions and the contemporary art scene can provide. Andreas Nobel is an interior designer. He teaches at BI, konstfack. He is a former member of Uglycute and the former chief editor of RUM, a magazine for architecture, interior and design.

Artists' Writings, 1850-present

Location: United Kingdom
Conference Date: 2009-06-04
Date Submitted: 2009-04-09
Announcement ID: 168068
Artists' Writings, 1850-present
The Courtauld Institute of Art

Thursday 4 June - Saturday 6 June, 2009
** Student discount available**

Despite Matisse’s warning that ‘he who wants to dedicate himself to painting should start by cutting out his tongue’, artists in the modern period have frequently expressed themselves in writing (whether memoir, fiction or theory). This conference will ask what motivates artists to write, how they view the relation between their visual and textual practice, and how they use writing to manipulate or challenge the public reception and critical interpretation of their work. Challenging the myth of the visual artist as an intuitive anti-intellectual, it will demonstrate the extent and diversity of artists’ contributions to modern literature and criticism in various languages. It will also investigate how scholars interpret these texts: are they works of art in themselves or simply evidence about the artist’s life and craft? Do they conceal as much as they reveal? How has the role and perception of artists’ writings changed over time?

Speaker(s): Bridget Alsdorf (Princeton University), Kenneth Bendiner (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Grace Brockington (University of Bristol), Nicholas Chare (University of Reading), Julie F. Codell (Arizona State University), Peter Cooke (University of Manchester), Ann Compton (University of Glasgow), Julia K. Dabbs (University of Minnesota, Morris), James Faure Walker (artist; Camberwell College of Arts), Richard Hobbs (University of Bristol), John House (Courtauld Institute of Art), Sylvia Karastathi (University of Cambridge), Emma Kimberley (University of Leicester), Yvonne Kyriakides (artist), Michelle Letowska (artist), Anna Lovatt (University of Nottingham), Peter Maber (University of Cambridge), Nina Parish (University of Bath), Dina Ramadan (Columbia University), Christina Rosenberger (Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museum), Deborah Schultz (University of Sussex), Dave Smith (artist), Rachel Sloan (independent art historian), Lisa Tickner (Courtauld Institute of Art), Aurélie Verdier (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), Duncan White (Central St Martins)

**Booking now open**
Registration information and event details available online at http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/researchforum/2008/artistswritings (scroll down the page for Artists' Writings).

Dr Linda Goddard
Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
London WC2R 0RN
Email: linda.goddard@courtauld.ac.uk
Visit the website at http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/researchforum/2008/artistswritings

28 April 2009



Processes, Results and Contributions

24-25 November 2009
University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland

Over the last two decades, a lively discussion has developed about the
relationship between art and research. The roles of the professional
artist and the professional researcher have in many ways come closer to
one another and often merged in fruitful ways. At the university level,
the criteria for various forms of research related to art and design
have emerged. With some variation, the suggested minimum criteria
include: a clearly articulated epistemic interest, a systematic and
sustained approach, explicit and articulated means for communicating and
evaluating the results, and established practices for publishing the

This new institutional connection between research and art/design has
promoted much discussion concerning the dialogue between theory and
practice, or ‘reflecting’ and ‘making’, the emphasis often being on the
question of how they might be combined in a productive way. This time
the conference explores the different ways to turn processes into
results guided by following questions:

- To what extent is it productive to demarcate the practices of
art/design from theories of art and design? Do these distinctions just
serve the narration of the dialogues between theories and practices or
do they have relevance beyond that?

- How to conceive of the relationship between the art/design processes
and the research results from case to case?

- How to document art and design processes for research purposes?

- How to communicate non-verbal research results?

- What do we mean by contribution in terms of art and design research?

- What is the relationship between saying and showing, or argument and

These questions might also stimulate other relevant questions.

The conference will go beyond conventional paper presentation, as each
conference session space will be designed to enable oral presentations
to interact with exhibited works of art and design. The aim of the event
is to continue and update the discussions concerning the relationship
between art and design practices and research, in terms of both content
and modes of presentation.

We invite papers (5000 words max) by doctoral students, post-doctoral
researchers and academics dealing with following themes:

1) Explorative art/design projects. This type of papers must be
submitted together with creative works and must contribute to
understanding how the visual and the verbal are unified in artistic and
design research. Each submission should also include a separate brief
description (80 words max) of the creative work and visual material such
as photographs or video (digital formats only, totally 10M max.).

2) Methodological and theoretical questions related to the conference

All contributions will be double-blind peer reviewed. To facilitate
double-blind peer review process, authors should make efforts to ensure
that information about the authors’ identities do not appear anywhere in
the paper. If an author is cited, “Author” and year should be used in
the bibliography and footnotes, instead of author’s name, paper title,

The conference is hosted by School of Design in co-operation with Design
Connection Doctoral School at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
Since the first event in 2005 in Helsinkihas been organized annually, altering between two locations: University
of Art and Design Helsinki and Chelsea College of Art and Design in

The paper and exhibition proposals should be sent to the conference
secretary Johanna Rauhaniemi (Johanna.Rauhaniemi@taik.fi). For the paper
template and other practical details, see the conference web site at
http://www.taik.fi/designresearch/AOR2009. Conference fee 150€/100€ for
students, includes conference attendance and refreshments.


9 April 2009 First call for papers

10 August 2009 Deadline for papers
1 September – 6 November 2009 Registration and payment
28 September 2009 Review notice and referee
30 October 2009 Submission for final
10 November 2009 Arrival of exhibits.
24-25 November 2009 Conference

For further information, please contact:
Maarit Mäkelä
DA, coordinator / Design Connections Doctoral School
School of Design / University of Art and Design Helsinki
Hämeentie 135 C / FIN-00560 Helsinki
+ 358 9 7563 0640

05 February 2009


Conference 1-2 July 2009, De Montfort University & Loughborough University. Interrogations: CREATIVE INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN ART AND DESIGN RESEARCH The conference addresses various aspects of interdisciplinary approaches in Art & Design research, as well as practical and theoretical methods for interlinking with other disciplines. The objective is to explore interdisciplinarity as a new trend that brings together different disciplines, forging new connections and contributions to collective knowledge. Ultimately, the aim is to promote and encourage interdisciplinarity as a way to enhance creativity in research. This conference aims to address the challenges and trends of interdisciplinary research that contributes to art and design. We are inviting performance proposals as part of the conference programme, as well as formal presentations (deadline 16th of January). It is hoped that the performance event will embrace an eclectic mix of works communicated through a variety of forms: any visual, sound, spoken word, music, short plays, dance, design, film, multi media, digital projects and other performance medium or methods of expression involving interdisciplinarity as a way of transferring ideas and stimulating creativity across disciplines. The event will take place on the first day of the conference, after the sessions. Limited sound equipment as well as video and slide projectors are available. Artists are responsible for installing and removing their performance materials on the day of the performance. Each performance running time will be 25 minutes. If you would like to be considered, please send a proposal, one page maximum description of your idea, including your contact information, a brief description of the performance, special equipment or space needed. The proposal should detail the project, its production, how it engages participants and any technical requirements. Please be as specific as possible. You may submit your proposal via email or digitally on Compact Disk or DVD by 28th February 2009. Send materials or enquiries to: Basia Sliwinska Loughborough University School of Art & Design Epinal Way Loughborough Leicestershire United Kingdom LE11 3TU


CALL FOR PARTICIPATION (International Association of Societies of Design Research 2009): RIGOR AND RELEVANCE IN DESIGN, 19-22 October 2009, IASDR 2009, Seoul, South Korea. This is a large, international design research conference with an intensive and high quality program. This venue will bring together top design researchers and practitioners to build and advance knowledge in the field of Design. We encourage your enthusiastic participation for this exciting opportunity. Design has been evolved into a unique but highly influencing discipline in this rapidly changing society. But it has also struggled to find its own rigor and relevance as a disciplined field as its own. In this conference, we invite various perspectives and research outcomes that may address the issues of establishing our own rigor and relevance of design research and practice in the field of Design, as well as discussions and research activities related to all the important design subjects as follows: 1. Design Theory and Methodology; 2. Design Philosophy, Ethics, Values, and Issues; 3. Design Education; 4. Design Management and Strategy; 5. Sustainability, Culture, History, and Society in Design; 6. Human Behaviors, Perception, and Emotion; 7. Semantics, Aesthetics and Experience in Design; 8. Interaction and Interface Design; 9. Design Tools and New Media; 10. Universal Design/Inclusive Design; 11. Design Creativity; 12. Design Project Cases. -- Abstract deadline: February 28, 2009. More information:

03 February 2009

Art in the Knowledge-based Polis

by Tom Holert

Lately, the concept of “knowledge production” has drawn new attention and prompted strong criticism within art discourse. One reason for the current conflictual status of this concept is the way it can be linked to the ideologies and practices of neoliberal educational policies. In an open letter entitled “To the Knowledge Producers,” a student from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has eloquently criticized the way education and knowledge are being “commodified, industrialized, economized and being made subject to free trade.”1

In a similar fashion, critic Simon Sheikh has addressed the issue by stating that “the notion of knowledge production implies a certain placement of thinking, of ideas, within the present knowledge economy, i.e. the dematerialized production of current post-Fordist capitalism”; the repercussions of such a placement within art and art education can be described as an increase in “standardization,” “measurability,” and “the molding of artistic work into the formats of learning and research.”2 Objections of this kind become even more pertinent when one considers the suggestive rhetoric of the major European art educational network ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts), which, in a strategy paper published in May 2008, linked “artistic research” to the EU policy of the generation of “’New Knowledge’ in a Creative Europe.”


Thanks to Michelle Gratacós Arill for this reference.

07 December 2008

17 November 2008



Review of:

By Robert Scott Root-Bernstein.
Illustrated. 501 pp. Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press. $35.

As the legend goes, a stray penicillium mold lands on a bacteria-filled petri dish in Fleming's laboratory. About to discard the dish, Fleming suddenly notices that the mold has dissolved the bacterial colonies. Voila! Antibiotics. But Imp deduces from circumstantial evidence that Fleming merely noticed at first the errant mold's mild antiseptic properties; only after deliberately culturing the mold did he clinch that the bacteria were being wiped out. ''Fleming clearly experimented with anything he could lay his hands on, wherever he found it,'' Imp points out. ''That was part of his research style. Playing.'' Good scientists seem to design experiments that will yield surprises; they foster the conditions. Examinations of a host of notable achievers in science show them to be broadly educated, with more than a passing interest in art, music, poetry and literature. Often making their mark in previously unfashionable or neglected areas of research, they retain a childlike curiosity about the world.


16 June 2008

AGENCY: 5th International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association

AGENCY, the 5th International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, asks for a more active relationship between the humanities, the
architectural profession, and society. The conference will attempt to energise these relationships by addressing issues of agency, and will specifically address the role of
architectural humanities research as an agency of transformation.

While the potential of agency is most frequently taken to be the power and freedom to act for oneself, for the architectural and architectural research community this also involves the power and responsibility to act as intermediaries on behalf of others. There are a number of factors that affect how well this potential can be realised.

AGENCY accepts that the conditions for effective action are both contingent on individual circumstances and constantly changing. Nevertheless, the conference sets
out to explore how humanities research can better contribute towards understanding current architectural needs, possibilities and capacities for action. It will explore what is meant by ‘action’ in this context, what kinds of activities and conditions are relevant, what prevents the effective exercise of agency, and how the consideration of
such prevention might indicate effective points of, and tactics for, alternative action.

Research in the architectural humanities has tended to be too inward looking, avoiding these kinds of questions and leaving important aspects of architecture’s role
dramatically under-theorised. AGENCY will investigate active and outward looking approaches to humanities research, attempting to connect to a number of key political and social issues. The conference thus moves away from a concentration on the immediate objects and processes of architectural production towards an investigation of their wider context and possibilities.

It is proposed to focus the conference on two key areas where questions concerning the relationships between architecture and agency are particularly significant: the
particular possibilities of ARCHITECTURAL PRAXIS, and the big social and political questions of our age concerning the SURVIVAL OF THE ENVIRONMENT. In each case the intention is that such questions will be addressed through humanities research approaches, allowing our field of research to invigorate these neglected areas.