Tweezers & Squeezers

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Tweezers and Squeezers: Methodological Approaches and Research Methods in Art, Design and Architecture


The fifth Nida Doctoral School intensive course for DA and PhD students in art, design, architecture, humanities and the social sciences

21-26 August 2017

Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania


The fifth Nida Doctoral School (NDS) brought together a multidisciplinary group of practice and theory-based doctoral candidates researching different topics in the context of the visual and performing arts, design and architecture, sharing the common goal of completing a doctoral degree, to discuss and develop the methodological framework of their research projects. NDS provides a platform for dialogue and the exchange of ideas, as well as a space for sharing feedback and peer support. The aim of NDS 2017 was to focus on research methods and on the development of methodological skills and approaches, and to provide critical feedback from distinguished international tutors.

Finding suitable methods and framing the methodological approach is one of the biggest sources of anxiety and uncertainty for doctoral researchers, especially practice-based, when developing and implementing a research plan. Could I treat my art or design practice as the main method? How should I write about my methodology? Or, as Henk Slager calls it, ‘methodicy’*? How should I safeguard myself and my audience from methodological excess? Does my methodological approach help or limit me in doing my research? When should I think about it: when starting or when concluding my research and thesis? What is the relationship between theory and practice in my research, and which philosophical/theoretical school should I refer to in order to base my argument?



The fifth NDS took place on 21-26 August 2017. Each day included one-hour-long presentations by invited speakers and tutors, followed by one-hour-long discussions. The rest of the day was dedicated to doctoral student presentations, followed by discussions and feedback (one hour per student). Invited speakers and tutors will act as respondents to the student research development work. The programme also included slots for individual consultations.

The students are expected to participate in presentations and discussions, and to prepare for the course by studying a reading list compiled by the invited speakers and tutors and provided in early June. In addition to the discussions around the overall topic of the School, students are asked to prepare a 30-minute presentation of their own research and practice, with a special focus on their methodological approach. In these sessions, students will receive feedback from their peers on other doctoral programmes, as well as from the invited speakers and tutors of the School.


In 2017, NDS has the pleasure to welcome three INVITED SPEAKERS:

- Dr Joanne Morra, Reader in Art History and Theory, curator of the Doctoral Platform at Central Saintt Martins, University of the Arts London, founding principal editor of Journal of Visual Culture;
Dr Marquard Smith, academic, curator, commissioner, programmer, and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Visual Culture, currently Programme Leader for the MA Museums & Galleries in Education at UCL Institute of Education;
- Prof Dave Beech, Head of Research at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, artist in the collective Freee, as well as a writer, curator and critical thinker, founding editor of the journal Art and the Public Sphere;
- Prof Adrian Rifkinuntil recently Professor of Art Writing at Goldsmiths. Rifkin works with film and cinema, classical and popular music, canonical art and mass imagery, literature and pornography, he is involved in a range of conferences on art education and radical pedagogy in the UK;
Dr Kęstas Kirtiklis, associate professor at the Institute of Philosophy and at the Faculty of Communication of Vilnius University, vice-chair of Philosophy of Communication section at the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). 


Two TUTORS guided the students through the course:

- Dr Sofia Pantouvaki, scenographer and Professor of Costume Design at Aalto University;
- Konstantinas Bogdanas, artist and Associate Professor of Visual Art at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

NAC Academic Board members also contributed to the course.


Invited doctoral students:

Agnieszka Roguski, Free University Berlin
Arnas Anskaitis, Vilnius Academy of Arts
Daphne de Sonneville, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art (doctoral residency)
Felicity Holland, University of the Arts Helsinki, Academy of Fine Arts
Gregor Taul, Lisbon Consortium (Catholic University of Portugal)
Hanna Husberg, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (doctoral residency)
Harald Arnkil, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Kiymet Oberpriller (Ninel Çam), Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Kristė Kibildytė-Klimienė, Vilnius Academy of Arts
Marika Orenius, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Rokas Dovydėnas, Vilnius Academy of Arts (doctoral residency)
Rowan Lear, University of West London
Sigitas Gužauskas, Vilnius Academy of Arts
Sinem Kayacan, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Varvara Guljajeva, Estonian Academy of Arts


What is Nida Doctoral School?


About Nida Art Colony


Dr Rasa Antanavičiūtė
Manager of NDS and executive director of Nida Art Colony
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Methodicy:“<..> a strong belief in a methodology founded on operational strategies which cannot be formulated and legitimized beforehand.” (Henk Slager, The Pleasure of Research, 2015, p. 30)