Exhibitions, conferences and events

Our Practice Our Methods

Our Practice Our Methods is a series of showcase and round-table events focused around practice-based and design research with the aim to celebrate the diverse and dynamic methods, processes and outputs of the faculty, staff, students and wider Kingston community. Curated and hosted by Marloes ten Bhömer, chair of the Research Through Design Group.

A Workshop on Workshops

A Workshop on Workshops interrogates how workshops can be a practice based research method. Through presentations/short workshops and discussions, this discursive session aims to draw out different approaches with regard to designing, participating in, hosting, and reflecting on practice-based workshops as a research method and output.

The session will focus on questions such as, how we can we ask complex, non-linear questions in a workshop format and how can they be explored through making/doing? How do theory and practice overlap? How can we learn from participants without gazing, appropriating or extracting? Moving away from the individual researcher, how can we collectively negotiate meaning? How do we ethically acknowledge or incorporate the contributions of participants in research outcomes and how do we come to understand and honour their experience? How can we reflect on and learn from a workshop? This event is co-hosted and co-curated by PhD candidate Shai Akram-Haythornthwaite.

Equity and the Immersive Lab – Polygon by Polygon: How do we Build an Equitable World?

With the development and soon-to-be-launched Eadweard Muybridge Immersive Lab at the Design School, 'Equity and the Immersive Lab – Polygon by polygon: How do we build an equitable world?' looks at the systems of power related to doing research work with and within immersive technologies.

This session aims to draw out different approaches with regard to equity in relation to these technologies, and virtual and augmented realities. The session focuses on questions such as which bodies are represented and which aren't, which places and spaces are built and which aren't, who has access to these technologies, what and whose data is captured, and which experiences are foregrounded? What ways of knowing can be explored when working with immersive technologies and what might some of the consequences be of research in this field to its subjects and participants? What is the responsibility of the researcher within this field when the ethical dimensions are outpaced or purposefully neglected in relation to technological advancements? In a space that is asymmetrically powered. And while these questions seem human-centric, they are meant to speak of a larger ecology.

  • 22 June 2022
  • External keynote presentation: Dr Eleanor Dare and Dr Dylan Yamada Rice
  • Speakers: Tonie Louise (Lou) Sands and Xavier Sole

Knowledge in Action

Knowledge in Action looks at the socio-political agency in the practice of the speakers and how to make sure that research doesn't end on a dusty bookshelf. The aim of this session is to collectively strategise ways we can increase agency and influence through our practice research.

  • 1 July 2021
  • External keynote presentation: Dr Ramia Mazé
  • Speakers: Dr Cathy Gale, Marcus Leis Allion

The Dot on the Monkey's Face

The Dot on the Monkey's Face. This session showcases and celebrates the topics and methods related to the complex understandings of 'the human' and 'the body' in the practice of the speakers. If research purports to be a systematic means of discovering the ‘not yet known' communicated through explicit means, then how can this be harmonious to practices that delve into layered, ethereal and slippery themes?

  • 9 June 2021
  • External keynote presentation: Ruby Hoette
  • Speakers: Rachel Davies, Dr Beatrice Jarvis, Keira Greene, Iain R Webb, Dr John Miers

The One in Question

The One in Question looks at diverse strategies for social engagement and co-authorship, with the aim to question our position in relation to who has the right to design and research: For whom? With whom? About whom?

  • 21 May 2021
  • External keynote presentation: Onkar Kular and Henric Benesch.
  • Speakers: Alessandra Fasoli, Livia Dubon Bohlig, Dani Admiss, Rachel M Lillie

Practice-Based Research: Conversations on the Lifecycle of a (Post) Graduate Researcher

Practice-Based Research: Conversations on the Lifecycle of a (Post) Graduate Researcher is a series of discursive seminar events focused on practice-based research. The events are platforms for expanding, progressing, and celebrating the dynamic methods, processes and outputs of Kingston School of Arts Post Graduate Research students and alumni. Curated and hosted by Marloes ten Bhömer, chair of the Research Through Design Group.


Dr Sass Brown, Programme Lead Sustainable Fashion: Business and Practices MA will be in conversation with PhD candidate Katherine Soucie about the agency of a PhD.

  • 5 December 2022

Expanding formats

Andrea Stokes, visual artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art, will be in conversation with Dr Maureen De Jager, artist academic, KSA PhD Fine Art alumni and Associate Professor Rhodes University South Africa, on expanding formats for PhD.

  • 22 March 2022

Collaboration and participation

Dr Cathy Gale, Course Leader Graphic Design, in conversation with Ellen Flynn MA, alumni Graphic Design, on collaboration and participation. Ellen Flynn has worked with the Community Brain on projects while at Kingston and set up a community-based research approach for her Final Major Project.

  • 25 January 2022


Dr Paul Micklethwaite, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader MA Sustainable Design, and Alex Fasoli, PhD candidate at Kingston School of Art in the Department of Critical and Historical Studies, in conversation on supervising and different parameters of doing Post Graduate Research and how they interact.

  • 7 December 2021

Writing a Proposal

Geoff Grandfield, illustrator and Associate Professor Illustration Animation Department, in conversation with Laura Copsey, Lecturer in Illustration Animation, on writing a PhD proposal.

  • November 2021

Future Publishing

16 June 2023

"One publishes to find comrades!" André Breton

This event comprises a workshop and round table discussion. The discussion presents diverse examples from a project entitled 'Future Publishing' that tasks graphic design undergraduates to find a form to publish their 7,000-word thesis essay for an audience (beyond their theory tutor).

The definition of ‘publish' is pushed to include the physical, digital, experienced, participatory, audible and immersive. Textual thesis content is editioned, edited, re-organised, expanded and sometimes performed in a range of project outcomes that explore ‘Publication as'…. book, object, exhibition, event, prototype, dialogue, reflexivity, gamification, voice and metaphor.

Content for the publication will draw from five years of ‘Dissertation Publication' outcomes produced by L6 BA Graphic Design, with editorial contribution from Linda Byrne, Lina Hakim, Joe Hales and Marcus Leis Allion. The publication design will be led by Linda Byrne and run as a collaborative design project with alumni teaching assistants and current cohort.

  • 16 June 2023
  • Publishing Praxis Presentation (Linda Byrne with Lina Hakim)
  • Group Discussion (Linda Byrne, Lina Hakim + alumni & current cohort) facilitated by Ruth Blacksell
  • Publication Workshop (Linda Byrne, Joe Hales + alumni & current cohort)
  • Prototyping a Publishing Praxis Publication (using the presentation and discussion content)

The Offshore Art School

08 November 2022, Stanley Picker Gallery

Initiated by Cathy Gale, the Offshore Art School (OAS) is conceived as a fictional floating institution, an educational heterotopia; liminal, unregulated, nomadic, itinerant, student-led, co-constructed, a conceptual site, a collective, a/any place. A fun palace rather than a factory. Underpinned by fiction as a research method, students are framed as pedagogic actors in a social imaginary.

The mythical (fictional) status of the art school underpins current pedagogic principles, course structures, metrics, and curricula and yet the ‘reality' of the neoliberal university is determined by capitalist concepts of knowledge production or consumer exchange in a market economy. The OAS offers genuine intellectual and creative freedom to students and educators as co-researchers instigating interdisciplinarity and convivial discourse across subjects, levels, and institutions to imagine art school ‘as if' for the first time.

Using fiction as a research method and critique the OAS is imagined as a space for untold stories, divergent positions on art school education unimpeded by the impasses of the ‘real'. Convivial discourse is employed as a democratic and respectful means of determining the ship's purpose and possibilities, flattening the hierarchies of art school education and the hidden curriculum, rewriting the socio-cultural rules (manifestos) of engagement with the world, the self, and the subject.

Illustration Research Symposium #11

Education & Illustration: Models Methods Paradigms

11-12 February 2021, Kingston University

The 11th Illustration Research Symposium was hosted by Kingston School of Art in February 2021, and organised by Rachel Gannon and Mireille Fauchon. To celebrate the publishing of the landmark book Illustration Research Methods (Gannon and Fauchon, 2021) the Illustration Symposium called education into focus. The theme of the conference took a particular critical position. As the traditional role of the 'illustrator ‘for hire' diminishes and illustration practices become ever more chimera-like, the current high demand for illustration courses raises important questions around how we educate a future generation of illustrators and make known their value to employers, collaborators and commissioners, outside the 'bubble' of academic study. We know that the case for criticality in the subject is urgent.

The symposia incorporated presentations from over 70 international academics, professional practitioners and recent graduates as well as a virtual poster forum and an exhibition showcase. Over 800 registered to attend the event, making this the largest illustration research gathering globally. The conference hosted the launch of illustration educators an international network for those who have an interest in the education of illustrators.

For more information: https://illustrationresearch11.kingston.ac.uk

Desert Island Researchers

2019–20, Kingston University

Desert Island Researchers events aimed to promote inter-disciplinary research discussions. The event comprised of a series of short research presentations followed by two audio-visual research interviews in the style of Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4). Followed by critical discussions on format, content, and future speakers.

Research Conversations

2018–19, Kingston University

Research Conversations was a design research seminar series that took place in the academic year 2018-2019. The series aimed to bring together research staff and students to generate discussions about research through design. There were two presentations per seminar, followed by questions and discussion.


21–23 September 2017, Old Spitalfields Market, London

Manufactory took place during London Design Festival 2017. It saw designers turn stalls into live making spaces, and transform materials and stories integral to the market into new types of produce. The event explored four broad research agendas:

  • Engaging local communities in making alternative futures
  • Prototyping new models of enterprise for a historic urban market
  • Using local assets and needs to remake a place and its identity
  • Exploring what an urban market can be in the 21st century

Marking Domains

7 April 2017, Institute of Contemporary Arts

Marking Domains was a one-day conference exploring illustration and narrative art as a domain.

It asked, "Where is home for illustration and the narrative image?", contrasting illustration in the internal, domestic place of ‘home' with the external, public space of the ‘street'. Leading illustration practitioners and educators examined illustration as a visual form of increasing cultural and social significance.

Alternative Art School

2 November 2016, Kingston University

This one-day symposium brought together students and tutors from several colleges to collectively respond to the question: "What's so alternative about art school?"

The event explored long-standing traditions of risk and rebellion, interrogating the value of Art School as place, concept and transformative process.