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.

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

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, Beatrice Jarvis, Keira Greene, Iain R Webb, John Miers

Knowledge in Action

Knowledge in Action
This session will 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: Ramia Mazé
  • Speakers: Cathy Gale, Marcus Leis Allion

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) this year's 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 of 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.