January 5, 2023

Research Lab CRAFT!

Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design

Cecilia Levy, Pjäs, 2021. Photo: Karin Björkquist.

Research Lab explores, both through thinking and studio work, the role of craft today, what research in craft can be, and what it can do to, and tell us about, ourselves and society. It is a focused, one year course aimed at craft professionals. Taught in English, the core modules take place over two to three consecutive days each month to allow students to take part in the course without having to be based in Stockholm full time.

In the course Research Lab CRAFT!, we explore how contemporary craft practitioners can engage with artistic research, contributing to and with their own craft practices as method. Through seminars/conversations, readings, exercises, group discussions and individual tutorials, Research Lab CRAFT! encourages reflection on the relation between making, writing, speaking contemporary craft practice, research and language.

Students work with their own projects, applying questions such as: What is artistic research? How can craft practice guide research? In what ways can we define craft? How do we do, voice and read craft practices? How can we work to question normative methods and give space for new pedagogy and scholarship? What kind of research are we already doing, and how does making function in our research process?

Students are encouraged to develop definitions of the word "craft" and other key terms within their practice, and to position themselves within a research environment by going through this set of questions, individually and collectively. The project studentship is a post-graduate course. The course accounts for 60 credit points and is taught over a 40-week period.

Critical and generative thinking and making are central for the field of Crafts at Konstfack, challenging established craft and societal norms and expectations. To develop their research skills, students will work with their own projects choose their own area of enquiry drawing on a wide variety of theoretical and practical sources, and use these to inform their own practical work and thinking, in order to pursue and even challenge what research in the field may be.

We want Research Lab CRAFT! to explore, both through thinking and studio work, the role of craft today and what it can tell us about ourselves and society. Furthermore, we welcome projects that practically examine craft history from a norm-critical perspective.

The course is open to applicants who have a Master's in Craft or another significant qualification.  Applicants must have a good ability to independently plan their work, push it forward, sharing their research collaboratively and publicly. Those who are accepted onto the course will design an individual study plan in consultation with a supervisor. Students are expected to take a lot of responsibility for their project development during the course, and have an interest and ability to examine the forms through which dissemination of knowledge about craft can take.

The course is taught entirely in English and would suit those wishing to return to study, people wishing to develop proposals for PhD study, and makers who would like an opportunity to explore a specific subject in depth through thinking and making.

Konstfack is Sweden's largest university for arts, crafts and design. Since 1844, we have educated a diverse range of professionals within these fields as well as art and sloyd teachers. We conduct both artistic and scientific education/research and currently have 900 students and 200 employees.

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