Research in and through art is an inseparable part of the artistic or design practice of the researcher. Consequently, research-in-art (as opposed to research-about-art, such as art history) does not have a set goal or expected result, nor are there predetermined general procedures. The outcome of the research is open. This openness is a condition for conducting research in art and design.
There is a unique relationship between the artist/designer, the research method and the outcome of the research. This research is only possible thanks to the artist’s artistry and, the other way round, the artist develops her/his artistry through the research. The outcome is therefore an artistic product, combined with a discursive product, the dissertation, which does justice to the artistic one.
This final result of this type of research, which is by its nature speculative, cannot be restricted to one particular form. The criteria for the form the research may take are therefore kept as open as possible. Also, there is no fixed ratio between dissertation and artistic production. The requirements that the research must satisfy and the researcher’s methodology derive in part from the assignment that the artist or designer has given her/himself.
Certain conditions apply to the PhDArts doctorate. A high level of artistry/design is a prerequisite for acceptance in the PhD programme. The applicant should have a clear research theme as well as a research plan. In addition, the context of the research should be clearly described.
The research should offer new insights, not only in the work of the maker but also in art and design in the broader sense; the research should contribute to knowledge about art/design and the international discourse in the field of research. The researcher is expected to be in the vanguard of her/his field of research.
The research must take place in an appropriate research environment. Experimentation is an important part of both the process and the result. Critical engagement is inseparably related to the research theme and its results.
The final product must be communicated both visually and in writing, and thought and reflection must be clearly present in several ways. Firstly, a report on the research project must provide insight into the departure points, methods and results. Secondly, the work itself must be deliberative: reflection must be an intricate part of it. Research that fulfills these conditions will be innovative and relevant to contemporary developments in the world of art and design.
At the end of the PhDArts trajectory, the work must be presented to a committee of experts for evaluation.
As part of the research, the doctoral student is expected to attend the doctoral study programme, including the various evaluations. The student is expected to actively and passively participate in conferences (lectures, papers, conference reports) and events. In addition to this, the doctoral student should periodically exhibit new artwork or design to illustrate the artistic evolution and the relationship between the research and the artistic work, as well as publish writings on one’s work, development and research.