“Who needs it?” Gesa Ziemer, cultural theorist at HafenCity University in Hamburg recently put this fundamental issue for debate at the first SwissGradNet conference:1 what is the social value of artistic and design research? What is the point of studies on “Artificial Body Voices”2 and “multiple practices of urban spaces”?3 Such questions are of a fundamental nature and all the more necessary since negotiating the criteria of the socially, politically or technologically transferable orientation of research is imperative in a democratic society.4 This applies especially to forms of research activity such as artistic and design research, which since 2011 have been included in the official funding regulations of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)5 under the conceptual framework of “use-inspired (basic) research”.6


“chorus / groove space” (Freiburg 2015) is the third part of the “groove space” series, in which Sebastian Matthias and his team explore the specific physicality of different cities. Mu-sic Michael Wolters. Photo Florian Broca.

“chorus / groove space” (Freiburg 2015) is the third part of the “groove space” series, in which Sebastian Matthias and his team explore the specific physicality of different cities. Music Michael Wolters. Photo Florian Broca.


Research at Swiss universities of applied sciences in the areas of design, film and art is heavily dependent on the national funding organisations and their definition of funding eligibility, in particular when it comes to fostering young talent. The category of use-inspired basic research is especially attractive in terms of research at universities of applied science in the areas of design and art because it enables an idiosyncratic practical relevance. The definition promises both “to produce scientific insights” as well as “to solve practical problems”7 without having to generate results that are directly commercially exploitable as in applied research.8 This research approach is positioned in the gap between pure basic research and applied research, providing fresh scope for the mission to pursue “applied research and development” as enshrined in the Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act (HFKG).9 The emphasis is on ensuring a productive relationship between theory and practice.


A Mode of Otherness without Social Purpose

However, it turns out that the concept of practice is not without its challenges when discussing research-oriented, creative areas: there are prominent opinions in support of an autonomous, non-socially accountable approach in terms of both methodology and outcomes – a position that tends to follow the logic of basic research. An example is Hans-Joachim Neubauer of Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, who stated at the same conference that, as a matter of principle, artists should not have to pursue a social purpose. Meanwhile Wolfgang Krohn regards artistic approaches as being bound to a “mode of otherness”.10 Also in this connection, Elke Bippus sees the self-reflectiveness of artistic research as a way of critically questioning the current scientific debate. She says that artistic research counters science’s claim to monopolise knowledge, expanding the “field of what is knowable”.11 A similar view is put forward by Kathrin Busch, who sees artistic research as a way of “advancing and reshaping scientific knowledge.”12

This is a horizon that opens up especially when research in the social sciences, humanities and arts focus on the same subject of investigation. The differing practical methods, modes of representation and reception of results call into question conventional academic ideas of science. Because the boundaries associated with the disciplines have developed historically and their relationship with the subjects of research and/or theories is contingent,13 many in the artistic research community, amongst them Elke Bippus, argue for creative research activities that they should avoid disciplinary thinking and “characterise [the research] by means of their methods, means of representation and subject matter”.14 In view of the increasing growth of knowledge and the complexity that this involves, this avoidance enables objects of research to be addressed which cannot be accessed by individual (university) disciplines. In this sense, it can be argued that artistic research highlights specific modalities of research: Although not easy to qualify, processes of knowledge production are always bound to moments that are not clearly graspable or disciplinary biased. Artistic research could therefore be seen as a differentiating approach to creation and practice and embody the potential to generate new knowledge, in a field where no canonising disciplinary definition of universally binding theoretical and methodological approaches has been defined to date. This in turn makes it possible to conduct research that operates beyond individual subject areas, moving outside institutional habits based on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches. In short, an ongoing conflict has become evident since the 1960s and the first E.A.T. (Experiments in Art & Technology): is it precisely this remoteness from society that is the privilege of such research activity? Or, respectively does its transdisciplinary expertise lie in an unboundedness that becomes an “instance of creative irritation”?15

The need for theoretical differentiation obviously lies at the core of these questions. Even though design research is also explicitly called upon to adopt an attitude of “ironic theory” and abandon claims to “completeness and coherence”,16 most of such research has from the outset been directly linked to established scientific attitudes and protocols (more so than artistic research). It is not just that groups such as the American Design Methods Movement wanted to make “design more ‘scientific’”17 in the 1960s – an era dominated by the optimism of science and progress –  even the theoretical models at the Ulm successor to Bauhaus in the 1950s regarded “design as applied (human and social) science”.18 Even though the dynamic of the former was suppressed fairly abruptly in 1968 in the wake of the emerging social upheaval, social scientist Herbert Simon nonetheless pushed once again for a “science of design” just one year later,19 and the first design professorships had already been instituted.20


Experimental Interferences or Self-Reflective Refinements of Practice?

Current examples such as the dissertation by designer and design scientist Andrea Augsten read less like “experimental interference”21 than the self-reflective refinement of a practice that is related to qualitative field research in the social sciences, through translating this into “warm atmospheres”22 of change. Augsten analysed operational processes at the headquarters of VW and – working as an “embedded scientist” – consistently gained a new understanding of her own position as a researcher based on observations of behaviours and linguistic codes that are unfamiliar to her subject area, ultimately going on to apply “human-centred design principles in organizations”.23 In this connection, design research means positioning design-oriented thought and action within an organisation in such a way as to bring about improvements to the work processes and performance as well as to the products or services being developed.

This approach of an involved, participatory research is hardly surprising if one considers that – based on considerations of “social design” and classics such as Victor Papanek’s “Design for the Real World” (1971) – the subject area not only has an affinity with scientific honesty but also a striving for social change and the establishment of lasting design principles. This is a tradition that artistic research is not able to draw on in the same way. Instead, to exaggerate somewhat, one might say that artistic research is simply in a constant state of self-questioning: “While the methods, forms of outcome, and quality criteria for work in established, traditional disciplines seem clear, artistic research circulates around what constitutes itself.”24 Within this self-focus, there is of course the potential to seek out the radically unfathomable and explore epistemological borderlines, as mentioned above. But while design research operates with socially more accessible logics,25 for the concept of artistic research it seems to be necessary to demand the freedom to find “one’s own benchmarks”26 or self-assuredly “draw up one's own instructions”:27 this confronts institutions and research-funding structures – such as SwissGradNet – with the challenge of imposing discipline where there is lack of discipline.28


Institutional Structures and Frameworks for Art and Design Research

Clearly, this “normative dimension of networks and communities of practices”29 also generates productive tensions that serve as a basis for “permanent dialogue”.30 After all, in Europe alone and in particular in the Scandinavian north and the context of the UK, there really is an “incredibly diverse range of institutional structures”.31 Networks that vary in nature, research institutes and postgraduate programmes that are characterised less by the impossibility of insititutionalised design and artistic research than by their vibrancy and potency.32 But what might such structural and discipline-imposing frameworks look in practice if they are to fulfil a social mission while simultaneously adopting a liberal, critical approach to research?

In the Swiss context, the academic field does not offer enough long-term employment in both artistic and design research and thus no further perspectives for an academic career in these fields. It can be a good idea to remove oneself from the pressures of having to be commercially successful and win awards by focusing specifically on themes, methods and content. After all, research activities can be regarded not just as academic qualifications but also as non-academic artistic qualifications or, in the case of design, as private commercial qualifications.

This is especially true in view of the fact that research at universities of applied sciences and the funding it attracts – with the exception of the funding agency Innosuisse – are increasingly aligning with the models used at other university level institutions and competing with these.33 For example, universities of applied sciences are establishing non-professorial staff at doctorate level (in spite of the fact that they are not entitled to award doctoral degrees) via collaborative programmes with institutions abroad, but they are unable to offer any clear horizon for standardised academic career or biography planning (e.g. regular professorships). As such, career prospects in the academic world tend to remain vague.34

This is just one reason why it seems necessary to us to set out a sound clarification of the actual methods and orientations. At Anglo-Saxon universities, models of practice-based and practice-led research have established themselves parallel to the establishment of application-oriented basic research.35 In the case of practice-based research, the pursuit of the respective artistic or design-based practice gives rise to questions and allows new insights to be gained, which in turn can be fed back into practice. This type of research produces new artefacts as its results. In a practice-based PhD of this kind research outcomes are backed up with a supplementary written section which contextualises the artefacts and classifies them in theoretical terms. Meanwhile, research that is geared towards gaining a better understanding of a certain practice or promoting it is referred to as practice-led research. In this case, most of the research outcomes are text-based.36 These two research approaches, based on a differing relationship between theory and practice, give rise to the distinction – familiar in English-speaking countries – between a “Professional Doctorate (ProfD)” and a “Philosophical Doctorate (PhD)”. The first focuses mainly on practically related and implementation-oriented research projects while the second is a more theoretical, academic undertaking. In addition, models are also relevant in which the research activity does not culminate in an academic title, as is the case at the graduate school at the Berlin University of the Arts, although the title “Fellow of the Graduate School at the Berlin University of the Arts” is related with a two-year funded fellowship.

As part of the process of questioning the dimensions and orientations of research, greater attention might also be paid to reconfigurations of conventional ideas: the debate has thrown up conceptual alternatives to “research” and “result”, for example, with “process” and “articulation”. These differing definitions of research processes can free research activity from projects that are strictly protocol-based, thereby opening up legitimate opportunities for fictional writing styles or the epistemological potential of artefacts.37


New Kinds of Mediation

It is also important to reflect on how design and artistic research is published and disseminated: in addition to established text-based conventions, new formats are required that are appropriate to the outcomes. The “Journal for Artistic Research” is an editorially managed and peer-reviewed online magazine that deliberately promotes more experimental (but still reviewable) forms of presentation, for example. The association “We as artists”, which is affiliated with the Kingston School of Art & Architecture in London, is attempting to do more to incorporate materiality into the “articulations” by producing vinyl records or collectively created carpets. Another type of project-specific publication is practised by the self-organised Studio for Artistic Research in Düsseldorf and the research project Forensic Architecture – an initiative set up at Goldsmith College as an institute within an institution – which publishes artistic research in the form of exhibitions in both self-organised and classic institutional contexts.38 This reflects an essential difference from traditional forms of publication and indicates the value attributed to the material and performative aspects that publication involves.39 As such, artistic research can be principally configured as an undertaking that is critical of institutions, with the required conditions of publication having to be redefined and renegotiated in each case.

We regard such constant questioning of the basic principles of research as necessary for the sustainable establishment of complex systems that particularly strive to achieve a symmetrical, complementary involvement of art, design and science. In his doctoral thesis completed at HafenCity University Hamburg, Sebastian Matthias investigated how a physical-musical experience – the “groove feeling” often sensed in nightclubs and dance events – might be analysed using qualitative methods (participatory observation and interviews).40 He conceptualized through an artistic and scientific research design different categories to capture group dynamics based on dance choreographies and on motion analysis of dancers in nightclubs and so combines popular dance with contemporary choreography for a better understanding of groove in dancing. In his research, his own physical knowledge as a trained dancer and choreographer was of key research relevance, and he materialised his results both as new, performance-related artistic activity and in dance-scientific discourse.

Interestingly enough, Sebastian Matthias is doubly qualified in that in addition to studying dance, he also took a master’s degree in dance science at the Free University Berlin. This is precisely where the fundamental challenge lies in terms of a liberal, critical approach to research: critique is best exercised based on informed and tested practice, but scientific methods and sound writing practice are usually underrepresented on consecutive study programmes and require greater emphasis. The fact that the teaching of academic methods and theories is underrepresented in this way has its historical origins in the parallel emergence of the debate on artistic research when the Bologna reform was introduced. This in turn has led to the critique – which continues to echo to this day – that the funding of artistic research and the prominence of theory, that this involves, is said to be the result of educational policy.41 The claim is that scientific logic is applied to design and art schools even though there is no inherent need for this for artistic practice.

This brings us to the last section of our considerations. How are research projects embedded in institutional structures, supervised and evaluated? Here it would seem advisable to pursue efforts that are not geared towards individual professors or disciplines but towards institutional, thematic areas or supra-institutional structures, as well as projects that involve young researchers in supervisory roles directly after completing their own PhD, in order to create the greatest possible heterogeneity of evaluative scope. After all, the idiosyncrasy of research – i.e. undisciplined methods and approaches – can best be supervised and evaluated from varying perspectives, ultimately also guaranteeing access to several specific scientific communities. Clearly, supervision of such research projects is intense, and it also involves establishing a common language and a mutual understanding, in addition to the respective interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary reflectivity. What is more: even though supervision can be an informal practice that is both challenging and amicable, research remains a process in which the researcher is forced to examine themselves and their desires. After all, to quote scientist-philosopher Ludwik Fleck, the value is also measured in terms of the subjectifications and incorporated experiences that come about: “The summarised report of the field covered only ever contains a very small part of what the researcher has experienced […]. It is as if only the words of a song were to be provided, but not the melody.”42



Augsten, Andrea, Bernadette Geuy, Rachel Hollowgrass, Titta Jylkäs and Marjukka Mäkelä Klippi. “Humanizing organizations – the pathway to growth.” Talk at ServDep.2018, Politecnico di Milano, 18 – 20 June 2018, http://www.servdep.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/106.pdf.

Bippus, Elke, “Zwischen Systematik und Neugierde. Die epistemische Praxis künstlerischer Forschung,” Gegenworte. Hefte über den Disput über Wissen, Issue 23 (2010),: 20–23.

Busch, Kathrin. “Wissenskünste. Künstlerische Forschung und ästhetisches Denken.” In: Kunst des Forschens. Praxis des ästhetischen Denkens, edited by Elke Bippus, 141–158. Zurich / Berlin: diaphanes 2007.

Caduff, Corina. “Auftakt. Transdisziplinarität und die Karriere der künstlerischen Forschung.” In: ArteFakte: Wissen ist Kunst – Kunst ist Wissen. Reflexionen und Praktiken wissenschaftlicher-künstlerischer Begegnungen, edited by Hermann Parzinger et al., 287–291. Bielefeld: transcript 2014.

Candy, Linda, and Ernest Edmonds, “Practice-Based Research in the Creative Arts. Foundations and Futures from the Front Line,” Leonardo, Volume 51, Issue 1 (February 2018): 63–69.

Clifford, James, and George E. Marcus, ed., Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkley: University of California Press, 1986.

Dombois, Florian. “Kunst als Forschung. Ein Versuch, sich selbst eine Anleitung zu entwerfen.” In: Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB 2006, edited by HKB/HEAB, 21–29. Bern: Hochschule der Künste, 2006.

Duerschlag, Henryetta, “The Double Bind of Artistic Research: A Thought Experiment of a Witness,” OAR: The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform, Issue 2 (2017): online, (http://www.oarplatform.com/double-bind-artistic-research-thought-experiment-witness/, accessed on 24.10.2018).

Elkins, James. “The Three Configurations of Studio-Art PhDs.” In: Artists with PhDs. On the new Doctoral Degree in Studio Art, edited by James Elkins, 145–165. Washington DC: New Academia Publishing, 2009.

Hagner, Michael. “Wissenschaft und Demokratie oder: Wie demokratisch soll die Wissenschaft sein?” In: Wissenschaft und Demokratie, edited by Michael Hagner, 9–50. Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012.

“Artistic Needs & Institutional Desires.” Working paper at the conference of the same name in November 2015 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, 2016, https://www.udk-berlin.de/fileadmin/2_dezentral/Forschung/FR_Postgraduales_Forum/16_09_02_arbeitspapier.pdf.

Bundesgesetz über die Förderung der Hochschulen und die Koordination im schweizerischen Hochschulbereich dated 30 September 2011 (HFKG – Swiss Higher Education Funding and Coordination Act), Art. 26, Course design at universities of applied sciences, Para. 1.

Holert, Tom, “Künstlerische Forschung: Anatomie einer Konjunktur,” Texte zur Kunst, Volume 20, Issue 82 (June 2011): 38 –63.

Findeli, Alain, “Rethinking Design Education for the 21st Century: Theoretical, Methodological, and Ethical Discussion,” Design Issues, Volume 17, No. 1 (Winter 2001): 5–17.

Fleischer, Mira, and Julia Rintz. “Toolbox. Artistic Research, Untersuchen.” In: Ästhetisches Denken. Nicht-Propositionalität, Episteme, Kunst, edited by Florian Dombois, Mira Fliescher, Dieter Mersch, and Julia Rintz, 166–181. Zurich: diaphanes, 2014.

Fleck, Ludwik. Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache. Einführung in die Lehre vom Denkstil und Denkkollektiv, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 1980 (1935).

Gray, Carole, and Julian Malins. Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design, Ashgate, 2004.

Jonas, Wolfgang. “Mind the Gap! – Über Wissen und Nichtwissen im Design. Oder: Es gibt nichts Theoretischeres als eine gute Praxis.” In: Mind the Gap!, edited by Wolfgang Jonas and Jan Meyer-Veden, 47–70. Bremen: Hausschild, 2004.

Krohn, Wolfgang. “Künstlerische und wissenschaftliche Forschung in transdisziplinären Projekten.” In: Kunstforschung als ästhetische Wissenschaft, edited by Martin Tröndle and Julia Warmers, 1–19. Bielefeld: transcript 2012.

Krummenacher, Jürg, “Mehr Wettbewerb unter Hochschulen,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, December 1, 2018, 19.

Langrish, John Z. “The Design Methods Movement: From Optimism to Darwinism.” Talk at the Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, Brighton (27–30 June 2016), https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55ca3eafe4b05bb65abd54ff/t/574f0971859fd01f18ec63c1/1464797554420/222+Langrish.pdf.

Macleod, Katy, and Lin Holdridge, “Doctorate in Fine Art: The Importance of Exemplars to the Research Culture,” International Journal of Art and Design Education, No. 23 (2004): 155–168.

Matthias, Sebastian, Gefühlter Groove: Kollektivität Zwischen Dancefloor Und Bühne, Bielefeld: transcript 2018.

Mittelstrass, Jürgen. Methodische Transdisziplinarität, LIFIS ONLINE, 2007, https://leibniz-institut.de/archiv/mittelstrass_05_11_07.pdf.

Moreira Pinto da Fonseca Almeida, Ana Catarina. After artistic research. What follows the establishment and the realization of the establishment of the phenomenon, PhD manuscript, 2015, https://sigarra.up.pt/fbaup/pt/pub_geral.show_file?pi_gdoc_id=63016.

Schultheis, Franz. “Disziplinierung des Designs.” In: Forschungslandschaften im Umfeld des Designs, edited by Museum für Gestaltung, 65–83. Zurich: Museum für Gestaltung Verlag, 2005.

Simon, Herbert. The Sciences of the Artificial, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1969.

Wilson, Mick, and Schelte van Ruiten. “Networking and Communities of Practices.” In: SHARE. Handbook for Artistic Research Education, edited by Mick Wilson and Schelte van Ruiten, 240–261. Amsterdam: ELIA, 2013.


Gabriel Flückiger is an artist and art researcher. He has been working at Lucerne University of Applied Art and Sciences as research assistant and studied fine arts and photography at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) and art history and social anthropology at Universität Bern.

Siri Peyer has been a research assistant on the «Art, Design und Public Spheres» PhD research programme at Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences since 2015, where she is preparing her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of the HafenCity Universität Hamburg. After training as a photographer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich (2000–2004) and completing a Master of Advanced Studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (2006 –2008), she completed her studies in 2015 with a Master in Research on the Arts at the Universität Bern. She has curated numerous exhibitions and regularly publishes articles on contemporary Art.



  • 1The following reflections pick up on aspects of the debate at SwissGradNet Discovery Conference No. 1 - What is the Practice in Use-Inspired Basic Research in Design, Film and Art? Under the title SwissGradNet, University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Art & Design (UASA), the Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI) and Bern University of the Arts (HKB) joined forces to collaborate with partner universities entitled to award doctorates with the aim of developing models for supervising doctoral students based in Switzerland and involved in the areas of design, film and art. Held in Lucerne in 2018, the conference was the founding event of the network, which also includes Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India, and also HafenCity University as associated partners.
  • 2A research project by choreographer Asa Unander-Scharin and musician Carl Unanander-Scharin from the year 2011.
  • 3A PhD research project completed by Maria Isabel Glogar at the University of Art and Design Linz in 2016.
  • 4For example, science historian Michael Hagner believes that the question of whether research is eligible for funding in the first place “should be answered based on ethical, economic and social aspects as well as purely content-based considerations. Here, interests, preferences and values cannot be clearly distinguished from inherent scientific criteria.”, see Hagner, “Wissenschaft und Demokratie oder: Wie demokratisch soll die Wissenschaft sein?” 9.
  • 5The SNFS is a private foundation with an annual budget of some CHF 800 million.
  • 6“Use-inspired basic research” has been an integral part of regular SNFS project funding since 2011. It was introduced after the SNFS-DORE projects (DO REsearch) initiated in 2004, universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education established the mission to conduct application-oriented research. See: www.snf.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/Web-News/news-131216-anwendungsorientierte-projekte-bericht_d.pdf or www.snf.ch/en/theSNSF/research-policies/use-inspired-basic-research/Pages/default.aspx
  • 7http://www.snf.ch/en/theSNSF/research-policies/use-inspired-basic-research/Pages/default.aspx, accessed 19.12.2018.
  • 8The Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse has been responsible for this since January 2018. Prior to this, the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) was responsible for funding science-based innovation in companies and supported collaboration between research and industry.
  • 9HFKG, Art. 26, Para. 1.
  • 10Krohn, “Künstlerische und wissenschaftliche Forschung,” 16.
  • 11Bippus, “Zwischen Systematik und Neugierde,” 20.
  • 12Busch, “Wissenskünste,” 143.
  • 13See Mittelstrass, Methodische Transdisziplinarität.
  • 14Bippus “Zwischen Systematik und Neugierde,” 21.
  • 15Holert, “Künstlerische Forschung,” 59, footnote 9.
  • 16Jonas, “Mind the Gap,” 68.
  • 17See Langrish, “The Design Methods Movement.”
  • 18Findeli, “Rethinking Design Education,” 7.
  • 19Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial, chapter 5.
  • 20The Royal College of Art introduce such a professorship in 1964, for example.
  • 21Here again see Holert, “Künstlerische Forschung,” 59, footnote 9.
  • 22This was the description provided by the current Design Research Reader “unfrozen” by the Swiss Design Network, October 2018, http://www.triest-verlag.ch/produkte/buch-26/design-140/unfrozen-2896, accessed on 23.10.2018.
  • 23See Augsten et.al., “Humanizing organizations.”
  • 24See Duerschlag, “The Double Bind of Artistic Research.”
  • 25Reflection on “human-centred design” is closely linked to political office-holders and the structures of public offices, for example.
  • 26Here once again Fleischer and Rintz, “Toolbox.”
  • 27Dombois, “Kunst als Forschung,” 21–29. Of course it is not entirely unknown for there to be a demand for freedom in design research, too; but here we should like to emphasise the argument that the two areas have differing genealogies of tradition.
  • 28Schultheis, “Disziplinierung des Designs,” 68.
  • 29Wilson and van Ruiten, “Networking and Communities of Practices,” 240.
  • 30See Pinto da Fonseca Almeida, After artistic research.
  • 31See “Artistic Needs & Institutional Desires.”
  • 32One might mention the Glasgow School of Art as a particularly striking example here: it has even developed its own programme for PhD supervisors and a special certificate course.
  • 33For example, compare the statements made by the President of Lucerne UASA Markus Hodel on the alignment between regular universities and universities of applied sciences as well as statements made by by Xaver Büeler, Managing Director of Lucerne UASA, on the “competitive business” being engaged in to gain research funding, in Krummenacher, “Mehr Wettbewerb,” 19.
  • 34It should also be emphasised that very intense discussion and reflection on such prospects is currently in progress. Swissuniversities, the association of all Swiss university level institutions, published a report in 2017 which summarises the typical existing positions at universities of applied sciences in three blocks (professional corps, academic or artistic assistants and practical staff); building on this, it defines models for potential careers. A key distinction from regular universities revealed here is that a qualification position (e.g. the writing of a dissertation) does not necessarily coincide with a specific function. The association also runs pilot programmes, partly with federal funding, so as to promote the third cycle at universities of applied sciences. Cf., https://www.swissuniversities.ch/fileadmin/swissuniversities/Dokumente/Forschung/LaufbahnenFH_de.pdf.
  • 35Practice-based PhDs have been available in the UK in the areas of design and art for 25 years, cf. Macleod and Holdridge, “Doctorate in Fine Art.” For example, Kingston University in London offers both practice-based and practice-led PhDs in the areas of the fine arts, art history, curating, design, film and performance, www.kingston.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/available-degrees/practice-based-phd/. The Royal College of Arts likewise offers a PhD programme for practice-based research projects at its School of Communication, www.rca.ac.uk/schools/school-of-communication/school-communcation-research-degrees.
  • 36See for example: Candy and Edmonds, “Practice-Based Research,” Elkins, “The Three Configurations of Studio-Art PhDs,” Gray and Malins, Visualizing Research. Towards the practical dissemination of the two formats, it could be argued that practice-based is the currently preferred state of artistic research.
  • 37See “Artistic Needs & Institutional Desires.”
  • 38Lucie Kolb discussed in her lecture Artistic Research as Instituent Practice at the SwissGradNet conference those two practices as examples for artistic research, which question institutional settings.
  • 39Bippus, “Zwischen Systematik und Neugierde,” 22.
  • 40For further information on this project, see Matthias 2018.
  • 41Caduff, “Auftakt,” 288.
  • 42Fleck, Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache,126.