Research Day HGK

The practice of research practice
Uncovering methods, strategies, and possibilities of academic artistic and design research

2 December 2022, 1 – 6 pm including an apéro
On-site and online 
Auditorium D 1.04, Tower Building
FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel

Hosted by the Research Department of the Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design

Keynote by Claire Pentecost
With Claudia Perren, Filipa Ramos, Yvonne Volkart
Organized by Yvonne Volkart, Felipe Castelblanco, Julia Mensch, and Rasa Smite

The Research Day is open to the public and free of charge.
Keynote and discussion  without registration
Workshop: please register until 25 November 2022 to

Call for Posters
Registration until 18 November 2022
Details see below

Claire Pentecost, The Library of Tears, 2016

Although much of today’s art and design is research-based, it would be a simplification to call art and design research by itself. However, research can be substantially based on artistic/design methods, especially if these propel application-oriented and practice-based outputs, as is common at Swiss universities of applied sciences. This means that in Switzerland – in contrast to other countries – artists and designers can also conduct state-funded academic research. They can claim to generate specific forms of knowledge that, although academically institutionalized, transgress and challenge purely academic forms. The basis for this, however, is an awareness of what one’s own methods are, and what these methods may open up in terms of epistemic knowledge. Which scientific and non-scientific methods do I work with? How do I apply them and carry them out? What do I want to achieve with them? Which roles do media, experiment, data, speculation, or narration play? How do my research methods meet and differ from my other modes of artistic/design/cultural practices? And what roles do dimensions like gender, race, class, and decolonization play?

These questions will be addressed at the Research Day of the Academy of Art and Design FHNW, thus trying to precise both the specificity and diversity of practice-based methods and their impact on our comprehension of doing research and creating knowledge within the institution of Applied Sciences and Art.

Auditorium D 1.04, Tower Building and  → Livestream

1 pm Welcome Claudia Perren, intro Yvonne Volkart
1.15 pm Keynote Claire Pentecost Form Follows Research, and discussion moderated by Filipa Ramos

Seminar room D1.03, Tower Building

2.15 pm Coffee Break with Poster Session
3.15 pm Working in roundtable groups about methods of practice-based research
4.15 pm Presentation of the roundtables’ output in the plenary
5 pm Closing remarks by organizers, followed by an Apéro at CIVIC (former foyer @HGK)
6 pm End

After our director Prof. Dr. Claudia Perren’s welcome, followed by a short introduction to the topic by Dr. Yvonne Volkart, head of research at the Institute Art Gender Nature, there will be a keynote by artist, activist, and professor at the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Claire Pentecost. During her talk, Prof. Pentecost will address her multiple ways of doing political engaged artistic research, in and out of the institution. Her keynote will be followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. Filipa Ramos, lecturer at the Institute Art Gender Nature and curator.

During the one-hour coffee break, a poster session will be held where participants can learn more about the ongoing research projects at HGK, as well as to network and talk one-on-one with other researchers about their work. We would love to host this session as broad as possible, giving the opportunity to connect to manyfold voices.

Following the poster session, the concept of methods, strategies, skills, and possibilities of practice based academic research in Art and Design will be discussed in parallel roundtable discussions. At each table, 5 to 6 researchers are invited to elaborate on promising research methods; they will do so by discussing their own research methods, listening to each other’s strategies, thus enabling a dialogue across many differences. The results of the roundtable discussions will be compiled in the plenary session.

Call for Posters
Registration until 18 November 2022
We welcome poster submissions (up to A1 in size) from researchers/research groups/PhD-candidates of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel who are interested in presenting their ongoing research within the framework of the Research Day. As the event will be held in English, we recommend the posters to be in English. Each participant is responsible for hanging their poster on the designated wall between 12 – 1pm on 2 December 2022. The location and designated wall will be announced prior to the event. If you want to participate with a poster please send an email until 18 November 2022 to

Biography Claire Pentecost  
Claire Pentecost is an artist and writer who researches the living matters of food, agriculture and bio-engineering; her Soil-erg project of 2012 considered the material of soil as a commodity, proposing a soil-based currency system. 

Pentecost’s work is driven by research but inspired by questions of form. She advocates for the role of the amateur in the production and interpretation of knowledge, while her longstanding interest in nature and artificiality predicates her recent responses to anthropogenic climate change. Past projects focused on industrial and bioengineered agriculture in a global, corporate food system. 

Pentecost has exhibited work nationally and internationally at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; 13th Istanbul Biennial; WhiteChapel, London; 3rd Mongolian Land Art Biennial; Higher Pictures, New York; Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC; Milwaukee Art Museum; Whitney Museum, Stamford, CT; Transmediale 05, Berlin; and American Fine Arts, New York. She is professor and chair of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds degrees from Smith College and the Pratt Institute.