PhD Courses in Denmark


Doctoral School at the The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation

PhD Course SDU & KADK

This course offers introductions to, exercises in and reflections on the methodological approaches of practice–based research with a particular focus on arts– and design based research.

A common challenge in academic research is how to mitigate between various forms of knowing. How can professional and practical experience be integrated as legitimate and relevant knowledge in academic scholarship? This question addresses the relationship between research and practice - and is relevant for practitioner-researchers from across a range of fields: artists, designers, communication professionals, journalists, administrators, teachers, nurses etc.

How may practice-based knowing be accounted for academically?

The PhD Course Practice-based Research provides answers to this question by providing an overview of a series of approaches which all engage with practice in/as/for scholarly research.

The course introduces a cluster of methodologies which all interrogate doing in research. These methodologies are arts-based research, design research, research-creation, action research, performance as research and practice as research - and they all explore the entanglements of making, doing and knowing in academic work.

The course provides an introduction to a heterogeneous methodological field of practice-based research, and hence does not provide detailed presentations of each of these approaches, but accounts for them as movements in a larger research orientation towards practice.

From this broad contextualization, the course zooms in on art- and design-based methodologies and provides each participant with the opportunity to work tangibly and concretely with his or her own practice as research.

The course consists of lectures and individual and collective work. Examples of activities that we will engage in are expressive art– and design forms such as visualizing, drawing, designing, embodying, imagining and writing.

Exercises will be tangible and concrete and we will employ props such as photographs, visual and physical artefacts in processes of making and translating knowledge.

The aim of the course is for students to:

  • Gain insights into the methodologies of practice–based research
  • Be capable of analyzing and discussing the specific advantages and challenges of applying practice–based research approaches in a PhD project
  • Be capable of applying and carrying out methodological approaches within practice–based research
  • Develop an understanding of and strategies for how practical experience can be integrated into academic knowledge production
  • Develop an understanding of academic research as practice
  • Provide hands-on experiences with tangible, creative, aesthetic and designerly methods
  • Produce text and other samples of own research as practice-based
  • See various examples of practice-based research at doctoral and post-doctoral level

Target group
PhD students in the communications–, arts–, design–, architecture– [etc.] and related areas of research, invested in how to include practice–based research methodology. Early or middle stage PhD.


The course will consist of lectures and sessions with focus on student’s projects. Furthermore, the course will consist in individual and co-creative hands–on exercises, experiencing different research approaches. Participants will be invited to develop practice based research design for their research project and receive feedback.

3 ECTS which includes the activities of the three days, reading the literature, and submitting a short paper.

Connie Svabo, PhD and Professor SDU
Silje Alberthe Kamille Friis, PhD and Associate Professor, KADK, School of Design

Dates and time
11-13. August 2021 with deadline for registration May 26, 2021.
Registration through

KADK Campus/Zoom

Brown, T. (2008). Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June 2008.

Buch, A., Elkjær, B. (2015): Pragmatism and practice theory: convergences or collisions, OLKC

Candy, L., Edmonds, E. (2018) Practice-Based Research in the Creative Arts: Foundations and Futures from the Front Line. Leonardo, 51(1), 63-69.

Darsø, L. (2007). Is there a formula for innovation? Translated from the article by Lotte Darsø (2003): “En formel for innovation”, Børsens Ledelseshåndbøger

Darsø, L. (2018). Accessing the Space of Potentiality. Paper for the 9th Art of Management and Organization Conference, University of Brighton, UK, Aug. 30–Sept.2, 2018

Darsø, L. (2019). Innovationspædagogik. Kunsten at fremelske innovationskompetence. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.

Darsø, L. & Meltzer, C. (2018). Arts–based Interventions as a series of methods to access Presencing. Chapter for Presencing Theory U Book 2?

Friis, S.A.K. (2015). The Co–Creation Cards. Copenhagen: U-Press.

Johansson-Sköldberg, U, & Woodilla, J. & Cetinkaya, M. (2013): Design thinking: Past, present and possible futures. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol 22, No 2, 2013.

Kjørup, S. (1999). Baumgarten og den sensitive erkendelse. I J. Holmgaard (red.), Æstetik og logik (s. 41-60). Medusa.

Latour, B.

Law, J. (2004): After Method: Mess in Social Science Research, Routledge

Heron, in “ENCYCLOPEDIA: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research”, edited by : David Coghlan & Mary Brydon-Miller (2014) https://dx-doi-

Pantzar, M., Ahove, E. (2010): Temporal Rhythms as outcomes of social practices, Ethnologia Europea: journal of European ethnology vol 40, no 1, p 19-29

Reckwitz, A. (2002). Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A Development in Culturalist Theorizing. European Journal of Social Theory, 5(2), 243–263.

Scharmer, C.O. (2019). Social Field Resonance: How to Research Deep Structures of the Social System. October 19, 2019. Retrieved April 28. blog/social-field-resonance-how-to-research-deep-structures-of-the-social-system-544d68654abf

Schatzki, Theodore R., K. Knorr-Cetina, and Eike von. Savigny. “The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory.” New York: Routledge, 2001. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Schoen, D. (2013). (1st edition 1983), The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action, Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing Limited

Shanks, M. & Svabo, C. (2018): Scholartistry: Incorporating Scholarship and Art, vol. 6.

Shove, Elizabeth m.f. - om (social) praksis - lyst-gennemkigning af denne bog, fx?

Svabo: C. (2016): The Performative Schizoid Method, in PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research,

Svabo, C. & Bønnelykke J. (2020). The Knowledge Catcher: On the performative agency of scholarly forms, in PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research

Thrift, N. (2007). “Afterwords”, in Non-representational Theory: space, politics, affect, Routledge pp.109-150

Vannini, Phillip. Non-Representational Methodologies : Re-Envisioning Research . First edition. New York, New York ;: Routledge, 2015. Print.