1. PhDArts

    PhDArts offers an international, high-level doctorate in art and design. The PhDArts research trajectory consists of two elements: individual research and participation in the doctoral study programme. An appropriate team of supervisors is sought for each doctoral student. The doctoral study programme, which consists of lectures, seminars, trainings, and workshops, is an essential part of the research environment in which the student undertakes his or her research.

  2. Dissertations

    1. All dissertations

    An archive of dissertations and artistic outcomes of PhD projects and interviews with PhDArts doctors.

  3. News


    The Dutch research council NWO has awarded a grant to a consortium headed by Prof. Dr. Janneke Wesseling (Leiden University) as main applicant and Dr. Florian Cramer (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) as co-applicant for their project ‘Bridging art, design and technology through Critical Making’. Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Waag Society in Amsterdam and West Den Haag are involved as consortium partners. The project aims at furthering the discourse of Critical Making. Under the supervision of the senior researchers affiliated with the institutes involved, a PhD candidate and three junior researchers will work on four subprojects and will be located with one or more consortium partners. These positions are open to artists and designers. Artistic research provides the methodological framework. We are currently seeking 1 PhD candidate and 1 junior researcher. Please review the admission requirements and application instructions carefully before beginning an application:
    Admission requirements position 1: PhD candidate (4 years, 1 fte)
    Admission requirements position 2: junior researcher (2 years, 0,4 fte)
    Only applications received no later than July 1, 2017 can be considered.

    Bridging art, design and technology through Critical Making

    Digitization has led to the construction of 21st century creative industries as a hybrid of art, design and technology in which 20th century art and culture have largely been subsumed. This development shifts attention from aesthetics (‘perception’) to a technology-oriented paradigm of making. How can 21st century creative practices – art, design, technological making – overcome this industry logic of techno-optimistic makeability? Bringing together contemporary art practices and artistic research with today’s design and technology, our project will foster critically informed creative practices.

    Research question

    Critical Making, a concept coined by Matt Ratto, generally aims to reintroduce the notion of criticality into making practices that have been dominated by the industrial paradigm of creative industries. This project will investigate (a) how the concept of Critical Making can be further developed within the context of critical theory and the discourse on artistic research and (b) how such a renewed notion of Critical Making can problematize and correct the narrow focus on systems and solutions in the contemporary techno-creative industries. Therefore, our main research question is: How can the concept of Critical Making be expanded into a general approach that ties the critical methodology of artistic research and the established concepts of artistic autonomy together with contemporary creative-technological development?


    - The conceptual potential of Critical Making, currently applied to Maker culture and product design, will be fundamentally researched and applied to the specific context of art and design;

    - Critical discursive methods of contemporary art will be made available to design and technological making;

    - Artistic Research practices will enable the advancement of the Critical Making discourse in both the field of art and in academia on design-issues relating to technological innovation and the impact of this discourse on society and on cultural values;

    - The project will propose a new theoretical and practical positioning of disciplinary codes in the fields of art, design and critical theory in order to expand discourse between these largely separated domains;

    - In the context of Digital Humanities, this project will provide methodological insights for Digital Humanities scholars who feel stuck in traditional methodologies of computer-aided statistical analysis and the visualization of data sets. The artistic research projects, symposia and workshops organized in the framework of this project will use the competency of artists and designers to experiment with new methods of digital visual research;

    - In the context of practice-oriented polytechnical education (HBO), the project will introduce Critical Making as a reflective working method into Dutch art and design education and into the professional field of artists, designers and technological makers.

    The Critical Making NL consortium consists of Leiden University (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts), Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Willem de Kooning Academy, Creating 010), Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Waag Society in Amsterdam and West Den Haag. In 2016, the consortium has already been awarded a Creative Industries – KIEM grant for their project entitled ‘Critical Making as a model for art practice in the digital age’. In this context, several public events will be organized in the next few months. If you would like to stay informed about these developments and the programme, please send an email to info@phdarts.eu.


    By Janneke Wesseling
    Published by Valiz, Vis-à-vis series
    Design: Sam de Groot

    Following the publication of Wesseling’s De Volmaakte Beschouwer (Dutch e-book) in 2015, the English translation of the book is now available in paperback form.

    What happens between a spectator and an art work? How do we experience ‘meaning’ in an art work? How can the process of interpretation be understood and articulated?

    To address these questions, the author explores the field of reception aesthetics, with its central premise that the contemplation of art is a matter of interaction between the art work and the observer. The research is focused on unravelling and problematising the theoretical terminology of the interaction between art work and spectator, deriving from reception aesthetics as well as from hermeneutics and phenomenology, with the aim of building a new theoretical foundation for this terminology. Additionally, different concepts of spectatorship are extensively discussed.

    ”I believe it is more productive to research how the art work works or signifies than what it shows or might signify. This ‘how’ reveals itself mainly in the performative act of experiencing the work.”

    This book addresses scholars and students in the fields of art history, aesthetics and visual and cultural studies, as well as artists and art students, and all those art spectators who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the experience of ar

    English paperback: order now at Valiz
    ISBN 978-90-808185-0-7
    EUR 25,00

  4. Programme

      1. PhDArts Spring Programme 2016
      2. 26 January – 23 June 2017
      3. This semester, the PhDArts doctoral study programme will consist of lectures and workshops by PhDArts staff and invited guests, as well as presentations by doctoral students of their individual research projects. Among the guest speakers are: Bart Verschaffel, professor in Theory of Architecture and Architectural Criticism at Ghent University; Frans-Willem Korsten, professor in Literature and Society at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication and associate professor in Film and Literary Studies at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society; Henk Borgdorff, academic director and professor of Theory of Research in the Arts at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University; Jan van Toorn, graphic designer, curator and theorist, and Camiel van Winkel, lecturer in art theory and art philosophy, LUCA School of Arts / Sint-Lukas Brussels.
        Only for PhDArts students.

      4. Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL)
  5. Individual projects

    1. All individual projects
      1. Bad Taste, The fiftieth year of the occupation
      2. 2 June – 29 July 2017
      3. Thalia Hoffman exhibits her video work ‘Sham (There)’ in this group exhibition curated by Efrat Livny at gallery Minus 1.

      4. Tel Aviv (IL)
      1. After the Fact. Propaganda in the 21st Century
      2. 30 May – 17 September 2017
      3. Jonas Staal participates in this group exhibition, curated by Stephanie Weber, that looks at the concept of propaganda in order to broaden its definition in light of the societal, political and technological developments of the 21st century. 

      4. Lenbachhaus, Munich (DE)
      5. www.lenbachhaus.de
      1. C_still_3-2
      2. Terra Mediterranea: In Action
      3. 7 April – 25 November 2017
      4. Eleni Kamma participates in the group exhibition ‘Terra Mediterranea: In Action’, an exhibition of contemporary art, a conference and a series of parallel actions organised by the Pierides Foundation and the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC) and is curated by Dr Yiannis Toumazis.

      5. Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Pafos (CY)
      6. nimac.org.cy
      more …
      1. Utopia/Dystopia
      2. 22 March – 21 August 2017
      3. Jonas Staal participates in this group exhibtiion that reveals how the dichotomy between utopia and dystopia reflects a time of paradoxical acceleration, where anxiety and optimism collide.

      4. MAAT, Lisbon (PT)
      5. https:
  6. Admission

    The yearly application deadlines for PhDArts are 1 April and 1 October. Accepted applicants can join the programme in September or January of each year.

  7. Contact

    PhDArts c/o Judith Westerveld
    Prinsessegracht 4
    2514 AN Den Haag
    The Netherlands
    Phone: +31 (0)70 315 47 55
    Email: info@phdarts.eu

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