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Photo credit: Roel Backaert

Dialogue as a Research Method

Fr 27 Oct 2023 14:30 – 17:15, Politics of Knowledge Research Group - KABK, Gallery 3

From October 2022 onwards, Ingrid and Maarten are part of the Politics of Knowledge Research Group, where they are investigating the dialogue as a research method to create new knowledge. For the Joint Research Day, they present their research process and results related to their ungoing series The Big Dialogue

The Big Dialogue series

During the Academic Years of 2021/2022/2023, Maarten Cornel (teacher of Philosophy & Discourse) and Ingrid Grünwald (senior coordinator and facilitator intercultural communication) of the Graphic Design Department took the initiative to develop a series of dialogues within their department. This series was called The Big Dialogue. The reason for undertaking this initiative was due to the many social issues and changes taking place at the Academy and in general in society, as well as them being part of the Diversity and Inclusion group of this academy. The Big Dialogue was held multiple times, and was visited by quite some students, teachers and other staff. Each session started from a specific theme, a dilemma or a question and and all participants were asked to reflect and communicate without attention to their position or function within the Academy.

In February of 2021, Ingrid and Maarten participated in the ELIA program in Brussels, where they gave a workshop for European colleagues, and the response was such that they generated a new session with some directors, researchers and teachers from the Academies of Marseille, Brussels (le75) and Glasgow University. Many of the issues and challenges of European academies are similar, yet, settings and discourses do differ. This group materialised a plan for an experimental collective workshop for the ELIA- conference in Helsinki in November 2022: The Board Meeting.

In October 2022 Maarten and Ingrid visited Beaux Arts de Marseille to give a presentation of their experiences with the Big Dialogues and to facilitate a Big Dialogue in order to investigate what kind of responses and input they could get to further develop their initiative. In March they visited the Athens School of Fine Art in Mykonos, Greece to give a Big Dialogue workshop with iconography students and one tutor. Another session took place at Le 75 in Brussels at the photography department.

On the Graphic Design department third year class Philosophy Maarten has developed since 2018 an extra compartment of the program that deals with rhetoric, sociological questions and speech and since the development of the Big Dialogue in 2021 there has been a correlation between the themes of rhetoric and the development of communal awareness and participation.

Ingrid has started in 2018 her English classes about intercultural codes, etymology, the impact of language in relationship to intercultural awareness. The Big Dialogue is an off spin of these sessions and there is reciprocity still going on.

The Big Dialogues series are open for students and tutors of the KABK.

Participation Politics of Knowledge Research Group

Since October 2022, Ingrid and Maarten have been part of the Artistic Research Group Politics of Knowledge Research Group, where they are investigating the dialogue as a research method to create new knowledge. They were part of the KABK Artistic Research Symposium Taking the Chairs of the Table, a performative session in which all participants explore dilemma’s collectively in the role of a dilettante.

Some results and ongoing explorations are:

  • Redefining the goals.
  • Adapting the dilemma’s for different aspects of the discourses at hand.
  • More awareness of our terminologies, and the impact they have on the participants.
  • Diversification of the methods within the dialogues.
  • International perspective/representation. What it means to understand diversity.
  • In Design Practice students were given the assignment to rethink the identity and merch of the Big Dialogue and offer a new perspective on it. We reflected together on what it would take to make it more communal.
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