Image by Anastasia Kuznetsova, Amirhossein Rezaeicherati, Merlina Stephens Dupeyron

On November 10 and 11, the first international symposium (Building) New Perspectives through Practice-Led Research in Art, Design and Architecture, organised by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture of the Art Academy (LMDA), will be held at the Art Academy of Latvia. In the two-day programme, international researchers and professionals will offer current perspectives on artistic and interdisciplinary practice-based research methods.

Stories Editorial November 3, 2022

The (Building) New Pespectives symposium provides a platform for established or alternative practice–based methodologies in research and asks how research can address the need for criticality to ultimately result in a more differentiated discursive landscape, especially in the face of actual emergencies.


The symposium gathers a multifaceted mix of twenty five interdisciplinary contributions in research that investigate how distinct perspectives can undermine traditional binary divides — be it the ones established between scientific and designerly methods, building and assemblage, spatial practices in times of urgency, landscape and identities, architecture and users, algorithmic governmentality, and its ethical dimensions or the other binaries we are accustomed to.


Among other things, the symposium raises the following questions: What are the (post)digital and the (post)human frameworks from which we can conduct our research? What strategies could support the mindset change needed for critical practice redirection, speculating on perspectival changes urgently required? Finally, how do the constellations envisioned by practice-based research in the context of a crisis construct meaning and even become political actors through spatial activism? Each symposium session will be followed by a panel discussion in which international participants will share their experiences and perspectives, involving the audience in the conversation.


Full symposium programme is available here.

Keynote presentations

The symposium will feature three presentations by international keynote speakers. In her lecture Why Ecology Matters on November 10 at 10am, Liss Christine Werner (Germany), architect, educator, researcher, head of the Tactile Architecture office, will highlight the social inequality created by climate change, proposing new, systemic architectural strategies, referring to the work of philosopher Bruno Latour and the science of cybernetics. The lecture is rooted in Werner’s 25 years of experience with architecture as a medium to ecologise an intricate network of natural systems.


In his lecture Thingly Philosophy, Transtextuality and Material Hermeneutics in Art and Design on November 10 at 2pm, Julijonas Urbonas (Lithuania), artist, designer and researcher, associate professor of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, will speculate on the broader meaning of the material turn in philosophy and its surprising, interdisciplinary potential. The lecture will focus on the concept of thingly philosophy, including various methods, thought models and approaches borrowed from science fiction, speculative design, futurology, and artistic practice.


In the lecture On the Art of Noticing on November 11 at 10am., Michelle Teran, an educator, artist and researcher, Research Professor of Social Practices at the Research Centre of Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, will analyse collective support and solidarity practices in times of crisis, and their temporalities and sustainability. Teran asks whether, in addition to the undeniably necessary quick–fix practices of mutual aid — such as food banks, solidarity kitchens, emergency clinics and temporary shelters — is there a possibility of other approaches and «slow» solutions that invite one to engage with the complexity of systemic harm?


The symposium will be held in the K2 building of the Art Academy of Latvia (O. Kalpaka bulvāris 13, entrance from the courtyard). The symposium will also be streamed online on the Facebook page of the LMDA Institute. The symposium will be held in English.


The Institute of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture of the Art Academy was founded in 2021, its senior researchers and symposium chairs are Dr. Eva Sommeregger (Austria) and Dr. Dietmar Köring (Germany). The symposium is kindly supported by the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and is part of the Latvian Council of Science State Research Programme project Landscapes of Identities: History, Culture, and Environment.