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Walking as a Research Method in Art and Design

The Lectorate Design at the KABK explores the research method of walking from a design perspective, and features the working process used by public space and landscape designers Krijn Christiaansen and Cathelijne Montens (KCCM) who teach field research in BA Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at KABK.

Design Lector Alice Twemlow went to visit the designers in their serene home-work space near Noordwijk, to learn more about how and why KCCM make research, and specifically walking as a method, central to their work.

During their conversation Twemlow, Christiaansen and Montens discuss a speculative urban planning project in Saga City, Japan, in which the designers attempted to reactivate the city’s extensive system of ancient waterways and find points of entry and connection for local communities. In addition to their initial archival research, mapping of the waterways, and interviews and conversations with residents, KCCM conducted 24 walks during which they collected the memories, stories, images, impressions, and objects that the creek network contained. In practical terms, this meant wading in the creeks, videoing their progress from a frog’s-eye-perspective, but also dredging and excavating artefacts from the creek beds and making rubbings and photographs of structures on the creek banks.

The designers also talk about how they integrate this method in their teaching at KABK, and reflect more generally on the capacities of walking as a method, and how they differ when it is conducted from a design, rather than a geographical, perspective.

Watch a video of the interview here

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Credits for video interview

Krijn Christiaansen and Cathelijne Montens
Tutors, KABK Interior Architecture & Furniture Design
in conversation with Alice Twemlow, KABK Design Lector

Art Direction: Niels Schrader
Director of Photography: Roel Backaert
Camera and Editing: Yannick van de Graaf
Music: Lance Laoyan
Script: Martijn de Heer

What’s next

The lectorate will add resources to this website to further explore walking as a research method in art and design. These include: interviews with practitioner-tutors; essays; exemplars of tutor and student projects that use the method; exemplars of assignments; reading lists and a glossary of terms connected to the method.

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