Leonardo Three-Year Symposium on the Ph.D. in Art and Design
In 2017, the journal Leonardo celebrates 50 years of publishing research and works of art at the intersection of art, science and technology. As part of the celebrations, we initiated a 3-year symposium to address issues surrounding the development of the Ph.D. in Art and Design. The first articles are about to appear.
Universities around the world are now debating this issue. While the MFA is a terminal degree for professional practice, the Ph.D. is a research degree — the doctor of philosophy. The debate began in the U.K. when independent art and design schools merged with universities or obtained university status in their own right. This led to the question of the standards for appointment and promotion to programs once located in separate institutions that are now located within universities. Universities in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America have joined the conversation by establishing new Ph.D. programs or initiating serious debates on whether — and how — to build them. The question of the Ph.D. for art and design raises many challenging issues. First among these is the nature of research, research training, and the Ph.D. While this issue is obvious to those who have earned a Ph.D. in the natural sciences, social sciences, or liberal arts, it remains complicated in understanding the Ph.D. for art and design.
- What is the Ph.D. in art?
- What is the Ph.D. in design?
- What should a Ph.D. be in a field of professional practice?
- Should there be several kinds of Ph.D. in art and design or one major model?
- Why pursue such a degree?
- What is the nature of such a Ph.D. with respect to
research quality as distinct from the quality of art or design practice?
- Why are so many programs struggling or going wrong?
- Why do universities and accrediting authorities permit problematic programs to continue?
- Why, in the past, did artists interested in research choose to take a Ph.D. in disciplines outside art?
- Are there specific skills all researchers require without respect to their discipline?