Axel Vogelsang

Axel Vogelsang

Axel Vogelsang is Professor and Head of the Research Centre for Visual Narrative at the Lucerne School of Art & Design. His is interested in the use of digital media in cultural institutions.


  • Good idea to start a study group. if it gets anywhere it would be great to hear more about how it worked out.

  • That sounds like a meaningful aim to me.

  • It is great, Sanja, that our course has inspired you. It seems that you have a plan. Don't forget that it can be helpful to discuss your application with peers. I would even recommend contacting professors at the institution you want to study at to discuss your proposal.

  • Hello a c. Using Wordpress or any other blogging platform as a research journal is a good idea. It can help you develop a writing routine. At the same time, you are going public, which gives you the chance to get in touch with other interested people.

  • I'm very glad we were able to provide some helpful insights. Thanks a lot again for your very valuable contributions Michael and good luck.

  • Thank you very much Michael, for your intensive cooperation and your profound reflections. It has been a pleasure. I will answer some of your other comments in the coming days.

  • Thanks a lot, Siu. I replied to this via Padlet.

  • Welcome Siu! I can definitely empathize with your issue. I myself moved into academia after years of working in the industry. What got me going was reading theoretical literature about the practices I was dealing with. It was the early days of the Internet and so I started to look at theories of what it meant to interact with computers. Maybe you have a...

  • Welcome Alka! Filmmaking as an ethnographic and pedagogical tool is a very interesting and relevant topic. Your topic is actually very related to one of our research projects investigating video as an epistemic tool, a tool to convey/reveal knowledge:

    Whether you would be eligible for a PhD depends on your existing degrees...

  • You are probably right, Michael regarding the influence of recruiters when it comes to some institutions. My experience is that we get the list of candidates unfiltered. The people looking for staff (deans, professors) are actually the recruiters. They define the profile and they filter the candidates. I experienced the same as a guest evaluator for a position...

  • Dear Michael, the big London institutions are always interesting, I agree. Kingston the way has also a great research department. But institutions outside of the big centers such as Falmouth, Exeter and Hertfordshire shouldn't be underestimated. They might even be more accessible and more supportive and often do a great job.

  • Dear Michael, I totally understand that this would be important information. The differences though are immense between institutions. To cover this would be a big research project in its own right. I think it is important to get in contact with professors and students of your institutions of choice in advance to better understand what is provided and what not...

  • It is often difficult, particularly as many PhD students in the arts are already in the middle of their career. However that also opens up some opportunities for funding. So take encouragement by all the other who made it and good luck!

  • You are right, Michael, we haven't explicitly touched on the objectives you mention. Personal fulfillment is probably the easier one in so far as it is not recommended to choose a topic which you don't really enjoy, as it costs a lot of energy to go through this process. We and our experts also mention some of the strategies to make sure you keep a good...

  • Hello Michael, that seems to be a good strategy to me, watching out for open days at relevant institutions in order to get into contact. Great institutions you have in mind there as well.

  • Thank you Saba, that is a very important question. Later on you will find out more about Ute Ziegler's approach and particularly her outcomes where she explicitly talks about the issue of individualization of design solutions in her context.

  • Hello Nury, drawing can be a very interesting method. You might want to look at the following publication in this respect: Gannon, R., & Fauchon, M. (2021). Illustration Research Methods (Illustrated edition). Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
    With regard to organizing ideas my own experience is that writing is a way of thinking that can be very helpful.

  • You are pointing at something very important. We will look at some aspects of making knowledge explicit, the «research narrative» so to say. But with so many things in practice research in the arts it a very individual endavour. It is definitely helpful to look at existing examples. We have linked to some of the theses of our experts in chapter six of this...

  • The Windrush Generation is a great project. Thanks for this example Richard. I would like to point out a different and long-term project by a German photographer, Lukas Einsele. In his project «one step beyond» he «reports on landmines and their victims by bringing them into a visible and traceable relationship»:...

  • A great collection of methods. Thanks for the insights Michael. Another prove, that many practitioners in the arts have moved on from traditional views regarding authorship. And it is a challenge and an achievement to get communities or individuals to collaborate in a meaningful way.

  • Sounds like very good advice to me, particularly the last sentence. If I only would have known this before my own PhD.

  • In fact, Richard, the PhD is about generating new knowledge and many PhD students ask themselves, especially at the beginning, what is really new to discover, since so much has already been researched. What makes the arts so exciting - as your proposal shows so well - is that they are often at the interface of various disciplines, which creates new...

  • Thanks a lot Michael for being so kind to explain in so much detail. That sounds fascinating. I have a further question and would like to ask you if you could contact me via Email (see my profile at

  • You make me curious Michael. Does it need a specific photographic material, a specific light sensor, a specific form of exposure to capture this glow?

  • Welcome Wayne! You are asking an important question here: what is the motivation for an artist to enter a PhD? The more practical perspective points at the fact that a PhD is increasingly advantageous for obtaining a lecturer position. But this alone is most likely not enough motivation, as a PhD is very demanding and takes several years. So it needs a topic...

  • Thanks Michael, reading through your summary on Padlet and on your blog I'm quite impressed, even though I have to admit that this is beyond my own expertise. I wonder, when you write about the «glow of life» is this something you mean metaphorically or is there actually something you want to visualize, particularly with your background in photography?

  • Thanks for sharing, Michael!

  • This sounds like a very challenging proposal. It would most likely involve an interdisciplinary cooperation with several other disciplines.

  • Well put, Michael. I agree, where personal interest and meaningful impact meet, that is where it gets interesting.

  • Welcome, Tania, a very timely and interesting topic. You might want to look at the work of our product & textiles research group, as they involve in some really interesting topics surrounding contemporary production and use of textiles:

  • Hello Bertrand, if you are interested into questions of sustainability you might want to look at our call for PhDs on eco-social innovation:

  • Thanks, Bertrand, for being so open. Yes, it can be overwhelming. It might help not to focus too much on the end and all you want to achieve. Rather, ask yourself, what is my interest at the moment, and above all: what can I get excited about? It can be a small project, a topic that still seems a little fuzzy, from which your PhD will develop over time. The...

  • Welcome Rosina, I hope this course will help your decision making process.

  • Thanks, Michael, it is interesting to have a participant with a prior experience in both scientific and artistic methods. It will be interesting to hear further comments on how you manage to maybe combine these or to even see how you might develop your own methodology out of both.

  • Dear Dina, the new call for our program has just been published. Please feel free to apply and to spread the call:

  • Hello Michael, setting up a blog as part of one's research activities is a great idea, as it is not only a wonderful way to record your insights but also to start a conversation. Do you want to post a link here to share it with the other participants?

  • Welcome Maike!

  • Hello Rachael, architecture is an interesting topic. As I'm not an expert in this profession I always wonder how much architectural practice is driven by research, particularly with respect to the needs of the actual users of architecture. What is your experience?

  • Thanks Munyaradzi for these interesting thoughts. I believe that a deep personal motivation to work on a topic is a necessary precondition for future impact. So start where your heart is.

  • Dear Munyardzi, I think I know very well what you mean. There is so much interesting practice, literature, and urgent topics. So where to start? Not an easy-to-answer question. I sometimes see students get carried away by the many choices and decisions made only when the deadline looms. As banal as it sounds, start with some of the issues, problems, themes...

  • Welcome San, it will be very interesting to see, what you will come up with as ideas and visions for research in the field of computer graphics.

  • Thanks Victor, for being so open about this difficult issue. From my experience one of the main reasons for writer's block is perfectionism. At some point I was no longer able to accept my own half-baked thoughts and preferred not to write anything at all. But writing is an iterative process. You write, and then you rewrite until it feels right. What helped me...