2020 ArkDes Fellowship
Our Living Environment: 2020 ArkDes Fellowship
Call for Fellows
The 2020 ArkDes Fellowship will be dedicated to the theme, Our Living Environment, with a focus on investigative projects exploring challenges and opportunities facing future places, societies and cities.
In 2020 the ArkDes Fellowship offers practitioners, researchers, educators, artists and communicators operating in or around the fields of architecture, form and design an opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary research, within the theme Our Living Environment, at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. A total of three ArkDes Fellowships will be offered in 2020, providing space and resources to conduct exploratory work at ArkDes in Stockholm, for a duration of six months, full-time (with a formal start and end in March and November 2020, respectively, and flexibility to work in between these dates).
While the Fellowship application process requires a stipulated or tangible outcome, we expect any possible result of the programme to develop during the Fellows’ time at ArkDes, and from conversation with our curators, researchers and guests. We are excited by the unconventional, experimental and contextually rich; proposals that can concisely advocate for an original position while, at the same time, offer convincing methodologies for research, communication and dissemination.
Architecture and design affects us all on a daily basis, and the power of well-designed living environment is undisputed. The responsibility of creating these environments is shared by many. The complexity of spaces, places and cities however makes this a difficult task. How can conflicting interests be organised as a whole? How can old and new interests meet in a fruitful way? What spaces can host both artistic quality and a feeling of belonging for citizens? ArkDes invites Fellowship proposals that challenge preconceived ideas, within the theme Our Living Environment, both in topic and in research methodology.
About ArkDes Research and Development
In accordance with the Swedish Government Bill, Policy for Designed Living Environments (Politik för gestaltad livsmiljö (Prop. 2017/18:110)), ArkDes has been assigned the task to follow-up and evaluate, strengthen knowledge on, and promote interest in, architecture, form and design values and significance for both individuals and social development at large. The objective of this policy is to facilitate a sustainable, equal and less segregated society through carefully designed living environments, where everyone is given good opportunity to influence the development of the built environment.
In order to work with this task, ArkDes has received funding for research to increase knowledge on how architecture, design and planning impacts people and society. Through the ArkDes Think Tank function, ArkDes conducts continuous analysis and makes thematic assessments on issues where there are knowledge gaps or target conflicts. Such impacts may relate to the cultural environment, public art, segregation and sustainable development.
Within this work there is an opportunity for three guest researchers (Fellows) to spend six months, full-time (with a formal start and end in March and November 2020, respectively, and flexibility to work in between these dates) at ArkDes as part of the 2020 ArkDes Fellowship. The aim is to broaden discussion and collaboration in building new knowledge on how architecture and design can contribute to finding solutions for complex urban and societal challenges particularly those that relate to the cultural environment, public art, segregation and sustainable development.
Located in central Stockholm, ArkDes provides an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship. Concurrent to our role as a museum, ArkDes is also a government authority with a unique mandate to advise, impact, and imagine future urban policies in Sweden. We care for and work with a significant national architecture collection and support a platform dedicated to studying and responding to contemporary urban and societal challenges.
A jury chaired by Kieran Long, ArkDes Director, and the ArkDes Think Tank team will make the final decision on applications. This body of internationally acclaimed practitioners, curators and researchers will collectively assess proposals pre-selected by an internal ArkDes review committee.
Fellows will have access to resources within ArkDes, including the library, collection, workspaces, and staff members.
A full-time equivalent monthly salary of 33 000 SEK (before taxation) will be made available to successful applicants for the six month Fellowship period, along with one round-trip travel from their country of residence. Fellows will be responsible for finding their own accommodation in Stockholm.
- You must be available to spend a minimum of three months of the six month Fellowship period at ArkDes in Stockholm.
- High competence in English is essential. While it will not affect the decision of the jury, knowledge of Swedish would be an advantage in engaging with some of the material in our library and collection as well as national, regional and local level architecture, design and urban planning policies and strategies.
- We do not request a CV, letters of recommendation, or a portfolio of work.
- Applicants must have current and valid work rights in Sweden from the formal start date of the Fellowship period (March 2020). At this time ArkDes is unable to support visa applications.
- The call is open to individuals only. No partnerships or groups will be accepted.
- There is no age limit for applicants.
- There is no entry fee to apply.
Successful applicants will formally begin their Fellowship in March 2020. The Fellowship period will formally end in November 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the eligibility requirements for the 2020 ArkDes Fellowship?
Applicants must have current and valid work rights in Sweden from the formal start date of the Fellowship period (March 2020). At this time ArkDes is unable to support visa applications.
The Fellowship is open to applicants from any field working in or around architecture and design. All applications must be aligned with the broad theme of the Call for Fellows and the practical guidelines outlined on this page.
Can partnerships or groups apply?
The 2020 ArkDes Fellowship is only open to individual applicants. No partnerships or groups will be accepted.
Do I/we have to be in Stockholm?
We expect Fellows to spend at least three months of the six month Fellowship period at ArkDes, in Stockholm. Shared working space in ArkDes will be available for all Fellows in order to facilitate interaction and collaboration with ArkDes staff.
What is financially covered by the programme?
Discussions about divisions and procedure of payments will be discussed and negotiated with each individual independently.
ArkDes will cover one round-trip travel from the Fellow’s country of residence and will be able to provide a modest production budget.
Fellows will be responsible for finding their own accommodation in Stockholm. As this can be difficult it is suggested that applicants look into this early in the process.
Should applications be directly relevant to Sweden?
Proposals must address large-scale themes relevant to Sweden.
We ask for a stipulated outcome/output in applications. How research might be presented or communicated will be discussed independently, dependent on the project.
All applications will be pre-selected based on guidelines (the submission requirements) by an internal ArkDes review committee.
Following pre-selection, an independent jury will have the final decision on second-round applications.
ArkDes and the independent jury will assess proposals against the following selection criteria:
- Degree of interdisciplinary and exploratory focus
- Originality of thought; unconventionality and/or experimental nature
- Convincing methodology
- Relationship to the theme, global issues and those pertinent to the broader Swedish context
- Expected findings and outcomes
The jury will be chaired by Kieran Long, ArkDes Director, and the ArkDes Think Tank team.
Jury members from within Sweden and abroad will be announced on the ArkDes website.
Applications that do not meet the submission requirements will not be considered by ArkDes or the independent jury. All applicants will be notified by email of the jury’s final decision.
You can direct further questions related to the Call for Fellows to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A written research proposal which should be no more than 750 words and formatted onto a single A4 page (page 1). The research proposal must include:
- Background including the need for the research
- Methodology including case studies
- Time plan
- Expected findings and outcomes
- A maximum of five keywords.
A written biography of no more than 250 words, which should be formatted onto a second single A4 page (page 2). The written biography must include:
- Current occupation
- A list of the applicant’s five most important works (such as completed projects and research studies) relevant to the ArkDes Fellowship programme.
Supplemental information, i.e. images, which should number no more than three additional A4 pages (pages 3-5). Captions to images should be no longer than one sentence per image.
Your application must be written in English.
Submissions, including a written research proposal, biography and supplemental information should be prepared as a single PDF file at a maximum file size of 15MB and uploaded via the ArkDes website. An online submission form will also request your name, year of birth, sex, contact details (e-mail address, telephone number and address), and answers to select questions.
As ArkDes is a government authority, your application becomes a public document when it is received by ArkDes. This means that the application documents can be requested by any member of the public.
Questions can be emailed to email@example.com
- Deadline for applications (online): 8 December 2019 at 23.59 Stockholm time
- Pre-selected applications delivered to the jury by the ArkDes internal review committee: 11 December 2019
- Deadline for the jury’s first grading: 20 January 2020
- Jury meeting at ArkDes in Stockholm: 29-30 January 2020
- Invitations sent to Fellows: 31 January 2020
- Public announcement of Fellows: 10 February 2020
- 2020 ArkDes Fellowship: March–November 2020 (six months, full-time, with a formal start and end in March and November 2020, respectively, and flexibility to work in between these dates)
2018-2019 ArkDes Fellowship
The inaugural ArkDes Call for Fellows surrounding the theme, Projecting the Future, held between February and March 2018, attracted over 200 applications by practitioners, researchers, educators, artists and communicators. A total of three Fellows, selected by an international jury, joined ArkDes for a six month period between September 2018 and February 2019.
While each application addressed the theme, Projecting the Future, proposals covered a wide array of themes focused on future visions for tackling challenges in built and non-urban environments. An international jury comprising Behzad Khosravi Noori (Konstfack), Liza Fior (muf architecture and art), Maria Lind (formerly Tensta Konsthall) and Nikolaus Hirsch (e-flux architecture), and chaired by ArkDes Director Kieran Long, collectively assessed proposals during a seminar at ArkDes in April 2018.
Below is an outline of the three 2018-2019 ArkDes Fellows selected, their projects, and testimonies of their ArkDes Fellowship experience.
Projecting Futures for Exploited Environments: Staying with the Pit (of Malmberget, Sweden)
Karin Reisinger teaches at Vienna University of Technology (Institute of Art and Design) on Arts in Changing Environments and Intersectional Feminisms for Architecture. She previously undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in Critical Studies in Architecture at the KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm (2016-2017). During her KTH postdoc fellowship and time at ArkDes, she investigated the gendered ecologies of mining societies in regular exchange with the local community. Her Fellowship work is published in ‘Introduktion: En feministisk kartografi över ett växande hål’ in PLAN, Issue 6-7 (2018) and in the chapter ‘materialflöden’ in om inte vi gör det gör någon annan det (2019). Furthermore, Karin donated her work Lifelike Appendix to the Archive no. 1 to the ArkDes Collections to make it accessible.
“For me, the biggest treasure I am taking from the ArkDes Fellowship is that I was given the freedom to further develop my research practice methodologically, in dialogue with the archive and the research unit during many creative encounters. Thus, I could develop formats of (research) practice which are all about mining and yet counteract knowledge extractivism.” – Karin Reisinger
Al-Madhafah: The Living Room
Sandi Hilal, born in Bethlehem, Palestine, is based in Stockholm. Together with Alessandro Petti, Sandi has developed a research project based on artistic practice that is both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. In their practice, contemporary art exhibitions are concurrently a site of display, material production, research, and political imagination. The pair have participated in various international exhibitions, among them the Biennale di Venezia (2003-2008-2009-2013-2015), the Istanbul Design Biennial (2009), Home Works Beirut (2010), the Bienal de São Paulo (2014), the Asian Art Biennial (2015), the Marrakesh Biennial (2016) and Qalandia International (2016), alongside others.
“The Fellowship at ArkDes coincided with an intense moment of transition in my life and artistic practice. The Fellowship coincided with the move of my work and personal life to Sweden, leaving behind or bringing with me more than 15 years of practice in Palestine. The Fellowship also coincided with the initiation of the project the Living Room: the right to host in Sweden, both in Boden and in the Public Luxury exhibition at ArkDes. In such a moment of transition the Fellowship was fundamental in giving me some space and time to reflect upon my own practice. I lived the Fellowship as a moment of break, of silence, in the middle of a long messiness that was surrounding me. During the Fellowship I was part of the bigger ArkDes family and specifically had a great intellectual and friendship exchange with my other two Fellows. In addition to that I managed to put down a long proposal together with my Fellow Sara Brolund de Carvalho on how to imagine the continuation of the Living Room in Sweden. Moreover, I activated the Living Room in the Public Luxury exhibition at ArkDes. It has been nothing else but a great productive experience.” – Sandi Hilal
Sara Brolund de Carvalho/ Action Archive
Utopia in Action: Co-Housing in the Future?
Sara Brolund de Carvalho is an artist, filmmaker, architect and educator based in Stockholm. Since 2013 she has been leading the research group “Action Archive”, together with researchers from the KTH School of Architecture. They have developed participatory historical records through public actions that bring together diverse actors and a public around urban cultural, historical, and political issues by employing experimental research formats such as witness seminars, walks, films, re-enactments, and collective time-space mappings. She is currently a studio grant holder at Iaspis in Stockholm (October 2019-March 2020).
“The ArkDes Fellowship provided an invaluable infrastructure to my project. The Fellowship meant for me both time for longer reflection as well as the possibilities to come in contact with many interesting experts both at ArkDes and in the field at large. ArkDes also provided me the possibility to hold a public seminar about the Swedish group BiG (Bo i Gemenskap/”Living in Community”) which has been an important step in the development of my project. To have had Fellow colleagues to share ideas with on a daily basis was also inspiring and contributed to an overall fantastic experience at ArkDes.” – Sara Brolund de Carvalho