Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

Curating Contemporary Art and Design course 2021, Why Now? The Urgency of Curating, Guest Speakers

Discover contemporary art and design curatorial thinking and practice, with sector leading curators, researchers and writers.

Key details

Fees

  • Early bird fee: £1575
  • ends 31 January 2023
  • Regular fee: £1750
  • from 1 February 2023

Location

  • Live Online

    10 sessions over 2 weeks

    Week 1: 3–7 July 2023

    Week 2: 10–14 July 2023

    3.5 hours a day 10am – 1.30pm BST

    Applications open in December 2022.

The live online Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Theory and Practice course provides an intensive introduction to contemporary curatorial thinking and practice in art and design. It offers critical perspectives from the viewpoint of experts who curate, research and write in the cultural sector, with opportunities for participants to engage with cutting edge curatorial approaches emerging within and beyond London.

The course emphasises critical thinking around curatorial theory and practice in a contemporary context. Through in-depth discussions with pioneering curators, participants are introduced to collections and displays of leading galleries and museums, nationally and internationally. In addition, the sessions consider wider forms of practice such as commissioning, programming, online curating, curatorial writing and publishing.

Led by the School of Arts & Humanities, the course team is composed of curators, critics, researchers, historians and writers. The course combines analytical debate with practical, hands-on activities taught from the world’s leading art and design university and delivered online. As a forum for learning in a collaborative, highly dynamic atmosphere, the course also provides the opportunity to gain one-to-one support and advice from our faculty of experts and visiting speakers.

The Curating Contemporary Art and Design course has been running successfully since 2016. As well as experts from the Royal College of Art, previous years have included sessions with renowned curators and researchers from Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Serpentine, Design Museum, Somerset House, the Museum of Modern Art and influential contemporary galleries and commissioners such as Art on the Underground, Eastside Projects, Open School East, Cubitt Gallery and UP Projects.

Applications for summer 2023 open in December 2022.

Take a look at our new curating short courses for autumn 2022:

Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Archives and Collections Intensive 3, 4 , 10 & 11 November 2022

Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Writing Intensive 17, 18, 24 & 25 November 2022

About the course

The course theme for 2023 will be announced soon.

The course theme for 2022 was Ecologies of Curating: Networks, Systems and Interactions.

What are the ecologies of contemporary curating? The 2022 Curating Contemporary Art and Design programme will investigate the networks and systems that curatorial practices inhabit on a local, national, and global level. We will explore how these ecologies of curating maintain the production and presentation of contemporary art and design. In the broader context of the climate crisis, we will ask how curatorial ecologies engage with questions of sustainability and care. And in an age of migration, we will question how the circulation of art and design objects operate in relation to the circulation of people. Exploring online and offline environments, we will investigate the materialities of contemporary curating in a hybrid context, one in which bodies, experiences, data, and forms of knowledge are both connected and dispersed. Throughout the course, we will consider whether we need new curatorial ecosystems in order to adapt to a changing world.

Week 1: Curatorial encounters

Taking the course theme as a central provocation, participants will investigate the ecologies of curating contemporary art and design in the present moment. In the first week, you will engage in workshops, seminars, presentations and discussions with leading curators and cultural practitioners working at the forefront of the field. Through these dynamic online sessions, we will explore urgent questions concerning climate, sustainability, and conservation; migration and translation; hybrid environments and materialities across online and offline worlds. By experiencing the latest developments in contemporary art and design curating, you will be encouraged to consider how curatorial ecosystems might adapt to a changing world.

Week 2: Curatorial practice

In the second week, you work collaboratively in small groups learning to think collectively, while independently developing your own curatorial positions. Additional seminars, workshops and ‘crit’ sessions are delivered by leading cultural practitioners and researchers in order to provide tailored support and stimulation for this active curatorial work. At the end of week two, each group presents a project, which can be in the form of an exhibition proposal, publication, event, digital initiative, online performance, or another medium that responds to the specific question selected by that group in relation to our theme of Ecologies of Curating.

Benefits include:

  • Exploring a range of fine art and design disciplines in international contexts
  • Access to curators, critics, researchers, historians and writers
  • One-to-one support and advice from the RCA's faculty of experts and visiting speakers
  • Learning in a collaborative, highly dynamic atmosphere through an interdisciplinary approach
  • Interaction and networking with international peers from different backgrounds
  • Certificate of online attendance

Since 2016, we have welcomed participants from Singapore's Asian Civilisations Museum, Budapest's Museum of Applied Arts, the Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Sharjah Art Foundation, the Warwick Arts Centre and the Design Trust, Gabriel Caruana Foundation, Daiwa Foundation, Arusha Gallery to name a few.

  • You will learn about current debates in art and design by engaging with professionals working at the forefront of the field
  • You will learn about the latest developments in contemporary critical and curatorial practice by encountering a range of institutions, exhibitions and curated programmes
  • You will learn how curatorial projects are conceived, researched and delivered
  • You will learn how to develop and pitch curatorial project ideas
  • You will learn how to work collaboratively

Learning takes place through a dynamic 10-day programme, delivered over two weeks. Each day features at least two sessions, comprising three-and-a-half hours of live interaction.

In these sessions, participants are taught as a group and work in smaller teams.

The sessions are delivered by RCA tutors and invited experts, including curators, artists and cultural practitioners.

These sessions feature:

  • Seminars
  • Presentations
  • Workshops
  • Encounters with exhibitions and institutions
  • One-to-one remote support and advice from subject experts
  • Collaborative group work and group discussion
  • In-depth feedback through ‘crits’
  • Project development and presentations

The course is convened by Course Leader Dr Rosie Ram, Visiting Lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at the Royal College of Art and overseen by Professor Victoria Walsh, Head of Programme for MA Curating Contemporary Art.

The course contributors for the 2023 programme will be announced soon.

The course contributors for the 2022 programme were:

RCA tutors from previous years have included:

  • Dr Ben Cranfield, Senior Tutor, Curating Contemporary Art, School of Arts & Humanities, RCA
  • Dr Grant Watson, Tutor (Research), Curating Contemporary Art, School of Arts & Humanities,RCA
  • Rebecca Heald, Tutor, Curating Contemporary Art, School of Arts & Humanities, RCA
  • Dr Sarah Cheang, Head of Programme, V&A/RCA History of Design, School of Arts & Humanities, RCA
  • Dr Marianne Mulvey, Tutor, Curatorial Practice, School of Arts & Humanities, RCA
  • Amanprit Sandhu, Tutor, Curatorial Practice, School of Arts & Humanities, RCA

Disclaimer: The list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.

The course is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Zoom
Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, RCA tutors and invited experts deliver a mix of:

  • Seminars
  • Presentations
  • Workshops
  • Collaborative group work and group discussion
  • In-depth feedback through ‘crits’
  • Project development and presentations
  • Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time

Miro

Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.

Moodle

The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a plethora of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.

Slack

Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, the academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

Participants will learn to:

  • Engage with current debates in art and design
  • Explore contemporary critical and curatorial practice
  • Understand how curatorial projects are conceived, researched and delivered
  • Learn how to develop and pitch project ideas
  • Learn how to work collaboratively

  • Art and design graduates
  • Early- and mid-career professionals from the cultural sector
  • Curators and arts programmers
  • Artists and designers
  • Writers
  • Researchers

Participants must:

  • Have a successful application
  • Have an undergraduate degree
  • Have a good level of English language
  • Be 21 years or over

How do I apply?

Applications for summer 2023 open in December 2022.

Take a look at our new curating short courses for autumn 2023:

Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Archives and Collections Intensive 3, 4 , 10 & 11 November 2022

Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Writing Intensive 17, 18, 24 & 25 November 2022

Gallery

Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
short-courses@rca.ac.uk
Executive Education Team