The College welcomes its first Junior Research Fellows

04 September 2014

The Leeds College of Art Junior Research Fellowship scheme has been introduced to enhance our practice-based research team. It provides the unique opportunity for talented early career researchers to engage in full time research and its dissemination within the context of a prestigious specialist art & design institution. 

Director of Studies, Higher Education, Enhancement and Research Dr Randall Whittaker comments 

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Elzenbaumer and Dr Tan to Leeds College of Art and very much look forward to working with them.” 

Left to right, Dr Kai Syng Tan, Dr Randall Whittaker, Dr Bianca Elzenbaumer

Dr Bianca Elzenbaumer

Bianca completed her doctoral degree at the Design Department at Goldsmiths in February 2014. Her thesis ‘Designing Economic Cultures’, investigates the political economy of design and explores, by way of practice-based research, the potential of peer-to-peer activities to enable structures that support the resilience of socially and politically engaged design practices. 

Since 2005, Bianca has worked with Fabio Franz as the collective ‘Brave New Alps‘. Here, they produce design projects that engage people in discussing, rethinking and intervening in social, political and environmental issues. The projects combine design research methods with radical pedagogy, conflict mediation, communication design as well as ‘DIY’ making techniques. 

In 2010, she graduated from the Royal College of Art; in 2007, she gained a degree in International Peacebuilding and Conflict Mediation from the University of Bologna; in 2006, she gained her BA in Design from the trilingual Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. 

Dr Kai Syng Tan

Kai has been called ‘one of Singapore’s foremost video artists’ (Dr Eugene Tan 2007), and ‘a media artist to look out for’ (Johan Pijnappel 2005) with a ‘sardonic humour but also a sharp intelligence which makes her a self-reflexive, incisive artist of South East Asia now’ (Keng Sen Ong 2009). 

Since 1999, Kai has been commissioned to exhibit worldwide (dOCUMENTA 13, Guangzhou Triennale, transmediale, Biennale of Sydney, YIDFF; ICA, New York Film Anthology at MOMA, ZKM, 27th South East Asian Games, Centre Georges Pompidou). Along the way, she picked up a couple of awards (SFIFF Golden Gate Merit Award, The Young Artist Award, Japan Foundation Artist-in-Residency Award), curated (Cinema South Festival, Delhi International Film Festival), taught/wrote curricula/visited (LASALLE College of the Arts; RCA; LCC; ANU), opined/advised (School of the Arts, National Arts Council; Media Development Authority) and volunteered (GLA, Bloomsbury Festival). 

Kai’s Fine Art PhD, conducted at the Slade School of Fine Art as a UCL scholar (2009-2013), focused on running as a creative practice. Of late, her running-centred work is drawing attention from the art and academic worlds. Kai was Founder, Curator (with Dr Alan Latham, UCL Geography Senior Lecturer) and Producer of RUN RUN RUN! An International Festival of Running 1.0 which was held at the Slade Research Centre UCL in summer 2014, and two art projects were shortlisted in the Artangel Open 100 and Great North Run Moving Images Commission. Kai also has a BA in Fine Art (1st Class Honours, Slade) and a Masters in Science of Imaging Arts (Distinction and Excellence Award, Musashino Art University, Tokyo). 

The fellows will complement our diverse research programme that is split into four specialist clusters; Crossing Borders, Curatorial, Pedagogy and Technology. For further information on research at the College including news and events please visit the research area of the website.