Research Degrees at the University of the Arts London

The Centre includes a community of PhD students pursuing historical, theoretical and practice based research, and runs a seminar course for first year PhD and MPhil students at the University of the Arts London. Priority is given to students pursuing relevant research and supervised by a core member of TrAIN, but other students can apply to join. As well as the seminar course for first year students, TrAIN also hosts other groups, which include PhD+: a group for students in their third and final year and groups for reading texts in languages other than English.

For more information on Research degrees at UAL, visit the UAL Research website, and email with any queries.


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    Cindy Lisica

    Completed PhD - Beyond Consumption: The Art, Merchandise and Global Impact of Takashi Murakami and a Superflat Generation

    My research examines Superflat art and theory, conceived by Takashi Murakami (b. Tokyo, 1962), as a model for cross-cultural exchange via artists Chiho Aoshima, Takashi Murakami and Aya Takano.
    Find out more about Cindy Lisica

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    Nicola Stylianou

    Completed PhD - Producing and collecting for Empire: African textiles within the V&A Museum

    Despite billing itself as “the world’s greatest museum of art and design, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity” during the nineteenth and most of the twentieth century it was the V&A’s general policy not to collect African artefacts. This was largely due to a curatorial division between objects associated with “art” and “ethnography.
    Find out more about Nicola Stylianou

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    Alev Adil

    Completed PhD - A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment

    A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment

    Nicosia, a medieval walled city in Cyprus, was divided by a ‘green line’ in 1964, again in 1974, and remains the last divided capital city in Europe. While the border between the two communities was opened in 2003 the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities live separated by a ‘dead zone’.
    Find out more about Alev Adil

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    Shu-fang Huang

    Completed PhD - The Traces of a Traveller, Textile-Based Narrative

    This research project is designed through the use of a metaphorical ‘traveller’, to record the readings of environment and the ‘traces’ of a traveller’s observations. It starts from the author’s own cultural context, and then crosses through the journey into a new cultural vision.
    Find out more about Shu-fang Huang

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    Piotr Splawski

    Completed PhD - AHRC Studentship for the project Forgotten Japonisme

    I was born and grew up in Poland. In 1994, I moved to London, which has been my home ever since.
    Find out more about Piotr Splawski

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    Helena Capkova

    Completed PhD - Interpreting Japan : Central European Architecture and Design 1920 – 1940

    Central Europe has historically been an area with rich cultural networks and significant centres such as Prague, Berlin or Vienna. These centres were cultural melting pots with multilingual and multicultural environments accommodating a mixture of nationalities.
    Find out more about Helena Capkova

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    Jenny Lu

    Completed PhD - Between Homes: Examining the notion of the unheimlich in art practice and its relationship to post-colonial identity and contemporary society in Taiwan

    My research focuses on the notion of the ‘being not at home’ in relation to identity confusion, post-colonial society and artistic practice. Exploring Sigmund Freud’s concept of the ‘uncanny’ (unheimlich), I argue that in contemporary society, obtaining the feeling of ‘being at home’ is impossible, and the ‘unheimlich’ is therefore a common experience.
    Find out more about Jenny Lu

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    Voon Pow Bartlett

    Completed PhD - The relational and quotidian in contemporary urban China

    My research addresses the work of contemporary Chinese artists based in Beijing, whose work is both formed in negotiation with a global audience and influenced by a historically and culturally specific form of urban development. The tide of economic progress in China has a direct impact on daily life and continues to fuel the art world, raising issues of authenticity, authority and ownership.
    Find out more about Voon Pow Bartlett

  • Suzana Vaz

    Completed PhD - Body/mind practices and creative process. The Japanese Gutai group and the Brazilian Post-Neoconcrete artists

    My research consists of a comparative view between the work and creative processes of two avant-garde groups, whose activity developed contemporaneously from the 1950s to the 70s. The Gutai group in Japan and Post-Neoconcrete artists in Brazil have important affinities, namely the intent to use concrete experience to access creative potency, the absence of an artistic protocol, and the insertion of avant-garde procedures into a cultural background of transpersonal references.
    Find out more about Suzana Vaz