Redefining practice-based research in Europe

Redefining practice-based research in Europe

RMIT’s game-changing PhD program that’s shifting the concept of industry embedded research in Europe recently returned to Barcelona for its biannual Practice Research Symposium Europe (PRS Europe).

After two years of going online, RMIT's School of Architecture and Urban Design, School of Design and School of Fashion and Textiles teamed up with BAU – College of Arts & Design Barcelona to deliver its three-day symposium of more than 26 PhD candidates completing research in established and newly emerging areas of design and the creative arts.

The event saw the continued participation of candidates and staff from the University of Westminster, Queens University Belfast and Estonian Academy of Arts.

Redefining conventional PhD formats, RMIT’s program sees researchers delve into a study of their own practice, often within their own design studio or agency.

Photo of panel discussion. 'Doctors at Large' keynote panel at the PRS Europe opening with (L-R) PRS Europe Chair, Associate Professor Paul Minifie, Dr James Langdon, Professor Karin Helms, Associate Professor Roland Snooks and Dr Mark Raymond.

PRS Europe Chair Associate Professor Paul Minifie said the program sees research into what designers and artists actually do when they conceive and develop new and innovative approaches to creative practice.

"The research candidature becomes a process through which creative practitioners develop their research capability, becoming fully fledged creative practice researchers," he said.

The return of PRS Europe to Barcelona in early December 2022 timed with 15 years of the program running in Europe.

RMIT Europe – the University’s innovation hub located in Barcelona – co-hosted the opening event, panel discussion and launch of the book ‘Behavioural Formation’ by RMIT’s Associate Professor Roland Snooks.

Other public events also included a panel discussion on Exponential Technologies: Printing Architecture with experts from the Institute of Technology in Architecture ETH Zurich, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Università della Svizzera Italiana and RMIT’s School of Architecture and Urban Design.

RMIT's innovative practice-based PhD program was originally developed by the University's School of Architecture and Design and has been running at RMIT Australia for more than three decades.

In addition to expanding to Europe in 2007, the program has also been delivered at RMIT Vietnam since 2011.

PRS Europe will be back in Barcelona in late April/early May 2023.


Story: Karen Matthews

19 December 2022


  • Design
  • Urban Design
  • Research
  • RMIT Europe
  • Industry
  • Architecture
  • Arts and culture

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.