Et tu, doctoral student in landscape architecture? …do you believe?

In the past year, just like other researchers, we have experienced ruptures and changes in our research projects. Our landscapes were compromised. We could not carry out our fieldwork, or access our landscapes as we used to do before. We had to adapt our research plan. Our approach to research had to change. We knew our path was a solitary one, but we found ourselves alone, even more than before. Over these days, we had less chances to meet with our supervisors, our friends and families. Some of us got sick. Some of us lost friends, or colleagues.

During the pandemic, many students had to adapt their methods of analysis to get their tasks done. Others had to postpone their analysis. Some others had to change the scope of their research, or in the worst case, they decided to abandon their projects. Nonetheless, we know that our research projects do not consist just of results, publications, and performance. Yet, we fill in our agenda with deadlines of any kind, tasks, teaching, courses. And we leave little time to reflect on the whole process of our research. Nonetheless, we are told that the degree we are pursuing is first of all a process. And yet, we need to believe that this process matters, and that it is worth doing.

Focus of the Colloquium

Following this year’s conference call, this edition of the Doctoral Colloquium offers PhD candidates an opportunity to “stop-and-think” about their research projects. The focus for the Colloquium is to make students reflect on the processes of their doctoral education, and on the ways they carry out their research. Following Hannah Arendt’s idea, a true stop-and-think needs to suspend the everyday routine filled with activities, and habitual tasks. In this year’s Colloquium, students are invited to pause the pressing rhythm of their research activities.

Three questions will guide this reflective process:

What do you value?

How do you act?

What do you leave?

We will reflect on these questions throughout two main activities: an interview-based workshop with senior researchers, and a creative poster session with students. Both activities are intended to provide ample time for deeper discussions immanent to the conduct of landscape research.

The interview-based workshop is structured around the understanding that there are many things to learn from experienced, ‘senior’, researchers. In this first activity senior researchers will take the role of “interviewees” and PhD students that one of “interviewers”. We therefore invite the participants to bring their questions to the table, and accomplished academicians to provide input on these questions. Throughout our doctoral education, we are faced with alien environments, uncertainties, competing voices, and sometimes-unbearable task of writing a thesis. Not counting, pressured to find a research agenda that weaves together personal stories and bigger societal questions, and mostly, to construct truly transformative knowledge. This interview-based workshop seeks to gather students and supervisors in a space of reflection and care that connects their ethics, experiences, and practices. What does it mean to be a researcher? How does our geopolitical location affect our researcher’s identities? How to be responsive to our local cultures, histories, and research communities while engaging globally and among disciplines? These are just some of the questions that we offer as a point of departure for discussion.

In the creative poster sessions, PhD candidates are invited to answer the conference’s guiding questions in relation to their own research projects in a poster format. During the session students will be asked to share their own reflections in small group presentations together with students and supervisors. In this second activity supervisors will take to role of “interviewers” asking questions to the PhD candidates taking the role of “interviewees”.

Target Groups

This colloquium addresses both doctoral students (at any stage of their projects) and senior researchers in supervising positions. We also invite prospective doctoral students and prospective supervisors who wish to learn from peers. The overall objective is to respond to the conference call by sharing and discussing methodological aspects within the European landscape architecture research community. The Colloquium is open to all kind of research and methodological approaches.

How to get involved as a thesis supervisor or senior researcher

Supervisors and senior researchers who want to participate in the round table discussions and individual mentoring with students need to specify their intention to participate in the Colloquium when registering for the conference.

Alternatively, they could also send an email to for notifying their interest in partaking in the Colloquium.

How to get involved as a doctoral student

If you are a current or prospective doctoral student, you are invited to participate in the creative poster session with your own poster and reflect on your research process and methods in relation to the three main questions presented below.

What do you value?

This question can be divided in different sub-questions. For instance, what do you value when you are conducting your research? But also, what are your values when conducting research? What do you believe about doing your research? Why do you do your research? Why are you interested in your topic? What is landscape to you? What is landscape in your research?

How do you act?

This question refers to the way you approach your research. How do you deal with methods in your project? How do you consider yourself when doing research? But also, what mental predispositions you have toward the field you are investigating, or the analysis you are conducting. Examples: how do your values and your culture reflect on the issues you are interested in researching?

What do you leave?

This question reflects on the impact of our research. It refers to what you ought to produce in terms of publications—thesis—articles, monographs. But it also refers to the immaterial results you leave with your process. What do you leave in the people you interview? Or what do you leave in the community you work with your participatory action research? For examples, social relations, or network. You may think about the end of your project, or more narrowly about the paper you want to publish, or the chapter you want to write. So what? Why should we care? Who are you writing for? Designing for? Who is you audience?

The poster is to be prepared according to this template > Download Template

Submission deadline: 31st of August 2021 to this e-mail:

Prospective doctoral students

If you are a future doctoral student and still in the process of developing your research proposal you are also invited to join the activities. In that case you may not submit an outline but please register anyway through the website channel, and inform the organizer about your intention to participate.