ISSUE #5 – Masterful thesis

A selection of Master Thesis

In an art and design school, writing a research thesis amounts to an exercise which is at the same time singular, perilous, useful and bold. Singular because research is, a priori, not the first goal in the training of future artists and designers. Perilous because numerous students chose the production of forms as a mode of expression as opposed to writing. Useful because writing a thesis allows them, amongst other things, to write a state of the art and to locate their personal practice, as Lysianne Léchot Hirt and Anthony Masure mentioned in the introductory talk to this case study. Bold, lastly, because a research thesis often expresses strong and ambitious critical stances, developing itself through off-piste methodologies and forms.

The editorial office of Issue made this selection of theses with the support of Issue’s editorial committee from proposals by the different Master’s orientations. While the quality of the theses presented here seem indisputable to us, the concern in selecting them was less to publish the school’s “best” theses than a general survey of the diversity of issues at stake, research practices and methodologies, as well as the forms of writing in which the students engaged.

The way in which a thesis fits into the pedagogy and curriculum differs greatly from one Master’s orientation to the next1. Some orientations make the thesis the completion of the two years of study while others consider it more as the starting point of a critical process within their students’ practise. In order to give an account of this heterogeneity and allow for critical thoughts to be displayed in other forms than that of the final text, we chose distinct modes of presentation: text in full, extract or a complete reformulation of some research hypothesis. We are preparing to publish an autonomous case study for the Cinema Master’s, which will specifically focus on the format of the scenario.

Each research work presented here comes with a preface, written either by the tutors or on the basis of an interview with the authors, highlighting the work’s intrinsic qualities and the way in which it falls within the student’s practice. Issue’s editorial office thanks the authors, tutors and orientation managers for contributing to this 2019-2020 Master thesis’ state of the art.

Cover image: Mikrogramme, Robert Walser (detail). Courtesy: Keystone / Robert Walser-Stiftung
All rights for the other pictures reserved


  1. The Master’s theses presented here come from the Master’s orientations in art (CCC, TRANS-, Work.Master) and design (Fashion and Accessory Design, Space and Communication, Media Design). The Interior Design Master’s having been created in 2019, its first Master’s theses will be available next year. A broader selection of Space and Communication Master’s theses is available on the orientation’s website:

Foreword – Pour mémoire

Introduction – Le mémoire, une formation intellectuelle et sensible


To Destroy a World

rano rano, naming, listening to, refusing the coloniality of the exhibitionary complex

Clara, Chuck et les autres

Love is what you want

N’importe quoi mais pas ça

Sustainability revisited

Earth( e)scape. The Raising of Chicago

Face à face

Shot on auto mode

Converser à l’ère de l’autocomplétion

Arabic letter-forms in motion