RCA, London – The Edge of Our Thinking conference


RCA - Edge of Our Thinking, student-led research conference
Florian Schmidt - publication editor



The Edge of Our Thinking was a student-led conference for PhD candidates developing practice-based research in the fields of art and design. The aim of the conference was to present work on themes that touch on the more intangible movements in society. This aim was reflected through the choice of speakers, with topics that varied from art film, city planning, ceramics, art writing and three dimensional design; my contribution, Art per Os: a place for taste in art, was placed into the conference category of “Grasping the Intangible” – a telling frame to illustrate the ground that I had to cover over the course of my PhD research.


Paper Abstract

Can art be tasted? While this question has been discussed occasionally throughout the history of aesthetic thought there have been very few actual examples of tasted art work.  This research explores the obstacles that have impeded the sense of taste as a medium for art and contends that, as the sciences of flavour, taste and food are in a time of renaissance we now have suitable tools and an artistic culture conducive to the creation of tasted art. 



This conference was my first public presentation of a research paper. Perhaps the most important lesson that I learned during this conference was to provide visual aids for the audience. I spoke without the support of visuals and learned very quickly that we live in a time when we are dependent upon visual stimulation in order to insure the attention of an audience. All presentations after this lecture were built around visual materials - a painful but important lesson. 

Secondly, I am now able to see that the phrasing and framing within the research paper, as well as its impassioned tone, were all in need of refinement. The framing and language of the research question had only just begun to transform from a lay perspective to a more informed one; as the research developed, this framing would change significantly, resulting in the enriching affect of illuminating critical flaws in the classical arguments and pointing a way forward for contemporary theory.  



Bromley, R F (2012), Art per Os: a place for taste in art. In F. Schmidt & N Hoogslag (Eds.), the Edge of Our Thinking (100-105). London, England: Royal College of Art.


Edge of Our Thinking Conference - schedule of speakers and bio notes