Shailoh Phillips
Critical Tools
Expanding repertoire of collective practices and material experiments for connecting theory and practice in art and design education. 

Shailoh Phillips considers both teaching and working with ‘theory’ to be a material and social practice. Especially now, as so much education is moving online, she is interested in developing ways of learning together at a distance, while grappling with toxic, complex and abstract dynamics that operate beyond the scope and scale of direct human perception. As a peripatetic, working between disciplines, Shailoh explores the critical affordances and genealogies embedded in the tools of art and design making. Together with workshop instructors and teachers from different departments, she is collecting an expanding repertoire of collective practices and material experiments suitable for hybrid learning environments. 

LINK TO SHARED NOTEPAD: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/connecting


“Theory does not only mean reading dense academic texts. Theory can be lived, held, shared.” - Lola Olufemi, Feminism Interrupted

LINK TO SHARED NOTEPAD: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/connecting


How can embodied collective learning situations, physical exercises and material experiments be integrated into the teaching of ‘theory’ with art and design students classes (online) in such a way that it enables students to grapple with complex and abstract dynamics that operate beyond the scope and scale of human perception?


·       How to integrate learning environments that offer real-world experience, bringing the educational context closer to the ‘outside’ world, i.e. making the world less abstract and theoretical, and more grounded in a certain place. 

·       How can the practice of critical making, which combines language-based theory and hands-on material making, morph into a practice-based teaching method?

·       What can we learn from the legacy of performance art and artistic research for the pedagogy of critical making, and how can it be integrated in the practice of teaching?

Shailoh Phillips
tutor, KABK MA Photography & Society and MA Industrial Design and member of Teaching Tools Research Group 2020.


Shailoh Phillips has a background in cultural anthropology, philosophy, cultural analysis, interaction design, and arts education. Besides teaching at the KABK, she also teaches Performative Action and Hacking at the Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam) and runs the Corpo-real Discourse Program in the MA of Interior Architecture. From 2017-2019 she worked as a researcher in the Critical Making Consortium exploring material notions of criticality. She is part of the international Tools for Action artist collective, working with inflatable sculptures in collaboration with protest movements. She also works with interactive installations, video, animation, photography and re-purposed machines. Her practice is based in Studio Babel in Amsterdam, where she runs a community-based library of books and materials on the top floor of the former squat and autonomous collective Kostgewonnen. Before going independent, she worked for over a decade in the cultural field in multiple roles — as a game designer, screenwriter for television (VPRO), as the Media Lab manager at the Rijksmuseum and in digital arts educational institutions.

Sabin Garea
Marion Tränkle