Review of practice-led research in art, design & architecture

RUST, Chris, MOTTRAM, Judith and TILL, Jeremy (2007). Review of practice-led research in art, design & architecture. UK, Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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This review report sets out the outcomes of a 10 month investigation to describe the landscape of practice-led research in Art, Design and Architecture (ADA) in the UK and beyond. We were asked for a qualitative review but of course it has been important to gather some numbers to check and illustrate our observations. We have consulted widely, both face to face and in the virtual world, with experts and novices in the UK and around the world. We have tried to strike a balance between the natural desire of our colleagues to debate the more contentious aspects of this territory (they were never going to forgo that opportunity) and the equally strong wish of the AHRC that we should provide a clear description of what is happening. We have collected some diverse examples of research and subjected them to various examinations. We have also examined a selection of research projects funded by AHRC and other projects by creative practitioners, funded by a non-research organisation. From all this we have been able to describe the landscape in a straightforward sense: We have measures of the proportions of ADA academics involved in practice-led research. We have clarified differences in the ways that the different ADA disciplines engage with practice-led research and identified some problems that indicate possible future support strategies. We have discussed some problems with general definitions of research and identified issues that should be addressed to ensure that the AHRC definition can be applied to the full range of practice-led research. We have picked out some specific case examples that illustrate the range of contexts, methods and contributions made by practice-led researchers, and more are described in detail in Appendix F. We have also sought to assess how this research relates to the wider international picture in which the UK appears to have a strong position in both volume and development of research. We have also set out some issues that affect this community of researchers: What strengths and weaknesses have we observed and where is there a need to support development? Do the AHRC definition of research and guidance on practice-led research provide an effective framework? We have illustrated the state of development of research in ADA, and some reasons why it is less robust than might be expected from such long established disciplines. We recommend that the career path of researchers in ADA needs some attention and make some suggestions about how that could be achieved. We have also indicated some areas of inquiry that might be supported to advance the theory and methods of practice-led research. In particular we have come to the conclusion that conventional ideas of contribution to knowledge or understanding may not be serving us well. This is significant to fine artists but we believe that it relevant across ADA and a shared effort to develop appropriate new models would be a constructive development. The full set of recommendations can be found in chapter 5.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research Review Art Design Architecture Practice-Led AHRC "Arts and Humanities Research Council"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Chris Rust
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 15:41
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 11:19

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