University of Hertfordshire

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Description

Year 1 of the project was an ontology-building phase. The findings from this phase extended our understanding of the central role of “experience” in the creative arts, which is quite distinct from its role in the natural or social sciences. We characterised this as the centrality of “the direct encounter with the artefact”. We already knew that artists claim a need for the presence of the artwork in research, but with these findings we were able to provide academic arguments for why this presence is needed. There were two further findings from this phase: (1) that the mere presence of practice was not necessarily an indicator of so-called practice-based research, and (2) that cases of practice-based research that could be regarded as a new paradigm – as opposed to a variant of existing paradigms – are less common than is claimed by the researchers themselves.

Year 2 of the project focussed on the role that research paradigms, and models of knowledge in general, play in giving meaning to terms such as “criteria”. We found that there were three different knowledge models in use in contemporary academia, i.e. natural and technological, human and humanities, and applied and social. Within each of these models, the role of common terms such as “evidence” is quite different, and as a result we concluded that transdisciplinarity subjects such as the creative arts run the risk of being misunderstood owing to different cross-model understandings. This led us to conclude that transdisciplinary understanding would be facilitated not by a mere “translation” of the meaning of terminology, because the underlying significance of the terms is model-specific, but instead by an analysis of the network of concepts that constitutes each model. Such an analysis would reveal why certain actions are significant towards research in one model, whereas in another model these actions are irrelevant. The outcomes of this phase fed the Research Training Course that we gave to staff and students at our University, and which we also delivered at Royal College of Art, Chelsea, and TU Delft. Subsequently, Biggs and Büchler were invited as consultants on a series of projects on practice-based research in architecture at Mackenzie University in São Paulo (2010 to present).

Year 3 of the project adopted a sociological perspective on what we had previously assumed to be epistemological arguments. We realised that the detailed academic disagreements about how research should be undertaken formed a subset of a wider social context in which groups differentiate themselves according to certain social practices that they share. For example, being an architect is as much about adopting certain attitudes as it is about acquiring certain competences. Thus we concluded that academic research is as much a culture-specific activity as it is an objective, culturally independent one. Our findings will benefit knowledge production in areas that fall between traditional knowledge models or that are transdisciplinarity, owing to greater clarity about what is inherent in a discipline and what are merely habitual practices, thereby liberating the changes that can lead to innovation.

Layman's description

Investigating non-traditional forms of knowledge and knowledge communicatin in art and design research

Key findings

Year 1 of the project was an ontology-building phase. The findings from this phase extended our understanding of the central role of “experience” in the creative arts, which is quite distinct from its role in the natural or social sciences. We characterised this as the centrality of “the direct encounter with the artefact”. We already knew that artists claim a need for the presence of the artwork in research, but with these findings we were able to provide academic arguments for why this presence is needed. There were two further findings from this phase: (1) that the mere presence of practice was not necessarily an indicator of so-called practice-based research, and (2) that cases of practice-based research that could be regarded as a new paradigm – as opposed to a variant of existing paradigms – are less common than is claimed by the researchers themselves.



Year 2 of the project focussed on the role that research paradigms, and models of knowledge in general, play in giving meaning to terms such as “criteria”. We found that there were three different knowledge models in use in contemporary academia, i.e. natural and technological, human and humanities, and applied and social. Within each of these models, the role of common terms such as “evidence” is quite different, and as a result we concluded that transdisciplinarity subjects such as the creative arts run the risk of being misunderstood owing to different cross-model understandings. This led us to conclude that transdisciplinary understanding would be facilitated not by a mere “translation” of the meaning of terminology, because the underlying significance of the terms is model-specific, but instead by an analysis of the network of concepts that constitutes each model. Such an analysis would reveal why certain actions are significant towards research in one model, whereas in another model these actions are irrelevant. The outcomes of this phase fed the Research Training Course that we gave to staff and students at our University, and which we also delivered at Royal College of Art, Chelsea, and TU Delft. Subsequently, Biggs and Büchler were invited as consultants on a series of projects on practice-based research in architecture at Mackenzie University in São Paulo (2010 to present).



Year 3 of the project adopted a sociological perspective on what we had previously assumed to be epistemological arguments. We realised that the detailed academic disagreements about how research should be undertaken formed a subset of a wider social context in which groups differentiate themselves according to certain social practices that they share. For example, being an architect is as much about adopting certain attitudes as it is about acquiring certain competences. Thus we concluded that academic research is as much a culture-specific activity as it is an objective, culturally independent one. Our findings will benefit knowledge production in areas that fall between traditional knowledge models or that are transdisciplinarity, owing to greater clarity about what is inherent in a discipline and what are merely habitual practices, thereby liberating the changes that can lead to innovation.
AcronymNtKC
StatusFinished
Period1/01/0831/08/11

Impacts

  • Understanding Creative Excellence: a case study in poetry

    Impact: Cultural Impacts, Economic Impacts

Activities

Research outputs

ID: 8960239