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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-109
JournalDesign Issues
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2017


Arguably, all creative practitioners are researchers of one kind or another, whether it be through materials, aesthetics, technologies, ethnographies or cultural theory. Indeed, practice-based researchers in the visual arts and design are gaining widening recognition in academia as our means of uncovering knowledge becomes clearer. However, by comparison to research methods in the sciences, the epistemologies that frame our research methods in art and design are still relatively new (Gray & Malins, 2007, p.18). Practice led PhDs in Art & Design have only existed for 30 years (Ravelli et al, 2013, p396), and the centres have worked hard to push against the reductive and positivist approaches that prevail in. In some cases attributes and terms of research have been borrowed or adapted from other disciplines, particularly social science. In creative exploration, ideas tend to emerge and develop on the move - sometimes impulsively, sometimes reflectively - rather than arising from the investigation of a hypothesis in controlled conditions. It can also be argued that research methods have not so much been invented or applied to validate academic integrity, but instead they have unfolded and emerged as enquiry has deepened. In this way, the design researcher has the means to reposition their projects to frame premeditated research questions and objectives within their work, and in some cases apply research questions after practice has taken place (Lambert, 2015).

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