Vol. 11 No. 3 (2015)
Authors: Stuart MacDonald OBE and Julian Malins
Bringing practice closer to research – seeking integrity, sincerity and authenticity
Authors: Franziska Schroeder
This article tackles the abundance of inconsistent terminologies that surround the discourse on practice and research. The text builds on recent debates on creative practice and education, sparked through the EU-funded project SHARE. I argue that a shift in contemporary continental philosophy in the 1970s, which nudged the body into a more central position, allowed for creative practice and with it ‘embodied knowing’ to slowly push open the doors of the academies. I will show that practice today is already well embedded in some UK institutions, and I put forward that rather than thinking of an apologetic Practice as …, Performance as …, we should refer more resolutely to what I here term ‘Practice Research’. I demystify notions of validation of creative practice by re-emphasizing the artistic qualities of ‘integrity, sincerity and authenticity’, borrowed from the 2013 BBC Reith lecturer and artist/potter Grayson Perry.
Becoming through a/r/tography, autobiography and stories in motion
Authors: Natalie LeBlanc, Sara Florence Davidson, Jee Yeon Ryu and Rita L. Irwin
The authors present stories in motion, reminding all those interested in practicebased research of the importance of a/r/tography as becoming-intensity, becoming-event and becoming-movement. Embracing a métissage approach, this article provides an example of art educators co-labouring in order to understand their need for materializing, theorizing and practising their ideas, and, in doing so, realize that being committed to emergence offers ways for becoming artist, researcher and teacher as ways of living one’s art practice as research.
The politics and the poetics of knowledge in higher arts education
Authors: Helena Cabeleira
This article aims to contribute to the analysis and problematization of a discourse that took shape in international universities (over the last two decades) around terminologies, methodologies and conceptions of academic research and writing in the creative fields of art and design. This discourse has been particularly visible in the past decade, in consequence of the Bologna Process and the formation of a European Higher Arts Education Area. Framed by this discourse emerged the figure of the artist-researcher as writer conducing his or her doctoral studies, and inventing theoretical and empirical strategies through which art and design practices articulate with research-writing practices, and the conditions under which these practices are communicated and disseminated in the public sphere as knowledge (texts and images). A literature review and a European overview on how articulations between text-making and art-making are being theorized and materialized in publications, conferences and curricular programmes will be provided.
Teaching and learning for sustainability: An Icelandic practice-based research
Authors: Ásthildur Jónsdóttir
We live in critical times, where moving towards the goal of sustainability requires fundamental changes in human attitudes and activity. These challenges call for all of us to rethink our value framework and incorporate new approaches to what we consider a good life. Educators need to strive to create change and work towards a sustainable future through education for sustainability (EFS). This article reports on a project in which the author worked with a group of pre-service art teachers in the Iceland Academy of the arts (IAA) to explore how they can use an artistic approach to learn about EFS, identifying and discovering ethical challenges in contemporary life. This is part of a larger study, which looks at the potential of art in EFS. Using a participatory research method these students analysed which concept they wanted to focus on once they became practising art teachers. The findings indicate connections between action and reflection through an artistic approach.
Fostering design collaboration: Novel ICT tools to support contemporary design pedagogy
Authors: Fiona Maciver and Julian Malins
Professional design practice is in a period of flux and transformation. Technology is rendering the design process increasingly collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural, and design studios are increasingly dependant on information and communication technology (ICT). There is a need to reflect these changes in design education, and to train students in the new skills required for industry. This article examines how ICT may be incorporated into design education to enable more collaborative, modern and interactive learning processes to be introduced to better prepare students for professional careers. In addressing this topic, the article examines emerging research that seeks to integrate developments in ICT systems into the higher education design curriculum. The article suggests how such platforms can be adapted to meet the needs of students and tutors, whilst meeting the contemporary requirements of the creative industries. The authors conclude that ICT offers a means of enhancing and complementing existing modes of design pedagogy.
Design students foreseeing the unforeseeable: Practice-based empathic research methods
Authors: Deana McDonagh
Designing for the future needs of people requires designers to develop an extensive research skill set and user-centred mindset. As our global community faces the unprecedented ageing tsunami, designers of tomorrow need to be prepared as effective design(er) researchers. Designers cannot rely upon a lengthy history of research methods to help shape our curricula, such as other more established disciplines, and this is both a challenge and an opportunity. As we prepare our students for positions and jobs that may not yet exist, we also have to prepare them for professional expectations that are still emerging. This article discusses a number of practice-based research methods and tools that are helping to contribute to the design student’s skill set whilst also shaping their mindset in terms of ageing, disability and emotional needs of users. In addition, practice-based research is shaping the way we teach, learn and connect with others beyond the classroom.
Art-based action research - participatory art for the north
Authors: Timo Jokela, Mirja Hiltunen and Elina Härkönen
The article will introduce the art-based action research method and the practices and knowledge gained in the fields of art and design education, taking into account contemporary art’s situational, contextual and communal nature. The method is collaboratively created and developed by a small group of artists, educators and researchers with the participation of the students in the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland to guide the next generation of art and design education scholars. The method, as part of art education and applied visual arts Master’s and Doctoral theses, takes into account the university’s northern circumstances and special features. The article discusses the relevance of the engaging participatory art parallel to developing the art-based research method in visual art education. The article also seeks to introduce a new perspective to the discussion about research in art universities.
Findings, windings and entwinings: Cartographies of collaborative walking and encounter
Authors: Alexandra Cutcher, David Rousell and Amy Cutter-Mackenzie
In the continuing ‘Not Ourselves’ practice-based project, we are attempting to unravel the harmonics of the collaborative voice in educational research, in which the singular voice of the ‘author’ also gives voice to multiple others. We approached this project as an enquiry into the process of ‘collaboration in the making’ and as an emergent practice. Each of the authors of the article has a different professional background: one an environmental educator; another an arts educator; and the third a contemporary artist. We explored walking together|apart to yield outcomes that were not tied to traditional notions of collaboration. The maps we created as we walked speak to collaborations that are rutted, insecure and ambiguous through irregular cooperations. This visual essay is structured into three sections where we collectively and individually explore concepts we refer to as ‘findings, windings and entwinings’.
cathARTic: A journey into arts-based educational research
Authors: Elizabeth Ashworth
During my graduate studies, I was encouraged by professors to do traditional forms of enquiry instead of exploring Arts-based Educational Research (ABER). As well, I found most people outside academia had heard the term ‘doctorate’ but few understood it. After completing my doctoral studies at the University of Glasgow, I created cathARTic (2012) as a way to explore ABER and share the personal and professional layers of that academic journey. It is a mixed-media work consisting of 216 scrapbook pages that may be displayed as a tapestry or in a series of binders. It is organized chronologically and built from my printed dissertation, research notes, journal entries, photographs and ephemera collected during my doctoral studies. This visual essay includes images of the work’s creation and related text, in an effort to show how I used Barone and Eisner’s seven features of ABER as a conceptual and logistical framework.
Art as Research: Opportunities and Challenges, Shaun McNiff (ed) (2013)
Author: Barbara Bolt
Arts-based Research: A Critique and a Proposal, jan jagodzinski and Jason Wallin (2013)
Authors: Fakhriya Al-Yahiayi