Developing a research procedures programme for artists & designers.
Malins, Julian Paul
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This paper builds on our earlier research concerned with describing a contextual framework for the development of ‘artistic research procedures’1, 2, and attempts to move forward from this somewhat philosophical stage into more practical territory. Over the last year research personnel at the Centre for Research in Art & Design (CRiAD) at Gray’s School of Art have been involved in developing a ‘Research Procedures Programme’ for Artists & Designers. Parts of this programme have already been piloted and evaluated as part of the Robert GordonUniversity’s ‘Research Methods Course’ for doctoral students from all disciplines within the institution. There has been a good response from these research students, who are beginning to recognise the contribution to research methodologies that the visual arts can make. A draft programme (currently under development) at CRiAD contains six phases, travelling from the general to the particular, from beginning research to achieving a higher degree. The programme contains seventeen sessions (or modules) and is a mixture of lectures, seminars, and participatory workshops, using video as a documentation and reinforcement learning tool, as well as various group learning techniques. The programme combines ‘nitty gritty’ common sense advice (pertinent to all research paradigms) as well as particular and distinctive techniques for Fine Artists and Designers operating in a postmodern context. A set of key references and a glossary of research terms (including visual exemplars) are also being developed as part of this programme. Therefore, this paper, after a resumé of our earlier work, and some brief examples of methodologies and methods used in completed and ongoing research, sets out a suggested ‘Research Procedures Programme’ for Artists & Designers, which we intend to develop in a variety of formats.