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13 SEPTEMBER 2011

Art & Research: an e-journal of artistic research and practice

"Art & Research is an artist–led, internationally peer–assessed open access e–journal of Research in Fine Art Practice, focused upon questions, contexts and methodologies of artistic research and practice. Art & Research aims to serve professional artists and academics, curators and critics, artistic researchers, postgraduate and doctoral research students and undergraduates, and to inform current pedagogical thought in a global context."

(Ross Birrell)

Fig.1. Dutton + Swindells, Studio Production, Ssamzie Art Space Studios, Seoul, February 2008. Courtesy of the artists.

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TAGS

academic journalacademicsapplied researchartArt and Research (journal) • artist-led • artistic practiceartistic research • artistic research and practice • artistic researchers • arts pedagogy • arts researcharts researchercreative practicecritical theorycuratordesign research • doctoral research students • e-journalfine art practicejournalmethodological contextmethodologiespedagogical thoughtpeer-reviewedPhD • postgraduate research students • practice-basedpractice-based researchpractice-ledprofessional artistsresearch • research in fine art practice • researcherundergraduate researchvisual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 MAY 2011

Majority of contemporary practice-based design PhDs use methodological bricolage

"A recent analysis of doctorates in design has identified four common characteristics of research approaches found in the exploration of practice–based design research questions [1]. They are: 1) a 'bricolage' approach to research design, 2) reflective practices, 3) the use of visual approaches and 4) thesis–structural innovation. These characteristics have been derived from an examination of a range of design theses and using a number of design research frameworks [2–4] to identify the epistemological and methodological models applied. This paper has chosen to focus on one of the four characteristics, the bricolage approach to method construction, as it is seen to be a common feature evident in all six studies. The bricolage method consists of combining methods from the social sciences, humanities, and hard sciences to derive a suitable model of inquiry.

While we acknowledge that design research investigates different issues that require studies into a range of subject areas such as the material, historical, scientific, social and psychological, the focus of this paper is the exploration of research questions derived from practice–based questions. In other words, it focuses on design activities that are used to generate new knowledge and understanding in and of itself.

We posit that the adoption of methodological bricolage is a necessity in design research due to the indeterminate nature of design. ...

Although Levi–Strauss introduced the concept of bricolage as a mode of acquiring knowledge, it was Denzin and Lincoln's [23] articulation of it within a methodological context that offered insight into new forms of rigour and complexity in social research. Nelson, Treichler and Grossberg describe bricolage (in the context of cultural studies methodology) as reflecting a choice of practice that is pragmatic, strategic and self–reflexive [24]. While Kincheloe [25] uses the term to describe multi–perspectival research methods, not just as the usage of mixed methods but to acknowledge that using methods from different disciplines enables the researcher to compare and contrast multiple points of view. Just as designed objects have prescribed affordances, methods automatically imply ontological and epistemological affordances. This relationship between inquiry and method affords design a useful indeterminacy, where not–knowing becomes a constructive loop that the bricoleur appears to be exploiting. As questions arise so methods to answer them are sought, abstracting platforms for design knowledge rather than concrete answers. Bricolage is a useful and necessary concept for design researchers as it allows them to deploy available and established strategies and methods, but also grants them the license to create new tools and techniques in order to address questions that are beyond the realm of the established discipline. Methodological bricolage permits the researcher to look at the problem we have with problems, as well as their solution. The bricoleur views research methods actively, rather than passively, meaning that the researcher actively constructs methods with tools at hand rather than accepting and using pre–existing methodologies [26]."

(Joyce S R Yee and Craig Bremner, 2011)

Fig.1 Danae Colomer, Gazpacho video portion of Food as Opera project.

2). Yee, J. S. R. and C. Bremner (2011). Methodological Bricolage – What does it tell us about Design? Doctoral Education in Design Conference. Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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TAGS

abstract knowledge • abstracting platforms for design knowledge • academic norm • academic studies • anthropological sense • bricolage • bricolage approach • bricolage method • bricoleur • Cary Nelson • case studiesClaude Levi-Strauss • complexity in social research • concrete answers • concrete knowledge • constructive loop • creative fiddler • creative tinkerer • cultural studies methodologydesign discipline • design PhDs • design researchdesign research approachesdesign researcherdesignerdisciplinary knowledge • doctoral studies • engineer • epistemological affordances • established research methodologies • established research methodsestablished research strategies • Joe Kincheloe • Lawrence Grossberg • making-do • methodological bricolage • methodological contextmethodologiesmixed methodsmodel of enquiry • modes of acquiring knowledge • multi-perspectival research methods • multiperspectival • multiple points of view • new forms of rigour • new objects • new tools and techniques • Norman Denzin • not-knowing • ontological affordances • Paula Treichler • PhDPhD supervision • pick and mix • practice-based • practice-based design PhDs • practice-based researchresearch designresearch methodsresearch modelresearcher • Savage Mind • select and apply • social research • spontaneous creative act • the scientific mind • tools at hand • useful indeterminacy • whatever is available • Yvonna Lincoln

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'

"In his concept of 'disciplinary boundary–work,' sociologist Thomas Gieryn offers a useful lens through which to examine the controversies that arose within our department (see also David Russell's discussion of boundary work in the composition/literature split). According to Gieryn, a discipline's representatives strategically shape its boundaries by means of discourse: they articulate the discipline's mission in a certain way, they define a set of characteristic problems to coincide with the discipline's methodologies, they articulate collective values, and they engage in other practices to widen the discipline's scope and strengthen its resources. In Gieryn's approach, the epistemological, ontological, and practical relationship between a discipline and the surrounding culture is interpreted according to a cartographic metaphor. Gieryn employs this familiar metaphor to explain that a discipline relates to other disciplines, and to larger systems of knowledge and activity, in the same manner as a geographic territory relates to neighboring territories and to the larger land mass that encloses it. Furthermore, the relationships between neighboring territories strongly influence the overall health, power, and legitimacy of the involved territories. As such, it is helpful to know how the boundaries between territories are formulated and how they share resources.

What's up for grabs in boundary conflicts is not just traditional 'resources' (such as faculty lines, research funds, courses, and students), but also control over representations of the discipline's central problems, concepts, and methods – that is, the 'rhetorical resources' that disciplines create and maintain in order to solidify their boundaries. Contests over the department's undergraduate curriculum have the potential to shape not only very practical matters like hiring priorities and new course creation, but also the distribution of rhetorical resources – namely, formulations of 'English' as a discipline. One of the primary rhetorical resources in this case is control over the names assigned to different programmatic elements – concentrations, degrees, and so on – of the department."

(Brent Henze, Wendy Sharer and Janice Tovey, 2010, p.70)

Russell, David R. 'Institutionalizing English: Rhetoric on the Boundaries.' Disciplining English: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives. Ed. David R. Shumway and Craig Dionne. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 2002. 39–58.

1). Henze, B., W. Sharer, et al. (2010). Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'. Design Discourse Composing and Revising Programs in Professional and Technical Writing. D. Franke, A. Reid and A. DiRenzo. Fort Collins, Colorado, The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, LLC. 32.

TAGS

academic disciplinesboundaries • boundaries between territories • boundary conflicts • boundary work • cartographic metaphor • characteristic problems • classification and framingcollective valuescontextually specific practices • contextually specific texts • control over representations • David Russell • disciplinary boundariesdisciplinary classification • disciplinary discourse • disciplinary identities • disciplinary protectionism • disciplinary resources • disciplinary structures • distributing principles • distribution of rhetorical resources • epistemology • geographic territory • hiring priorities • knowledge territorialisationlegitimate scholarly practicesmethodologiesontology • pedagogic codes • pedagogic recontextualising field • professional writing • research funds • rhetorical resources • rhetorical studies • Thomas Gieryn • undergraduate curriculum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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