"Much current scholarship in the field of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, including my own, focuses on the actual performance of plays in their own or later periods, regarding the texts that survive as, in different ways, blueprints for performance, and exploring them in the context of their performance spaces, actors and theatre-practice and of other agencies such as audiences that impact upon those texts in performance. My own research in these areas is largely conducted through practice.
But let me just sketch a brief background. In 1998, a sea-change occurred in the lives of arts (as opposed to humanities) researchers in the UK, with the creation of the Arts & Humanities Research Board (now Council) which, for the first time, funded practice-led research in the creative arts. I cannot stress too heavily the impact this had on the landscape of research in the performing arts.
That's not to say, of course, that research through practice had not been conducted before then. If I take my own department at Bristol as an example, scholars such as Glynne Wickham, Richard Southern and Neville Denny were experimenting from the early 1950s by staging medieval and early modern plays, and using their findings in their published work.
But the arrival of the AHRB not only provided funding for practice-led research in the academy, but in so doing, confirmed it as being as valid and - not to be underestimated - as respectable as research conducted through more traditional or conventional means. And - a point to which I shall return - it opened up debates not only on how such research might most profitably be conducted, but how it might be disseminated in forms other than the books or journal articles that had predominated - and be disseminated, in fact, through the practice/performance itself."
"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 . 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  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 . While Kincheloe  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 ."
(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.
"Conventional research is couched in scientific inquiry, and as such is poorly placed to deal with the kinds of problems of relevance to design in a way that is meaningful to design. Broadening the scope of academic research around the notion of scholarship admits design inquiry as an alternative, valid form of research within itself. Scholarship does not denude research of method, evaluation, dissemination, etc., but rather expands the scope and form of valid research activity. It is now critical that effective procedures and protocols be instituted to avoid accusations that the new and emerging forms of scholarship are simply practice in some other guise. At the same time, design inquiry must not simply represent an inferior form of conventional research (where conventional research is measured primarily in terms of scientific inquiry). The question is then how scholarly design inquiry might provide the paradigm for such an alternative form of research: an alternative form of research grounded in practice. ...Design is presented here as a form of engagement with possibility: it is categorically not engaged in the discovery of underlying laws. More subtly perhaps, design is also not about limitless possibilities: it both proposes and configures."
(Tim Marshall & Sid Newton, University of Western Sydney, Australia)