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Which clippings match 'Experimental Knowledge' keyword pg.1 of 2
30 OCTOBER 2013

Dark Places: arts research exploring UK techno-scientific and industrial / military infrastructure

"Dark Places is part of the Overt Research Project, run by Office of Experiments.

This work was first shown publicly at the exhibition 'Dark Places' curated by Office of Experiments with John Hansard Gallery, Arts Catalyst and SCAN [] in 2009–10. This site was publicly launched on 13th December 2010.

In developing the work for this exhibition, we imagined the construction of an alternative and experimental knowledge source that in turn maps all other sites of knowledge, as they exist in the UK Landscape. A 'Field Guide to Dark Places' is the first of these experimental resources, and aims to draw on and develop responses to the vast infrastructure of the techno–scientific and industrial / military complex, probing aesthetic, political and philosophical questions around spaces that are inaccessible or in some cases secret. (for reasons varying from simple understanding to physical and security issues – the performance as the writer Foucault would state of 'heterotopias').

Overall, the Overt Research Project is vast and so our aim was initially to start with an experience of physical sites within reach of John Hansard Gallery. Our research of these sites has led us to create experimental methods which in turn led to a number of installations, that can be seen by going to the John Hansard Gallery entry on this site (Southampton).

Whilst our own researchers, specifically Neal White and Steve Rowell, largely conducted research for the Dark Places Field Guide, our aim now is to extend the scale of this work by opening up this resource to enthusiasts, amateur scientists and urban explorers. If you would like to take part, we ask that you attend a physical event, as critical to our work is the link between the imaginary and the real – often confounded by pure virtual experience. We have run a number of events at which you can register to become an official Overt Researcher. These have most frequently included 'Critical Excursions'."

(Office of Experiments)



2009 • aesthetic questions • alternative knowledge • amateur science • art exhibitionart installationart work • critical excursions • dark places • Dark Places (exhibition) • dark tourism • digital artsenthusiastsexperience projectexperimental knowledge • experimental research methods • experimental resource • field guide • Field Guide to Dark Places (resource) • heterotopiahuman experienceimaginary spaces • inaccessible spaces • industrial archaeology • interdisciplinary arts • John Hansard Gallery • landscapemapsMichel Foucaultmilitary complexmilitary hardwaremilitary historymilitary-industrial complexnational securityNeal White • Office of Experiments • Overt Research Project (ORP) • philosophical questionsphysical event • physical site • political questions • SCAN (agency) • secret town • security issues • sites of knowledge • South of EnglandSouthampton • Steve Rowell • techno-scientific • technoscience • The Arts Catalyst • UKurban explorerurban geographyvirtual experience


Simon Perkins
18 AUGUST 2013

Thinking aloud: a method for systematically collecting and analysing data about the design process

"Suppose that you want to understand the design process of architects, the knowledge that they use, the cognitive actions that they take and the strategies they employ. How would you go about this? One obvious possibility is to ask some architects how they design a building. Interestingly enough, they will not find this an easy question to answer. They are used to do their job, not to explain it. If they do try to tell you how they go about their design work, it is quite possible that their account of it will be incomplete or even incorrect, because they construct this account from memory. They may be inclined to describe the design process neatly in terms of the formal design methods that they acquired during their professional training, whereas the real design process deviates from these methods. Psychologists have demonstrated that such accounts are not very reliable. Another possibility is to look at the architects' designs and at their intermediate sketches. However, now you are looking at the products of the thought processes of these architects, and not at the thought processes themselves. What is needed are more direct data on the ongoing thinking processes during working on a design. If you want to know how they arrive at their designs, what they think, what is difficult for them and what is easy, how they reconcile conflicting demands, a different research method is needed.

A good method in this situation is to ask architects to work on a design and to instruct them to think aloud. What they say is recorded and used as data for analysis of the design process. This is a very direct method to gain insight in the knowledge and methods of human problem–solving. The speech and writings are called spoken and written protocols. In this book we will describe a method for systematically collecting and analysing such think aloud protocols. This method can be used by psychologists and other social scientists who want to know more about cognitive processes. It is also an important method for knowledge engineers whose goal is to build a knowledgebased computer system on the basis of human expertise."

(Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard, et al., 1994, pp.1–2)

Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard and Jacobijn A.C. Sandberg. (1994). "The Think Aloud Method: A Practical Guide to Modelling Cognitive Processes".


academic researchanalysing dataarchitectural thoughtcognitive actionscognitive processescognitive psychologycognitive sciencecognitive theoriesconceptual modeldata collection and analysisdata collection techniquesdesign knowledgedesign process • design strategies • design workdirect observationexperimental knowledgeformal design methods • human expertise • knowledge engineer • knowledge-based systems • problem-solvingpsychological analysispsychological modelsresearch methodsketching ideas • social scientists • spoken protocols • task analysis • testing theories • theoretical model • think aloud (research method) • think aloud protocols • thinking processthought process • unreliable evidence • user testinguser-based evaluation • written protocols


Simon Perkins
25 JULY 2012


"dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic and non–logocentric vision that is skeptical of the persisting belief in economic growth. This vision is shared with, and recognizes, the shapes and practices of knowing of all the animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people. (C. Christov–Bakargiev)"




2012 • ancient knowledges • animate makers of the world • artistic fields • artistic practiceartistic researcharts festival • Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev • conjecturecontemporary artcontemporary art exhibitionscontemporary art symposia • contemporary knowledges • crisis of empiricismcritical theory • current artistic research • current scientific research • divergent conceptsdOCUMENTA (festival)economic growthenvisioningexperimental knowledgeGermanyholistic approach • holistic vision • inanimate makers of the world • Kassel • knowledges • lateral thinkinglogocentricmedia artmetaphorical representationmodern art • non-logocentric vision • not yet subordinated to theory • scientific and artistic fields • scientific field • shapes and practices • speculative designspeculative science


Simon Perkins
15 JUNE 2012

Why Design Education Must Change

"even were a design school to decide to teach more formal methods, we don't really have a curriculum that is appropriate for designers. Take my concern about the lack of experimental rigor. Suppose you were to agree with me – what courses would we teach? We don't really know. The experimental methods of the social and behavioral sciences are not well suited for the issues faced by designers.

Designers are practitioners, which means they are not trying to extend the knowledge base of science but instead, to apply the knowledge. The designer's goal is to have large, important impact. Scientists are interested in truth, often in the distinction between the predictions of two differing theories. The differences they look for are quite small: often statistically significant but in terms of applied impact, quite unimportant. Experiments that carefully control for numerous possible biases and that use large numbers of experimental observers are inappropriate for designers.

The designer needs results immediately, in hours or at possibly a few days. Quite often tests of 5 to 10 people are quite sufficient. Yes, attention must be paid to the possible biases (such as experimenter biases and the impact of order of presentation of tests), but if one is looking for large effect, it should be possible to do tests that are simpler and faster than are used by the scientific community will suffice. Designs don't have to be optimal or perfect: results that are not quite optimum or les than perfect are often completely satisfactory for everyday usage. No everyday product is perfect, nor need they be. We need experimental techniques that recognize these pragmatic, applied goals.

Design needs to develop its own experimental methods. They should be simple and quick, looking for large phenomena and conditions that are 'good enough.' But they must still be sensitive to statistical variability and experimental biases. These methods do not exist: we need some sympathetic statisticians to work with designers to develop these new, appropriate methods."

(Don Norman, 26 Nov 2010, Core77)



applied impact • applied knowledge • behavioral science • design curriculumdesign educationdesign education must changedesign methodsdesign practitionersdesign researcherdesign schooldesign thinkingdesignersDonald Norman • experimental biase • experimental knowledgeexperimental methods • experimental rigor • experimental techniques • experimenter biase • formal design methods • good enough • satisfactory results • scientific communityscientific knowledge • sensitive to statistical variability • social and behavioral sciences • social sciencestatistically representative samplestatistics


Simon Perkins
31 JANUARY 2012

Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland

"Since 1987 IRC researchers and students have been exploring the rapidly developing landscape of visual technology. Initial research involved high–end 3D computer animation to create rich worlds and characters. Visualizations of the otherwise invisible, ranging from biology to long–gone or unrealized architecture continue to be created at the IRC for national broadcast and current feature films.

As digital media tools became more powerful, the IRC began developing interactive, real–time virtual worlds that could respond to the decisions of an involved viewer. Researching and utilizing current game–art technologies, the IRC has created internationally recognized interactive visualizations for museums and other institutions. Additionally, pure research in real–time visualization has involved UMBC students in immersive projects that have attracted national attention.

Today, visualization capabilities have become all but limitless. At the same time, the role imagery plays in contemporary culture is of rising importance. Research at the IRC has expanded to include multidisciplinary research projects to better understand and realize an effective use of imagery to help culture process its most profound ideas. Understanding social media, online communities, and interactive collaborative virtual spaces are basic aspects of this research."

(Imaging Research Center, University of Maryland Baltimore County)


19873D • 3D computer animation • animationapplied researchBaltimore Maryland • biology visualisation • character designcontemporary culturedesign researchdesign researcherdigital mediaexperimental knowledge • game art • game art technologies • gamesimagery • Imaging Research Center • immersion • interactive collaborative virtual spaces • interactive virtual worlds • interactive visualisations • IRCmuseumreal-time • real-time virtual worlds • real-time visualisationresearchresearch centreresearch projectresearchers • rich worlds • science visualisation • social media research • UMBC • undergraduate researchUniversity of Maryland • University of Maryland Baltimore County • virtual spacesvirtual worlds • visual technology • visualisation • visualisation capabilities • visualisations


Simon Perkins

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