"We differentiate research artifacts from design practice artifacts in two important ways. First, the intent going into the research is to produce knowledge for the research and practice communities, not to make a commercially viable product. To this end, we expect research projects that take this research through design approach will ignore or deemphasize perspectives in framing the problem, such as the detailed economics associated with manufacturability and distribution, the integration of the product into a product line, the effect of the product on a company’s identity, etc. In this way design researchers focus on making the right things, while design practitioners focus on making commercially successful things.
Second, research contributions should be artifacts that demonstrate significant invention. The contributions should be novel integrations of theory, technology, user need, and context; not just refinements of products that already exist in the research literature or commercial markets. The contribution must demonstrate a significant advance through the integration. This aspect of a design research contribution makes particular sense in the interaction design space of HCI. Meteoric technological advances in hardware and software drive an aggressive invention of novel products in HCI and interaction design domains that are not as aggressively experienced by other design domains. While product designers might find themselves redesigning office furniture to meet the changing needs of work, interaction designers more often find themselves tasked with inventing whole new product categories.
Our model of design research allows interaction design researchers to do what designers do best: to study the world and then to make things intended to affect change. Our model provides a new channel for the power of design thinking, desired by many disciplines, to be unleashed as in a research context. Design researchers can contribute from a position of strength, instead of aping the methods of other disciplines as a means of justifying their research contribution."
(John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelley Evenson, p.500, 2007)
John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, and Shelley Evenson (2007). "Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI". In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '07). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 493-502. DOI=10.1145/1240624.1240704 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1240624.1240704
"This is sometimes another stumbling block, particularly to the Romantic notion of the practitioner whose aim is the expression of the self. We need to differentiate between activities that are to do with the personal development of the practitioner and his or her creativity, and activities that are significant for others in the field. It is only an activity that is significant for others that can be regarded as research. Personal development does not make a contribution to the 'advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight', except in the most parochial sense, i.e. my advancement. To illustrate this let us consider the discipline of arts therapies. It is the purpose of arts therapies to improve the well-being of the client through an intervention involving the client doing some kind of arts activity such as painting, music or drama, etc. Whether the client produces art, in the sense of 'a work of art' mentioned above, is irrelevant to the process. The activity is aimed at the personal development and self knowledge of the individual and not at the advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight into some issue shared by others. Of course, the client's case may contribute to the advancement of knowledge in arts therapies, but this would be an outcome for the therapist and not for the client. In addition, the client's productions may subsequently achieve the status of 'works' but this would be incidental to their original function in connection with improved well-being. Thus I would distinguish between (1) art as therapy (for the individual), (2) art as cultural practice (the production of works of art), and (3) art as research (meeting certain criteria under discussion). It is my claim that (1) and (3), that is, art as therapy and art as research, are mutually exclusive. I should emphasise that this does not mean that I deny that there is such a discipline as arts therapies research!"
(Michael A. R. Biggs, 2003, Practice as Research in Performance)
"What characterises creative arts research practice in universities that offer doctoral degrees is the requirement not only to undertake a substantial practical project, but also a reflective exegesis that contextualises the methodologies and significant contributions of the research. The specific components of the exegesis are defined by each institution and re-negotiated by each candidate according to differing emphases. Fortunately, and by design, the function of each candidate’s exegesis can be redefined in relation to the practice it seeks to elucidate. And whilst the requirement to also present a substantial written component can initially appear as a burdensome or daunting prospect for those unfamiliar with the processes of critical reflection - to those who recognise its reflexive possibilities - the exegesis in parallel with the creative work of the project can provide another arena of creative practice. In this respect, the outcomes of both a creative arts-based project and its exegesis can be presented as significant contributions to knowledge in the field. Moreover, a third creative space opens. By interchanging and integrating the practice with the exegesis, it may be possible to generate a combined and reflexive research praxis. This chapter examines aspects of the practice-exegesis relationship with reference to my experience of undertaking and completing my doctoral research at Deakin University. I am, therefore, speaking from a position of having confronted and struggled with the practice-exegesis relationship from inside the playing field."
(Stephen Goddard, 2007)
Goddard, S. (2007). Correspondence Between Practices. "Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry". E. Barrett and B. Bolt, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
"research activities should primarily be concerned with research processes, rather than outputs. This definition is built around three key features and your proposal must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:
It must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed
It must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area
It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems.
Our primary concern is to ensure that the research we fund addresses clearly-articulated research questions, issues or problems, set in a clear context of other research in that area, and using appropriate research methods and/or approaches.
The precise nature of the research questions, issues or problems, approaches to the research and outputs of the work may vary considerably, embracing basic, strategic and applied research. The research questions, issues, problems, methods and/or approaches may range from intellectual questions that require critical, historical or theoretical investigation, to practical issues or problems that require other approaches such as testing, prototyping, experimental development and evaluation. The outputs of the research may include, for example, monographs, editions or articles; electronic data, including sound or images; performances, films or broadcasts; or exhibitions. Teaching materials may also be an appropriate outcome from a research project provided that it fulfils the definition above.
The research should be conceived as broadly as possible and so consideration should also be given to the outcomes of, and audiences for, the research. The outcomes of the research may only benefit other researchers and influence future research, but consideration must be given to potential opportunities for the transfer of knowledge into new contexts where the research could have an impact.
Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above. The Council would expect, however, this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and as a record of your critical reflection. Equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case it would be ineligible for funding from the Council."
(Arts and Humanities Research Council)
"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."