"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 candidateís 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)
"Think of Tumblr as micro-blogging on steroids (technically, it's called 'tumblelogging'). Whereas Twitter and similar services limit posts to 140 characters or less, Tumblr lets you post updates of any length, although itís best suited to short-format posts. Tumblr bridges the gap between full-blown blog and micro-blog.
Tumblr is also an option for designers and creative people, because it gives you complete control over the look of your tumblelog. It also offers great opportunities for theme designers..."
(Cameron Chapman, 22 July 2010, Smashing Magazine)
Fig. Jenna Anne "What you need to know about Tumblr" Uploaded by JustKidding1026 on 12 Dec 2010.
A reflective journal is both a communication tool and a design method for developing professional practice. Such journals allow designers to publish their projects as they progress and provide a platform for critically reflecting on creative works and the design process.
Reflective journals can be used to discover insight about how designers approach their creative problem-solving. This is commonly understood as a central requirement for designers to develop their professionalism and to become experts in the field. They do so through reflecting on their work - characterising common features and critically analysing successes and failures.
Reflective journals also help designers situate their work within the broader creative industries and contemporary visual culture context. Designers might use their journal to document developing trends and to collect examples of inspirational works. These collections might be made as part of the research phase of a given project or contribute to a more general understanding of a design field.
Such journals should take an appropriate form so that they communicate effectively and provide necessary insight. They might exist in a singular form e.g. a workbook, a weblog or they might exist as a collection e.g. as a workbook of sketches with notes/annotations and as a weblog/Tumblr of photographs/videos with associated critical reflections.
The following are examples of art and design reflective journals:
"For practice-led projects, whilst creative output may be produced and practice undertaken as an integral part of the research process, the Council would expect 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 to demonstrate critical reflection. This documentation, analysis and reflection must be an integral part of the project and must be carried out during the award period. These outputs can go beyond more traditional academic papers and can include such forms as exhibition catalogues, where they are authored by the Principal Investigator him/herself; journals or diaries; documentation on a website, CDs or DVDs etc. A clear rationale for the appropriateness of the form of your critical reflection should be provided."
(Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2009. Research Funding Guide. Bristol, UK: AHRC)
[AHRC guidelines for qualifying the worth of practice-led research enquiry.]