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08 NOVEMBER 2009

Research as a mode of construction; engaging with the artefact in art and design research

"We contend that it is entirely feasible, and indeed desirable, to provide training for research degree students in art and design based on the premise that, firstly, research is a viable mode of art and design practice, as it is for the practices of the engineer or the doctor; and that secondly, to move from practice to research depends on the potential for conceiving the artefact as divisible into an ordered arrangement of parts that can be articulated as elements of a research process, whose primary outcome is knowledge. The need to understand that practice and research entail differences in terms of approach, outcome and constituency is as important for supervisors as it is for research degree candidates themselves. In an institutional environment in which the modernist concept of the object as an assemblage is a cliché, and within which we all pay lip service to the idea of research process, transferable knowledge is the last taboo. Knowledge transfer is taboo because it seems to violate the terms of the art and design artefact, in a way that radical design practice and conceptual art could never do. Moving beyond this taboo requires us to think of new forms of causality, economy and teleology for the art and design artefact, within an economy of research."

(Dr Naren Barfield & Dr Malcolm Quinn Glasgow School of Art, Scotland and Wimbledon School of Art, England)

Barfield, N. & M. Quinn (2004). "Research as a mode of construction; engaging with the artefact in art and design research", Working Papers in Art and Design 3 Retrieved from URL ISSN 1466–4917


2004applied researchart practiceartefactartistic practicecausalityconceptualisationcreative practicedesign artefactdesign practicediscovery • economy of research • enquiryknowledgepedagogy • radical design practice • research • research degree • research methodologyresearch process • research supervision • theory building • transferable knowledge • Working Papers in Art and Design


Simon Perkins

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