chapter  5
17 Pages



This chapter sets out a theoretical framework that addresses dissatisfaction in research in the arts. This dissatisfaction is related to the emergence of something called ‘practice-based research’. There are different names for this kind of research, and some communities are very sensitive about the different nuances that these names connote. Finding a good name to describe the field has proven to be difficult, and the list of names used by others is very long. For example, terms like ‘artistic research’ are rejected by the design community; ‘creative research’ suggests that other research is not creative; ‘practice-based’ does not clarify what kind of practice, e.g. arts, education, healthcare, nor does the term clarify how practices leading to research outcomes differ from practices leading to professional outcomes. We intend our use of the term ‘practice-based’ to include the visual and performing arts, music, and those aspects of architecture and design that emphasize aesthetic rather than technical values. Broadly speaking they all present the same problem and that is: what it is to undertake research in a practice-based area. In particular, there is an interest in research that is not historically led or to do with technology, but instead is to do with the actual production of the stuff itself. We think that the problem arises when these professional activities are pushed into the academic context.