Facilitating early research experience in art and design using a research-oriented approach to teaching and learning

Year: 2015

Author: Winters, Tara

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Artists and designers find themselves in an unsteady position in relation to the world of research. Visual art and design practice is relatively new to the domain of academic research, and a level of critical engagement with the theory and practice of art-as-research is required at all levels, from undergraduate student to senior academic. This involves determining an intellectual position with regard to the nature and purpose of artistic research, as well as finding or developing a methodological approach appropriate to visual practice. With the complexity of this situation in mind, this paper advocates for the integration of appropriate research experience from the very beginning of higher learning. Research-oriented teaching is a framework developed to describe a particular category of the teaching-research nexus (Griffiths, 2004). With an emphasis on understanding how knowledge is developed (similar to ideas of constructivism) research-oriented approaches sit well alongside the widely shared view that the area of expertise of the artist-researcher is in the processes that lead to finished objects.