Exhibitions as interfaces between practice and research

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This paper explores questions that stem from debates about the relationships between practice-based and practice-led research in design. Approaches to describing research through practice are often differentiated in terms of focus on materiality, form, functionality, and authorship. We propose that in addition to establishing nuanced differences in the interfaces between research and practice it is timely to conceptualize areas they also share. Our argument is derived from reflections on three exhibitions organized by the School of Design Studies, COFA, UNSW over the last 12 months at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery: Re-frame curated by Karina Clarke, Integration: the Nature of Objects curated by Liz Williamson, and Connections: Experimental Design curated by Katherine Moline. Each exhibition presented aspects of the nexus between visual art, craft, and design, from the perspectives of: engaging with sustainability in social exchanges; working between traditionally distinct disciplines of fine art, craft and design; and discursive designs that question the standards and norms in professional art and design industries. The paper focuses insights that the exhibitions provided in terms of: the trained incapacities of both practice-led and practice-based research; the neglected value of null hypothesis; and the challenges of exhibiting research in galleries.
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Moline, Katherine
Clarke, Karina
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