Skip to main content

Research themes

Four thematic domains are at the heart of our research interest: Sustainable Futures, Technological Futures, Community Futures, and Global Futures.

Sustainable Futures

The lines of enquiry in this thematic domain and relevant to the Plymouth College of Art context include:

  • Embedding sustainability research and teaching across the curriculum - from post-graduate to undergraduate levels and as an ethically aware community of practitioners. This includes embedding sustainability research and awareness amongst the teaching community, the student body, in curriculum design; in innovative learning and teaching methods, in assessment and feedback; and in the context of life-long learning.
  • Sustainability in relation to art, craft, design and media - for example, embedding sustainability in the design and making process, including approaches that re-scope operational fields and outcomes; also, in relation to wider social forms – for example, through ‘slow’ movement thinking.

Technological Futures

We are especially keen to investigate how digital platforms are transforming the pedagogic and professional landscapes. However, our interests take in the full spectrum of subject-based materials, technologies, procedures and techniques, and, indeed, the broader sense of technicity in so far as it refers to the wider social, intellectual and material discourses that surround technologically determined life. We welcome research proposals on topics not included where relevant to the Plymouth College of Art context:

Technological Futures in an e-learning context might include:

  • Technology-enhanced learning and digital literacy skills for artists, craftspeople and designers, from word-processing to 3D printing.
  • Adaptations between physical, social and conceptual spaces, including the studio and technology and including mobile learning platforms and ‘cloud’ computing.
  • Online collaboration and community building, and User Generated Content, including Web 2.0 and Social Media (Twitter, blogging, Wiki’s, YouTube, Facebook, podcasting, file-sharing, etc.).

Technological Futures in relation to a broader spectrum of modes of creative design, making, marketing and consumption, might include:

  • Relearning (from) the past, including older technological forms repurposed for present uses.
  • Technology and de-skilling, the cult of the ‘imperfect' and 'amateurism'.
  • Technology and knowledge in the context of creative practice; for example, the interplay of rationale with tacit knowledge modalities.

Community Futures

Community Futures signifies research activities that exhibit the potential to engage with issues of social inclusivity and/or community regeneration and development outside of the College’s immediate pedagogic and professional constituencies, but which nonetheless also impact upon our teaching and learning performance, and/or which create important local and regional networking opportunities and possibilities. Research proposals relevant to the Plymouth College of Art context includes:

  • The contribution of art, craft, design and media practices to economic environments, including engaging local/regional materials and resources, localized supply chains and the overall impact of art making on the economic conditions of local urban and/or rural communities.
  • The contribution of art, craft, design and media practices to social environments, including notions of ‘place-making’, community, social entrepreneurialism and social innovation.
  • Student understanding of community arts more broadly, including the complexities of working in the public domain and appreciation of the role of dialogue with communities.

Global Futures

Global Futures signifies research activities that improve our understanding of the subject(s) in its global context(s), in terms that positively impact upon our teaching and learning performance, and/or which create important trans-national and trans-cultural networking opportunities and possibilities.

By way of illustration, the following list indicates just some of the possible lines of enquiry in this thematic domain, although we welcome research proposals on topics not included where relevant to the Plymouth College of Art context:

  • Internationalisation of art, craft, design and media practices as elements of the Global Knowledge Economy and the implications for specific subject areas.
  • The impact of other of visual cultures on contemporary art, craft, and design – especially the new emerging centres of creativity and innovation in the twenty-first century.
  • The phenomenon of intersecting cultures and cultural fusion on the one hand, and increasing cultural particularity on the other.
  • International project development, supply and consumption chains, and audiences, and the skills and competencies students need to succeed in a Global Knowledge Economy.
  • International collaboration and partnerships, and international students.
undefined