Situating Creative Artifacts in Art and Design Research

Author: Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewed journal article, 2013

This article aims to discuss the position of art and design artifacts, and their creation, in a practice-led research process. Two creative productions and exhibitions featuring my textile artifacts were intentionally carried out in order to tackle a specific research problem, and these will be examined here as case studies. These cases cover the production and exhibition of two sets of artworks, named Seeing Paper and Paper World, that were created as part of my completed doctoral research entitled Paperness: Expressive Material in Textile Art from an Artist’s Viewpoint. The study examined the relationship between a physical material and artistic expression in textile art and design. Both cases exemplify the roles of creative productions and artifacts situated in the process of inquiry. Throughout a practice-led research process, art and design artifacts can serve as inputs into knowledge production and as outputs for knowledge communication. As inputs, both art productions and artifacts can be the starting point of a research project from which the research question is formulated. They can also provide data for analysis from which knowledge is constructed. As outputs, artifacts can indicate whether the research problem requires reformulation, demonstrate the experiential knowledge of the creative process, and strengthen the findings articulated in the written output. Creative practice in a research context can contribute to generating or enhancing the knowledge which is embedded in the practice and embodied by the practitioner. This knowledge or insight can be obtained from the artist creating the artifact, the artifact created, the process of making it, and the culture in which it is produced and viewed or used, all taking place at different stages of a research process.

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Suggested Citation: Nimkulrat, N. (2013). Situating Creative Artifacts in Art and Design Research. FORMakademisk, 6(2), Article 4.