Research Methods Homepage

VUIT Digital Arts

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Education Manager: Adam Hutterer - email:

Class Website -

Subject: REM - Research Methods

Course: Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design (CUV60411)


Introduction to the Subject and Unit of Competency

Today we will cover all assessment tasks, unit guide, weekly outline etc.imagine



BSBCRT601A - Research and apply concepts and theories of creativity

Unit Description:

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to undertake research into different concepts and theories of creativity, and to apply those to a particular field of endeavour.


Application of the Unit:

This unit applies to individuals who use sophisticated research and critical analysis skills in the exploration of creativity and its application to work and life practice. This research may be related specifically to fields of practice traditionally considered as 'creative', such as the arts, but may equally relate to much broader fields of human activity and endeavour.


Read the Unit Guide here: REM_2015_UnitGuide.PDF





Read the Student Guide here: REM_2015_AssessmentTasks_StudentGuide.PDF




What is Research?

Research may be defined as the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Creative practitioners (Artists/Designers) need to understand their place in a continuum of creative practice to enable them to work from a position of knowledge - to become better practitioners.

What is Creative Research?

"Creative Research" is a term that is being used a lot at the moment in academic circles. This includes the research we do to learn about other creative practitioners, and the creative practice itself - the works we create may form part of the research cycle.


How do you research, what tools do you use, what information do you look for?
Research is the backbone to all of your ideas. It is the foundation for concepts to be built on and is the most important tool to have as a designer. Without it your ideas are unoriginal, soulless and lack an understanding of your client and audience.

View Beck's Design Process Slideshow



Some research terms you need to know and understand:


Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is information about quantities; that is, information that can be measured and written down with numbers. Some examples of quantitative data are your height, your shoe size, how many pieces of toast you had for breakfast, or how many students are in this class.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is information about qualities; information that can't actually be measured. Some examples of qualitative data are the softness of a cat's fur, the grace with which someone dances, and the color of your eyes or the ambiance of a piece of music.

*Colour could be seen as both qualitative and perhaps also quantitative because we can endlessly describe the qualities of colour, and also quantify it for display on a screen or print object with Hexadecimal numbers in Photoshop for example.


Action Research

What is action research?

Action research is a methodical process that allows you to try out different ways of doing things in your journal and folio, until you find something that really works for you.

By formalising your developmental process through planning, acting and evaluating, you are engaging in effective action research. By engaging action research, you can promote changes to your creative process to levels that are effective and meaningful to you.

Why action research?

Artist and designers often use action research as part of the creative process, often manifested in a process of creative action and reflection in journal work and then further articulated in the final artwork.

As a student, action research can enable you to examine your own creative procedures. It allows for an ongoing process of self‐evaluation where you appraise your motivations and your own creative action.

Here’s how action research can help:

  • Action research is situation specific: it enables you to examine your own incentives and situation.
  • It is a participatory process and allows for input from all kinds of references and sources.
  • It is collaborative. You work with colleagues and other participants in order to respond and pathway into your research tasks in your own way.
  • It allows for an ongoing process of self‐evaluation where you appraise yourself and your own performance.
  • It assumes that you already have a good deal of knowledge and can continue to develop this knowledge and improve your practice.


Practice-based & Practice-led Research

Practice-led research means that the research outcomes are not necessarily the works themselves, but new methods, new practices that have developed through research.

Practice-based research methodology is where research is carried out through a project. Practice-based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice. This may be demonstrated through creative outcomes in the form of designs, artworks, music, digital media, performances and exhibitions.


Class Exercise

In this exercise you are required to discover 10 unique things about the topic your lecturer has given you.
You will be in groups of 3-4 people and have one hour to present a research presentation to the class.
What you present it entirely up to you. It can include good things, bad things, ugly things, what ever.

The main objective is to learn and discover things about your topic that would help you build a profile to who or what they are and might do.

//You will be given one of the below topics to research:

  • Flinders Street Station
  • Dame Edna Everage
  • Federation Square
  • Apple
  • Barbara Kruger
  • 299,792,458

//Objective: as a group, present a convincing summary of the ‘Top Ten interesting facts’ on your topic your have found via your research.

One fact MUST be a quantitative answer.

//Time: Two Hours

//Final Submission: A presentation of your findings to the class





Main text for this subject

Smith, Keri 2008, How to be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum, Penguin Books


Academic texts on creative research

Borgdorff, Henk 2010, "The Production of Knowledge in Artistic Research" in The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, Routledge

Candy, Linda 2006, Practice Based Research: A Guide, Creativity & Cognition Studios, University of Technology, Sydney, CCS Report: 2006-V1.0 November, viewed 22/11/2010 < >

Fortnum, Rebecca 2009, "On Not Knowing; how artists think – Symposium Introduction", Symposium: On not knowing: how artists think, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, < >

Smith, Hazel & Dean, Roger T. (Editors) 2010, Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts, Edinburgh University Press





For Next Week

Have a new A5 or A4 visual diary for your Explorer of the World journal by next week.