Research at the Dublin School of Creative Arts
The Dublin School of Creative Arts (DSCA) is a highly engaged practice based research informed site of scholarly activity. The School has identified 6 key research areas in art and design practice and research that it continues to develop.
The Research groups are:
- Create Lab: Design Innovation
- Creative Pedagogies
- Making Meaning in Public Spaces
- Post Digital Culture
- Typographic and Visual Communication
- Visual and Material Culture of Memory
Create Lab: Design Innovation
Under the heading Create Lab the School has been active under a number of fronts in this field. Listed below are the key activities the group is involved in:
The Future of Work Research Group - Contributors: John Walsh, Robert Tully, Peter MacCann
This research group looks at the Future of the Workspace, with particular reference to the impacts of new technology on work, conflicts between communication, collaboration and concentration in open- plan spaces and the influence of the physical environment on productivity, information exchange and tacit knowledge transfer.
Materiality, Manufacturing and Sustainable Design Research Group Contributors: Anthony O’Connor, Peter MacCann, John Walsh, Thomas Raven, Orla Keane
This is a broad research group which looks at manufacturing, materials and materials culture and includes research into additive manufacturing and 3D printing, sustainable design and analogue objects.
CreateLab, Contributors: John Walsh. Under the title CreateLab, the school has brought in approximately €60,000 in Innovation/ Commercialisation funding over the last 4 years, for projects which look at Ergonomics at School, Wireless Charging and Smart surfaces, Better Healthcare Furniture.
This research group looks at Design Pedagogy including such areas as the development of creativity in third level students and the use of multimedia and new technologies in design education. DIT staff members currently conduction Doctoral Reseach in this area include:
Neville Knott is actively working on his PhD titled “TV Interior Design and its impact on Irish Domestic Interiors” which looks at Interior Design in Ireland from 1990 to 2014, specifically the genre of Interior design programmes, produced, filmed and broadcast in Ireland.
Kerry Meakin is actively working on her PhD in the Modern Interiors Research Centre at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University, London. The working title of which is ‘The Emergence of Window Display as an Art Form: Design and Practice in the UK and Ireland (1909-1959)’, which looks at the emergence of display design as a career.
Orla Keane’s PhD title “The Sustainable Design Curriculum” takes an International Comparative Analysis of Best Practice and Development of a Pedagogical Methodology to Teaching Sustainable Design at Undergraduate Level
Making Meaning in Public Spaces
Meaning making in public space takes as its material emerging modes of spatial production and their associated social, cultural, technical and economic processes. It questions how artistic practices can intervene in the economic, social and political processes of place making, developing both pragmatic and critical responses to current challenges in the development of public space and public culture. These issues are addressed through a multi-modal approach that incorporates new formulations of public art and participatory models, changing formulations of public-ness manifested through critical art practice, interdisciplinary collaborations, with methods including sound, performance, digital media and computational processes, as well as curatorial and exhibition-making practices.
This wide-ranging research forms partnerships across disciplines with urban planning architecture, computing and geography using art practice as a vector/vehicle for sustained investigation that produces new insights into spatiality, movement and habitability in the city.
Post Digital Culture
As digital technologies and networks permeate all aspects of contemporary life this research strand seeks to develop new approaches toward aesthetics that emanate from the intersection of technology and the everyday in a post-digital world. Post-digital is understood as a scenario in which the digital is embedded in all aspects of our social, cultural, political and economic lives so that it is increasingly difficult to identify practices not mediated through digital technologies in some aspect. This research strand will concentrate on contemporary art and experimental artistic practice. While it has a particular interest in the role of contemporary media and computational technologies it transcends disciplines encompassing questions of the material-turn and critical making as evidenced in a return to making, craft and skill.
This research strand proposes interdisciplinary collaborations with for example computer science, data analytics, media, and digital humanities. It will develop training and discursive programmes within the proposed Hacklab facility and will integrate with ongoing research in the Gradcam Digital Studies seminar group.
Typographic and Visual Communication
This research area has been active in the field of Typographic and Visual Communiction organising key events in collaboration with some of the leading stakeholders in the field. Listed below here is an overview of some of these events and activities:
DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) is a network of design labs, based in design schools and design-oriented universities, actively involved in promoting and supporting sustainable change. A DESIS hub was established in Ireland www.desisireland.com coinciding with a conference hosted by DIT Grangegorman in November 2015. Founders of the Irish DESIS group are Brenda Duggan (DIT), Muireann McMahon (University of Limerick), Simon Rafferty (University of Limerick) and Sam Russell (NCAD).
A joint collaboration between Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and National College of Art and Design and was part funded by ID2015. Establishing a DESIS Lab in Ireland allows Irish institutions to connect into the international DESIS network that involves leading design schools such as Parsons New York, Northumbria School of Design, Royal College of Art, Politecnico di Milano.
An examination of the impact of the professional body on typographic education and practice in Ireland from 2002–2015. Typography has been established as a significant area of research within DIT and nationally: This research aligns with the following objectives set out in the DIT Research Action Plan 1. Concentrate and consolidate research activity, including PhD study, in fields of verifiable strength and national significance in order to achieve greater coherence and enhance competitiveness and sustainability. 2. Ensure greater integration between research, innovation, teaching and learning. The research examines the role and impact of The International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) on typographic education and on professional design practice in Ireland and internationally. Participating institutes include: Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Ulster, Limerick School of Art and Design, Institute of Art Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire, National College of Art and Design, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Athlone Institute of Technology. Case studies from participating institutes in the UK, Lebanon, Australia and South Africa will also be included. The research will draw from case studies of student work gathered annually at the assessment since 2002. It will also comprise a survey of selected graduate career paths, interviews with students and graduates of the scheme, as well as input from participating educators and professional designers.
Typography Ireland: Typography Ireland aims to provide a focus point, resource and forum within which to promote typography along the lines of practice, education, history, theory and research. Typography Ireland is supported by the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM). This seminar group, was co-programmed and founded by Mary Ann Bolger (Visual Culture, PhD Candidate RCA) and Clare Bell (Visual Communication, PhD Candidate, DIT). Its attendees, members and collaborators include participants from both international and national schools and professional organisations (see attached). It has also developed a practice-based forum group, TypeClub (see below) and by popular request from its members, a social professional/student social meeting group, Type Pub.
Type Club: Typography Ireland/DIT/GradCAM/NCAD: Typographic Practice Forum Group (Bi-monthly): Co-organisers, Co-Chairs, and Co-Founders: (2013–present) Attracts a number of professional practitioners; course students, alumni and graduates from all of Ireland’s third level design and art institutions
Type Pub: Tri-annual social meeting group for industry practitioners, researchers and students of typography in Ireland: Co-Founders and Co-Organisers, along with Simon Sweeney (Bong International) Shauna Buckley
Typography Ireland has convened two major international typography conferences under the auspices of the DIT: Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) 2010 ‘The Word’ (400 international delegates), and the inaugural conference of Face Forward 2015 with Rathna Ramanathan, Course Director, Visual Communication, Royal College of Art, (300 international delegates) for which it was successful in the following funding calls:
Year of Irish Design 2015: Funding Call 1: Call for funding: Symposium/Conferences. Award of €6000 received for proposal submitted in response to call for Symposium/Conferences for the Year of Irish Design 2015. Funding received to instigate, organise and stage inaugural annual Face Forward International Typography Conference. Co-organiser with colleagues from DIT and The Royal College of Art, London.
Year of Irish Design 2015: Funding Call 2:Call for funding: Exhibitions. Redrawing Typographic Horizons: Award of €1000 Exhibition included up to twenty typefaces designed in Ireland or by Irish designers active abroad. This exhibition was intended to showcase the work of a growing number of Irish typeface designers and provide an opportunity to discuss their work with leading international practitioners and foundries, and to contribute to a discourse—sharing knowledge with international respondents on the real issues relating to the development of the industry and practice of typeface design in Ireland.
Visual and Material Culture of Memory
Research interests include the relationship between design and national identity, typography and identity more generally, the visual culture of the everyday and overlooked, and the material culture of religion; the history and criticism of contemporary art, in particular the organisational turn, systems aesthetics, artistic uses of play and games, and convergences of art and design through ornamentation and information design; contemporary art, the history of art, museum studies and cultural analysis, with focus on the relationship of art to collective histories and representations of grievous histories in visual culture; aesthetic and educational theory of Critical Theory, including challenges to aesthetic, educational and political institutional norms and narratives gain recognition over time; aesthetics of the avant-garde, curatorial practice, vandalism and the relationship between contemporary aesthetic theory, practice and policy; Digital aesthetics, heritage studies, aesthetics of sport, theories of interpretation (hermeneutics); continental aesthetic philosophy, performance studies, digital studies, feminist theory, and the influence of neoliberalism on artistic production.
Draft thematics Recent & Current Postgrad Research Topics Supervised:
Digital Practices and Systems Theory
Museums & Commemorative Exhibitions
Visual Culture of Contemporary Music
History of Irish film
Doctoral Research within the Dublin School of Creative Arts is delivered by The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM), which is based in DIT’s new campus at Grangegorman. GradCAM provides a unique programme of staged development for creative arts and media Doctoral research. This innovative programme comprises:
i) research seminars (constructed around interdisciplinary research themes and questions shared by various researchers attached to the School);
ii) research training (including specific skills workshops and a unique approach to the study of research methods through a lecture and practical workshop series on ‘epistemic practices‘);
iii) master-class sessions with local and international visiting art and design practicioners, scholars and researchers;
iv)collaborative projects, placements and internships;
v) seminars, symposia and major conferences;
vi) international exchange seminars with PhD programmes across Europe.
Current Doctoral Seminars In GradCAM
In the Graduate School the Seminar series is a pedagogical mechanism used to develop Seminars emerging from the PhD research projects, these seminars, therefore, reflect emerging areas of interest of the Staff supervising and the students undertaking their Doctoral Research at GradCAM.
The subheadings below are the determined focus for the current semester 2016. These seminars are open public platforms and can have invited international speakers depending on the group organising the seminar. When necessary expertise is brought in from our partner organisations, i.e as there is no Neuro-Science in the DIT the Neuro-Science department in Trinity College Dublin are co-convening the Neuro-Aesthetics Seminar. The Digital Studies Seminar is part of our involvement with the Digital Studies Network of which Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick is a founder member, this network is organised through IRI at the Centre Pompidou, Paris with the French Philosopher Bernard Stiegler. (www.digital-studies.org)
Seminar Listing (Jan-June 2016)
Epistemic Practice: Dissemination - This module is a structured seminar on how to get your research known through publication, conference papers, exhibition and performance.
Aesthetics Research Group - Publication and Performance, European Society for Aesthetics June 2016
Digital Studies Seminar - Music and Technology, Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, History of Cybernetics –first order and second order
Art and Science - Visualisation and Knowledge Production, Molecular Aesthetics- Bio-Art, Biohacking
Performance Studies Seminar - Intersubjectivity and interlocution, Participation and the Amateur
Inquiry Group - Curatorial Practice, Neuro-Aesthetics Seminar (with TCD), Neuro-Science and Art
International Research Partnerships and Initiatives
We are currently involved in a number of international networks and Initiatives, Society for Artistic Research, European Artistic Research Network, Northern Artistic Research Consortium and Digital Studies Network. However, we are actively seeking partnerships in Horizon 20:2O in particular in relation to Societal Challenge 6 Calls for 2017 and COST Action initiatives. We are also keen to develop Marie-Curie ITN funding application to share expertise in Doctoral Education in the Creative and Performing Arts.
Current Doctoral Students in GradCAM (DIT)
Jacqueline Rose Raftery The Economy of Type (The Arrangement or Mode of Operation of Type)
Alan Mee Addressing Spatial Chaos in Ireland; Method and Practice
Sinead Rice A tale of two cities: Representations and Recollections of Dublin City Centre in the Mid-20th Century
Conor Maguire Developing Artistic Intuition: A Neural and Cognitive Approach
Tommy Sorro Reputational Economies in Contemporary Art Worlds
Jeanette Doyle Practice Led, Research Informed, Analysis of Two Strands of Visual Arts Practices and their Relationship to the 'Immaterial' and 'deamaterial'
Michael O’Hara Digital Studies and New Aesthetic Regimes: An investigation into digital making, the philosophy of the body and aesthetic practice
Michael Glennon Write Movement: The Utilisation and Annotation of Gesture, Physicality and Motion Tracking in Contemporary Music Composition and Performance
Catherine Kelly (O’Carroll) A Practice led, research informed interrogation of the interactive and inter relational potential of site based performance, through an exploration of the ‘amateur’ and a re-positioning of the spectator within the networks of the event
Irina GheorgheDeviant Realism of Performance, Performative Deviations of the Real
Orla Keane The Sustainable Design Curriculum: An International Comparative Analysis of Best Practice and Development of a Pedagogical Methodology to Teaching Sustainable Design at Undergraduate Level
Tom Spalding A Sense of Place’; Quotidian Design in Modern Ireland
Siobhan Doyle The Visual Culture of State Commerations
Grainne Coughlan Investigation into the History of Participatory Systems
Sven Anderson Acoustic Territories in the Data City
DIT staff working with GradCAM include: