designing innovative strategies, methods and tools for enhancing creative experiences and fostering creative communities

CCS Research Mission: Innovation in Support of Creativity
Practice-Based Research

The Creativity & Cognition Studios (CCS) specialise in practice-based research, primarily investigating the intersection of art and technology.

CCS Research Themes
  1. Practice-Based Research Methodologies: frameworks and methods for enabling reflective practice and participative evaluation.
  2. Art Practice: exploring the potential of computation and creative media in new forms, concepts and contexts.
  3. Interactive Experience: understanding and evaluating audience interactive, generative, playful and creative experiences.
  4. Encouraging Creativity: enabling end-user communities to create and share dynamic generative content.
  5. Living Laboratories: strategies for building and operating living laboratories in museums and galleries.
Practice-Based vs Practice-Led

Research in which practice is a central focus can be divided into two main types: practice-based and practice-led.

  1. If the research includes a creative artefact as the basis of the contribution to knowledge, the research is practice-based.
  2. If the research leads primarily to new understandings about the nature of practice, it is practice-led.

In some cases both types of research appear together but there is usually one that is more dominant.

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. In a doctoral thesis, claims of originality and contribution to knowledge may be demonstrated through creative outcomes in the form of designs, music, digital media, performances and exhibitions. Whilst the significance and context of the claims are described in words, a full understanding can only be obtained with direct reference to the outcomes.

Practice-led research is concerned with the nature of practice and is directed towards generating new knowledge that has operational significance for that practice. In a doctoral thesis, the results of practice-led research may be fully described in text form without the inclusion of a creative work. The primary focus of the research is to advance knowledge about practice, or to advance knowledge within practice. Such research includes practice as an integral part of its method and often falls within the general area of action research.

Although practice-based research has become widespread, it has yet to be characterised in a way that has become agreed across the various fields of research where it is in use. To complicate matters further, the terms ‘practice-based’ and ‘practice-led’ are often used interchangeably.

For a full description of practice-based research techniques and what is expected from a PhD or Masters research in this area, please download Dr Linda Candy’s full pdf guide below:

Practice-Based Research: A guide
download pdf
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