Designing in-between : an experimental research process

Perold, Karolien (2012-03)

Thesis (MA(VA))--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This work explores alternative ways of doing research within the field of art and design; ways that respect complexity and acknowledge the expansive, relational and performative nature of signifi- cation in arriving at ‘new’ knowledge. Through processes of designing in-between, I have been moving through opposites, connecting connections, and de(re)constructing structure. I have used my immediate locations as triggers to forge relations between an array of seeming disparate, albeit kindred, concepts. The scope of the work seems to have perpetually broadened, while theory and practice have dissolved in mercurial in- between states. Such exuding expansiveness has, at times, unsettled and unnerved, but ironically it has also intensely resembled our everyday ‘realities’. Designing in-between - compared to traditional, science-based research methods operating in barricaded systems of thought - thus allows for more faithful interrogation of the complexity of the world we live in. I believe this can be of great value in any attempt at innovative knowledge production, but especially attempts from within the field of art and design - a field often defined by its ability to challenge conventional ways of knowing. My work should not be regarded as yet another predetermined guideline for future research. It should rather be read as an example of a “conceptual tool” or “thought strateg[y]” (Hurst, 2010:242) suited to the complexity of the open systems we form part of every day. Neither the challenging, nor the advantageous, aspects of my work should be regarded as superior and exclusive to the other. The existence of dissonance and contrast is productive; a life force propelling the search for new significance and knowledge.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie werkstuk ondersoek alternatiewe maniere van navorsing doen binne die veld van kuns en ontwerp; maniere wat die kompleksiteit en ewig-groeiende, verhoudingsgebaseerde en performa- tiewe aard van betekenis-konstruksie in die soeke na ‘nuwe’ kennis erken en respekteer. Deur prosesse van tussen-in ontwerp, het ek my weg probeer baan deur teenoorgesteldes, het ek konneksies gekonnekteer, en strukture gede(re)konstrueer. Ek het my onmiddellike omgewingskonteks as stimuli gebruik om verhoudings tussen ‘n verskeidenheid van kontrasterende, dog verwante, konsepte te bewerkstellig. Die omvang van hierdie navorsing het sodoende gedurig verbreed, terwyl teorie en praktyk in verstrengelde tussen-in toestande ontbind het. Alhoewel hierdie uitgestrekte, deurdringende kompleksiteit my dikwels ontsenu en laat weifel het, versinnebeeld dit ironies genoeg ons alledaagse ‘realiteite’ redelik getrou. Tussen-in ontwerp - in vergelyking met meer tradisionele, wetenskap-geba- seerde navorsingsmetodes wat binne begrensde gedagtesisteme funksioneer - laat ‘n mens dus die ruimte toe om die onvoorspelbare wisselwerking tussen die magdom veranderlikes aktief in die wêreld waarin ons leef, in ag te neem. Ek glo dat so ‘n benadering tot navorsing van besondere waarde kan wees in enige poging tot die innoverende bou van kennis, veral in pogings vanuit die veld van kuns en ontwerp - ‘n veld wat geken word aan sy/haar vermoë om gedurig konvensionele maniere van verstaan uit te daag. Ek wil nie hê dat my werk as net nog ‘n voorafbepaalde riglyn vir toekomstige navorsing gesien word nie. Dit moet eerder gelees word as ‘n voorbeeld van ‘n konseptuele instrument (“conceptual tool”) of gedagtestrategie (“thought strategy”) (Hurst, 2010:242) wat geskik is vir die kompleksiteit van die inherent oop sisteme wat ons alledaagse lewens definieer. Nie die uitdagende, nog die voordelige, aspekte van my werk moet as superieur en eksklusief tot die ander geag word nie. Dit is juis die bestaan van teenstrydighede en kontras wat produktiwiteit bewerkstellig. Dit voorsien ‘n lewenskrag wat die soeke na nuwe betekenis en kennis voortdryf.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20218
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