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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23544

Title: Constructing publics as a key to doctoral research: A discussion of two PhD projects engaging in societal issues with artistic and design-based methods
Authors: Huybrechts, Liesbeth
Van de Weijer, Marijn
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Nilsson, Fredrik; Dunin-Woyseth, Halina; Janssens, Nel (Ed.). Perspectives on Research Assessment in Architecture, Music and the Arts: Discussing Doctorateness, Routledge, p. 129-144
Series/Report: Routledge Research in Architecture
Abstract: Shortly after the first 47 PhDs in art and design were defended in the Flemish Universities, it became clear that the range of PhDs is too broad to be organised and evaluated by one single model (Crombez 2015). The idea of doctorateness in art and design fi elds (Dunin-Woyseth and Nilsson 2012) has in Flanders been largely inspired by the ideal of the autonomous design and artistic researcher. Accordingly, PhDs that question this autonomous position of designers and artists are often labelled as ‘applied’ by traditional scientists or ‘not artistic enough’ by practicing designers. Among other factors, this discussion closely relates to the perceived divide between art and design (see e.g. Darras 2006). As in many other countries, the discussion in Flanders on PhDs in art and (architectural) design has also been dominated by contrasting these disciplinary practices to science. These dichotomies have often obstructed a constructive exploration of how to define doctorateness in art and design. This chapter describes a type of research that transcends prevailing dichotomies. More specifically, it makes explicit some contradictions of conducting this research when addressing the complex situations of contemporary society. It questions what we can define as doctorateness in this type of research. The research discussed here stands out by constructing publics around societal issues, so that people might take action on those situations (DiSalvo 2009; Latour and Weibel 2005). Here, we discuss two Flemish PhD trajectories that construct publics on societal issues. We start with a brief literature overview on the concepts of doctorateness in art and design in relation to the form of research we address. Both PhD projects deal with everyday issues, employment and housing respectively, and centre on spatial aspects of these broad societal concerns. These trajectories have inspired us to formulate pointers for nurturing a more nuanced debate on the richness and diversity of ways in which doctorateness in art and design, actively engaged with societal issues and publics, can be understood.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23544
DOI: 10.4324/9781315526652
ISBN: 9781138695573
Category: B2
Type: Book Section
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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