Unfixing the studio

Corazzo, James; Jones, Derek and Hudson, Frazer (2024). Unfixing the studio. In: Proceedings of DRS Learn X Design 2023, 06 Jun 2023.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21606/drslxd.2024.057


The studio remains a central idea in art and design education as a persistent physical and conceptual entity also notable for a lack of objective definition. The studio is complex, changeable, and tacit, meaning traditional modes of definition or inquiry are not always suited to furthering our understanding and recent work is starting to demonstrate the benefits of blending disciplinary-oriented and academic methods to achieve this. The paper aims to build on this and observes that there are inherently visual components to many research methodologies, all of which start with an academic justification before proceeding to some visual and spatial activity. Underlying such processes is a thought process of ‘fixing and unfixing’ that can be uniquely supported by disciplinary methods. The question explored is whether starting with visual and spatial methods can lead to, or inform, academic perspectives in design education and to what extent might one inform the other. In response, the authors engaged in a series of academic, pedagogic and practice activities and dialogues that explored this question and a condensed account of the process is offered. The paper ends with descriptions of three processes, each presented as a visual and thinking method that allows readers to explore ways of knowing of studio for themselves.

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