Research, Idea Generation and Exploration – How New Ideas are Developed Pt. 2

Practice led research and research led practice.

Practice led research = practice based research practice as research uses a form of research based on the works itself intended to identify research outputs. In addition to this, it suggests that creative practice that the practitioner engages in when making art can lead to specialized insights and used as a form of research. (Dean & Smith 2014)

However, there are a few thoughts about the second part of this argument as noted by McNamera in the article “Six Rules for Practice-led Research” by eliminating the pronoun “I” as the main contribution to research practice as “the criterion of a PhD is its contribution to knowledge.” and going beyond the “parameters of one’s practice to provide a historical or conceptual context for a creative or professional practice is an important way of establishing whether new insights are being produced or not.” (McNamera, 2012)

I believe that the research process is a personal journey designed to be flexible as long as it doesn’t sever the ties between the artwork and the work of art as a form of research.

research designFig 1. May. E. 2018 (

Practice-led investigations when structured in such a way as illustrated to include discussion and articulation of key concepts in addition to evaluation and reflection implemented into the process is something that has been implemented into my research methodologies since I began researching. I believe it is vital to recognize and use both patterns of practice as an interconnected path of research and employ with other mixed-modes of methodologies such as positivist and interpretive research designs.

Research-led practice should complement practice-led research suggesting that academic research can lead to creative work. (Dean & Smith 2014)

When I begin a project, the interaction between research and creative practice takes on many forms that usually begins with a research idea, but sometimes with a creative work, and then forms a chain of alterations between the practice and the creative research producing of several variants of possible outcomes.


McNamara, A. 2012 Six Rules for Practice-Led Research [online] [accessed 03-27-2018]

May, E. 2018 Complexity of Practice [online]  [accessed 03-30-2018]

Smith, H. & Dean, R. (2009) Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

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