Digital media and the design project: new creative research methods for landscape architecture
Keywords:digital media, research methods, design practice, cross-cultural
Practice and academia exist in parallel worlds. Universities with their priorities guided by government research metrics and competitive funding schemes encourage academics to present research through refereed journals (often behind paywalls) or at international conferences to academic audiences. Conversely, practice works at speed, offering minimal time for critical reflection before moving on to the next project. The design project connects these two worlds. It is here that the conceptual collides with the material, and theory meets practice. While academia and practice recognise the importance of design precedents and case studies, we argue neither is yet to fully capitalise on the tacit knowledge of the designer in advancing landscape architecture knowledge. Through a critical reflection on the research processes and creative methods underpinning the Landscape Architect as Changemakers project, this essay discusses the potential of the reflective practitioner, along with the research possibilities afforded by digital media in developing more complex and precise understandings of design practice. In contrast to repeatable and predetermined research methodologies, we highlight the value of flexible and creative research approaches which can transform and respond to unfolding knowledge and evolving opportunities for funding and dissemination that can emerge during a research project.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Jillian Walliss, Heike Rahmann
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