Hi All
It seems to me that the problem lies in the meaning of research. Little "r" research" is often used to mean gathering information e.g readings. Capital "R" research applies to the type of research which is the focus of this discussion- while I agree with requirements for rigour, transferability and generalisability in Research, - I would encourage research in undergraduate programs before students undertake Research
-----Original Message-----
From: "Michael Schmidt (mschmidt)" <[log in to unmask]>
To:  <[log in to unmask]>
To: (mschmidt), Michael Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>

Sent: 2/12/2010 4:03:12 AM
Subject: Re: An academic question

Thanks for the clarification, Jacques. I agree with your concerns.


On 12/1/10 10:56 AM, "Jacques Giard" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


It appears that my comment was not explained fully and therefore clearly created some confusion. Sorry for that.

Rephrased, what I should have stated is that I hear the word research used more and more as I attend studio critiques or listen to design faculty discuss their students' projects, both undergraduate and graduate, when in the past the word was rarely spoken. Therefore, are the students now doing research in their studio projects? As far as I can tell they are not. In fact, nothing has significantly changed, at least not to the point that credible research methods are integrated into studio projects. As a case in point, most of our PhD students from professional design programs such as the MArch and MFA (industrial design, interior design and graphic design) have no research methods whatsoever in their academic background when they enroll with us. Yet many believed that they did research in their previous program of studies.

My comments should not be interpreted in the context of credible research undertaken by design faculty. Like you, I have witnessed a change in a direction that can only be viewed as positive, especially in the context of a research university.

Jacques Giard PhD
Professor of Design
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

P Go Green! Please do not print this e-mail unless it is completely necessary.

On 12/1/10 9:34 AM, "Michael Schmidt (mschmidt)" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Jacques,
> In my experience, it's the opposite of what you describe. Creative activity is
> a newer addition to recognized criteria for retention and tenure. Prior to
> that, American universities treated forms of artistic production as second to
> scientific and social scientific research. The bias is still entrenched.
> Additionally, US academic institutions-facing budget crises-are placing
> greater emphasis on externally-funded research. And add to this a strong and
> growing interest in engaged scholarship (supplanting outreach/community
> service), which also promotes itself as a form of research. The recognition of
> "creative activity" didn't really get much chance to take root before these
> other emphases came fully to the fore. This is not to say creative activity is
> not recognized as a legitimate form of scholarship, but it's not flourishing
> as a "peer" to what many on this list would define as research. This tends to
> push artists and designer/artists back into legitimizing their work as
> research, pursuing external funds, and listing how much money they've raised
> to fund projects. Dept chairs and deans within universities provide these
> numbers to their upper administrators per annual reporting requirements. And
> this process, in turn, reinforces the sense that creative activity is quickly
> becoming less valuable to university execs.
> Michael
> --
> Michael Schmidt, Director
> Center for Multimedia Arts
> The University of Memphis
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