Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

How research informs practice

Bird, L. (2013) How research informs practice. Invited Presentation presented to: Storyville: Higher Education Academy (HEA) Annual Conference, Brighton, 29-30 May 2013.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Invited Presentation)
Abstract: How can theory be integrated into practical workshops? A discussion around how my own methodologies have influenced my teaching and workshop sessions. By showing visual examples of both my own and student’s work, I will explore the visual journey of how theory can inform practice in graphic design and illustration. Through a slideshow of work, this presentation will focus on the practical interpretation of theory and academic writing in graphic design and illustration. As a tutor, initiating and integrating reading & writing into practical work starts with my own methodologies. The integration of research, writing and enquiry starts with an entry project for new undergraduates which sets the tone for the next three years. Theory should be integral to practice and seen as such in the studio. Forming an opinion based on research and analysis is fundamental to us as practitioners and this should then disseminate into the visual communication we create. With this in mind I have initiated a practical semiotics workshop for first year students as a starting point for a project that asks them to storyboard a narrative for Fairtrade Fortnight. The workshop involves the students creating an image-only story and looking at how this translates when ‘read’ by the audience. This gets them to consider the impact of their work. The storyboard is then taken into a short piece of moving image where sound is added. I have found that by integrating a theory based workshop it stimulates debate around the internet and screen as medium for illustration, looks at hypertext and interaction of audience - and facilitates semiotics being seen - not as just a theoretical subject - but as a practical solution to a visual problem. Staying with the subject of sequencing I will then discuss an artist book project run with all three year groups - and selected for exhibition through the international artist book collaborative weloveyourbooks. I discuss examples of third year students who have challenged the book as a narrative device - how academic theory, storytelling, structure and audience interaction is achieved. Looking to the future, I will close with a brief evaluation of how these ideas can be developed to further encourage research and writing led illustration and visual communication.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration > NC390 Study and teaching
Creators: Bird, Louise
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Design & Photography
Date: 29 May 2013
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Storyville: Higher Education Academy (HEA) Annual Conference
Event Dates: 29-30 May 2013
Event Location: Brighton
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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