systemic and institutional constraints. Along this journey, this project also explores the sub questions of: How might reflection facilitate a better understanding of practice? How might engagement with community inform practice? Finally, how might a platform for critical practice work? In essence, this project is about defining a preferred future practice.
Having engaged with art, design and music for the past 10 years, for me the notion of what consti-tutes practice has been hard to define. As Blauvelt (2008) notes, even within the design discipline, ‘it is extremely difficult to pinpoint coherent sets of ideas or beliefs guiding recent work’ (para 2). This perhaps has been largely to do with design’s con-tinual paradigm shifts and sense of becoming. As Van der Velden (2006) notes, ‘designers today are forming models and speculative scenarios. They bring design thinking into a more strategic under-standing of what design might become’. It is along these lines that I became curious about how research could facilitate an understanding of what my future practice could be. Thus, the question of ‘what constitutes practice for me?’ has been a provocation—a challenge to reflect, define, and clarify values, goals and new parameters. The methodology adopted was a reflection-based approach through practice-led, studio sprint phases. The research was also supplemented with qualitative interviews with experts in the field. As a consequence, the format of this exegesis echoes this approach, which has been nonlinear and iterative. The goal of this discussion is to show how knowledge about practice can emerge from within practice. Each chapter discusses interwoven reflections and insights garnered from the interviews, literature, studio artefacts and critical events.
The research outcomes culminated in three studio artefacts: the publications, ‘In Search of A Manifesto: Reflections of Practice 2014–2018’, ‘Practice As’; and lastly, an online platform archive, ‘1-L-P’. Spurred by these artefacts, reflexive writing, maintaining open conditions, engaging with a community of practice, and building agency have emerged as new ways to approach design with a conceptual and holistic understanding. In what follows is the story of my research project.