Macquarie University
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The brief in the art and design education: a multi-perspectival and mixed-methodological study

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posted on 2022-03-28, 14:58 authored by Darryl Hocking
Crucial to the production of the design object or work of art is the genre of the brief; a document that operates to provide, among other things, the conceptual and technicag uidelines for the artist or designer. While the professional forms of the brief are often the subject of scholarly research, in the art and design educative environment the brief is typically a taken-for-granted and uncontested component of studio culture and hence remains largely untheorised and unanalysed. Motivated by issues that arose from an extended period tutoring in art and design, as well as my background in applied linguistics (notably genre-based and academic literacies research), this study investigates the brief genre in the context of the tertiary art and design studio, its conditions of production and reception, and the role that these play in the discursive facilitation of student creative activity. In order to capture the dynamic and discursively complex nature of the studio environment, I have used a multi-perspectived and mixed methodological research orientation; one which brings together a diversity of methodological tools to analyse and corroborate data from a range of interpenetrating textual, ethnographic and socio-historical perspectives. The findings are presented through a framework of conceptual constructs, namely those of work, agency, motivation, exploration, ideas and identity, which emerged from the analysis as having particular explanatory resonance. These conceptual constructs form the central chapters of the thesis, however for comparative purposes, these are followed by two case studies of professional practice. The study concludes with a discussion of pedagogical implications, as well as a critical reflection on the multi-perspectival and mixed methodological research orientation.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. Methods -- Chapter 4. Work -- Chapter 5. Agency -- Chapter 6. Motivation -- Chapter 7. Exploration -- Chapter 8. Ideas -- Chapter 9. Identity -- Chapter 10. Case studies of professional practice -- Chapter 11. Discussion.


Bibliography: pages 523-580 Theoretical thesis. "March 2014" "A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy"

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Science, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Christopher N. Candlin

Additional Supervisor 1

Alan Jones


Copyright Darryl Hocking 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




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