Roberts, Spencer (2011) Rhythm, Relation, Concept and Practice: A Process Relational View. In: Doctoral Education in Design Conference 2011, 23-25th May, 2011, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

This paper considers the conference themes of practice, knowledge and vision in process-relational terms. It emphasizes the need to apply these concepts to the activity of research adjudication as much as to the activity of research itself. In so doing, it questions a notion that underpins much of the debate concerning the legitimacy of research undertaken in the fields of art and design; namely that there is a stable conception of ‘research per- se’ which might serve as a ground for judgment in cross- disciplinary comparisons. In contrast to this, the concept of ‘research’ is positioned as something that is transformative with respect to context and milieu. Accordingly, it is suggested that research adjudication should be considered a creative activity that is as much concerned with the transformation of law, as it is with law application.

Thinking research activity and research adjudication in process-relational terms has important practical consequences. The idea that concepts of research are at once domain specific and changeable over time, serves to problematise the notion of generic research training. It is argued here that discipline specific methodologies are more appropriate to a situation in which a multiplicity of research practices coexist and in which each of these practices places a variable degree of emphasis upon notions of tradition, integration, difference and innovation.

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