Undergraduate Degree




DD3012 Research Methods in Art and Design

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites:Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

This introductory course aims to fine-tune students’ research skills and work towards increasing their understanding of the style, form and discipline of art and design inquiry.


This course introduces students to theories, design and methods of art and design research that relate directly to course project. A substantive component of the course focuses on practice and issues pertaining to application and operationalization of art and design methods. The class will consist of lecture, professional example, class work, homework, oral critique and field trips.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

• The purposes and roles of art and design research

2 - 4

• The generation of research questions/hypotheses 

• Research design 

   - sampling and instrument design 

   - qualitative and analytical design and implementation 

   - data collection, management, exploration, analysis and presentation

• Ethical and diversity issues 

   - confidentiality in handling data, cultural and language issues, etc

5 - 8

• Concepts, theories and contexts explained and applied

    - hermeneutics and phenomenology, methodological bricolage, 

      ethnographic field strategies, historical research, case studies, etc

• Critical approaches 

    - modernist, post-modernist, structuralism, post-structuralism,    

      psychoanalytical, feminism, post-colonial, Marxist, ecological, etc 

• Theories and methods of analysis 

    - theories of the sign, codes and semiotics analysis 

   - concepts of myth, intertextuality, narrative and content analysis, etc

9 - 12

• Final project development


• Final review of project

Learning Outcome

The students will have skills and knowledge about the process of art and design research design, and basic understanding about the different approaches and theories of research methods in the art and design. The students will be able to develop a plan for art and design research involving the steps necessary for appropriate analysis and interpretation of results.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 60%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 40% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Audrey Bennet,Design Studies: theory and research in graphic design, (Princeton Architectural Press)

  2. Ian Noble,Visual Research: An introduction to research methodologies in graphic design, (AVA)

  3. Michael Ann Holly & Marquard Smith,.What is research in visual arts?, (Yale University Press)

  4. Richard Hickman, Research in art & design education, (Intellect Books)

  5. Richard Hickman, Critical studies in art & design education, (Intellect Books)