C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminar - Ways of knowing Facebook: influences of a practice-based approach on research on everyday digital life with Eve Stirling
Event contact Alison Honnor
Practice-based research is the dominant research approach in Art and Design and the notion of making as a research approach is gaining attention in disciplines beyond art and design (through the encouragement of multi and trans disciplinary ways of working). In this seminar I pay attention to the translation and transmission processes (Jungnickel & Hjorth, 2014) of making in a research project. I present example of these from a research site and research artefacts.
Previously I worked as a designer (product and interior) and in my move to academia I embarked upon four years of ethnographic research exploring undergraduate students’ social interactions on Facebook for an ESRC funded PhD – ‘Why waste your time on Facebook’? Within this research, my methodological approach was to draw upon the plurality of method that a practice-based process affords (Lawson, 2006). I drew upon my skill sets as a designer to help me think about and understand Facebook use. I created an architectural card model of my Facebook Profile and produced a Facebook Timescale infographic of my participants Facebook use over an academic year – these were both data and analyses. I found these design skills were tacit in my ethnographic research approach and I used these design methods to aid my thinking and understanding of the digital space-times of Facebook.
The focus of this seminar is methodological and in it I present: the scope of the project; pay attention to the design thinking and development processes (translation and transmission) that supported my analyses; and discuss the influence of practice-based research on coming to know digital spaces.
Jungnickel, K., & Hjorth, L. (2014). Methodological entanglements in the field: methods, transitions and transmissions. Visual Studies, 29(2), 136-145.
Lawson, B. (2006). How designers think: the design process demystified. Routledge.
Eve Stirling is a Senior Lecturer in Design at Sheffield Institute of Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research interests include the use of social media within society and more specifically within higher education and the pedagogical impacts of this. She uses practice based and visual research methods to explore the everyday lives of her participants. She gained her PhD from the School of Education at the University of Sheffield and in this took a longitudinal ethnographic approach studying Facebook use by students in transition. She is interested in the proliferation of digital spaces within our everyday lives and the relationship between time and space within these.
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