Materials and Practices Research Group (MaP)

The Materials and Practices research group (MaP) undertakes a diverse range of research projects at the nexus of the architectural, design, communication, craft and visual arts fields. Researchers come from all disciplines in the School and their research explores conventional and novel materials, processes, and practices developed and applied in creative ways. MaP contributes to the critique, translation, and transformation of established paradigms and values in contemporary thought and practice.

Banner: Rachel Hurstmillion hours_Drawing 3: 1946-1992 (2017). Ink on polyester film; 594mm x 420mm

Our Focus

  • Practice based-research
  • Material culture
  • The expanded field
  • Spatial intelligence
  • Tacit and embodied knowledge
  • Critical and speculative practices
  • Reflective and relational practices
  • Multiple scales of/and application[s]
  • Situated knowledge

Adjunct & Emeritus Researchers

Prof. Kay Lawrence

Dr. Angela Valamanesh

Khai Lew

John Wardle

Higher Degree by Research Candidates

Daniel Connell

Angelica Harris-Faull

Marcin Kobylecki

Tom Moore

Carly Snoswell

Sera Torchio Waters

Gretchen Gordon

Rebecca Hastings

Peta Kruger

Stephen Nova

Darren Taljaard

Anna Gore

Christopher Houghton

Leslie Mathews

Tara Sehatzadeh

Ash Tower

About Us

As the largest concentration of researchers in the School of Art, Architecture and Design, MaP is diverse in its objectives, approaches and outputs. It is, nevertheless, united in its ambition to research the practices specific to its creative, spatial, and disciplinary territories. MaP aims not only to use the extensive lineage of creative and design methods, tools and techniques that underpin each discipline, but to develop and articulate these as identifiable and advanced modes of research.

A key goal for MaP is to contribute to the broader academic recognition of creative practice research as a rigorous and productive mode of enquiry, which complements and differs from established modes of research in the sciences and humanities.

Research projects are undertaken by individual researchers and research teams, building on individual and group expertise to develop interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research and practice. The often tacit nature of knowledge in the creative arts and design disciplines is explored to develop understanding as to how practice can engage clear goals and outcomes with impact. In addition to making clear the underpinnings and trajectories of such forms of knowledge in a contemporary world, the group often uses evidence-based design, explicit data collection, and innovative analyses for both specific and speculative research endeavours.

Projects explore new approaches to working with painting and sculpture in the expanded field; architecture and interiority; communication design; product design; representation; rapid prototyping; design thinking, pedagogy, and critique; curatorial practices; cross-cultural and inter-cultural approaches to creative disciplines; community, public art and relational practices as well as practices invested in craft and materiality such as glass, metal and ceramics. Many of the outputs of research in MaP take the form of artefacts across a wide range of scales and forums, and installations. They are often publicly presented through exhibitions and design forums in Australia and internationally. Because of its close relationship with disciplinary practices, MaP research activity often finds immediate application and engagement in the teaching approaches and pedagogies of the School’s programs.

The scale, focus and impact of the MaP group’s research activities can be seen by visiting the pages of the researchers listed above.