A Practice Research approach can often involve the inventive combination, constellation or even bricolage of methods, practices or ways of doing things drawn both from an artistic context and also from wider disciplinary fields. How different methods and approaches are negotiated, navigated, brought into dialogue or even into friction can be understood and organised in different ways. The map here attempts to give a flavour of some possible constellations but is in no way exhaustive. The individual researcher in invited to consider and identify the different methods that comprise their own research project, and how these might be brought into relation. How is the constellation of methods and practices activated within the individual project?
In the publication Research methods: Key Concepts, (London and New York, Routledge, 2021), Michael Hammond highlights why there is a need to investigate one’s methods and one’s understanding of methods, identifying some critical challenges where insufficient exploration and understanding of methods can lead to:
“Incomplete understanding of a concept. The researcher has got the gist of an idea but is unaware of its implications in full” p.x
“Switching paradigm within the same research project … signals a confusion that will weaken the impact the research might have” p.xi
“Parodying approaches with which the researcher does not agree” p.xi
“’Over-egging’ the innovative character of one’s research” p.xi
“Making binary distinctions rather than seeing differences of degree” p.xi.
“An overly formulaic approach to study […] Being critical means appreciating the tradition in which one is working, but it also means offering a personal view of the field and being able to point out the inconsistencies and shortcomings in the past literature. Being critical also means engaging in the larger questions of method” p.xii