Welcome to the inaugural issue of the HUB, the Journal of Research in Art, Design, and Society. HUB has been created to bridge a gap within the current cross-disciplinary space of arts and design research by providing a platform for exchanging ideas to foster new forms of inquiry and documentation of artistic research. As a result, HUB intends to provide an opportunity for discussion concerning the eclecticism of creative processes and methodologies and the educational impact of artistic research. At the same time, it seeks to stimulate the debate surrounding the social, cultural, and technological frames of art and design practices.
Over the past decades, significant transformations and methodologies have emerged in art and design. The audience is increasingly included in the art and design creation processes as equal stakeholders or collaborators — even though, for some, these changes may have been feared as a threat to highly specialized research or artistic practice. What was seen as hegemonic thinking (of Northern Hemisphere and Western Europe, from where we are currently reporting) had to consider expanding the space of knowledge in conjunction with the other (or even reestablishing the cult of the amateur, as Andrew Keen put it so eloquently in the past about Internet culture). In this way, we can also better understand how perspectives and contributions from the global South have been boosting the artistic agency.
Researchers, educators, and practitioners have since developed an extensive and complex way to call up different ways of doing and thinking in the contemporary context by bridging cross-disciplinary fields of expertise such as art and technology, design and computation, artistic research and social sciences, to name a few examples. Collaboration between disciplines produces an eclectic self-reflexive and inter-reflexive structure capable of crossing boundaries and taking an active critical posture in the face of societal and global concerns. The tools and processes of thinking-making and making-thinking in each field of knowledge can enrich the various areas of expertise through the entanglement of their application strengthens transnational reflection networks and their specificities. We can confidently affirm that in the early decades of the 21st century, the arts and design are no longer just looking inwards but actively seeking collaborations in other social and technological fields of knowledge. And this has helped push the envelope of the arts and design. Hence developing a better society overall.
The HUB journal has been created within such a context. Hosted on the Research Catalogue (RC) platform, the journal seeks alternate forms to question artistic research. The RC allows for the creation of expositions beyond the traditional text-based article. By hosting and supporting static and dynamic media through RC, HUB welcomes and promotes additional ways to report and reflect on the arts and design and intends to foster sharing and dialogue based on the democratization of knowledge. The RC accessible framework, which is open access and whose design aims to accommodate further methods of linking text, image, audio, video, and organizational charts, can serve as a foundation for additional approaches to knowledge organization and visualization.
This inaugural issue aims to inspire and, to an extent, set the tone intended for the journal. Being a journal reporting on arts, current artistic research is also viewed and analyzed through the perspective of speculative research. Without an overriding theme, this issue is rather a provocation. We challenged established researchers and practitioners in the arts and design fields to report on the emergent topics in their area. Responding to our invitation, authors from various origins, geographies, and domains of expertise reflect on key research programs of the i2ADS research unit.