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The department comprises of seven undergraduate programmes, three masters programmes and the supervision of eight PhD students. All Art and Design academic staff and the majority of technical staff are practicing artists and designers and it is these practices that continuously inform the day to day delivery of our programmes. Alongside this the majority of the department staff are also engaged in practice based research or research related to their specialisms, which also informs their teaching.

Research in the Department or Art and Design encompasses a range of media specialisms, practice methodologies and theoretical perspectives that are clustered around four broad interconnected interdisciplinary themes and which bring together staff working across programmes in Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design and Fashion Communication.


(Im)materiality is a term that conveys associations with the material realm and the immaterial ideas and experience(s) that this gives rise to. It includes areas of research that are concerned with: processes of making and material production; the semantics of materials; medium, specificity, medium hybridity and intermediality; the agential capacity of matter/material; material culture; materially embodied experience; the haptic and sensuous experience; affect; ‘new materialism’; material (inter)relations and entanglements; absence and presence; dematerialisation; phenomenology; aesthetic experience; virtual reality, telepresence and augmented reality.

Embodiment, narrative and performance practice

Embodiment, narrative and performance practice is broadly concerned with situated and embodied experience and its importance in terms of thinking, making and knowledge production; the significance of narrative and cultural memory in creative arts practice, subjective formation and collective identity; together with the role of processually oriented experience and performativity in effecting transformation. This is investigated through a range of practice strategies and associated theoretical contexts including: drawing, still and moving image, sculpture and installation, participatory practice, sound, digital environments, design, digital print technologies and publishing as artistic practice, transmedia narratology and word/image.

Everyday objects, habitus and thingness

Everyday objects, habitus and ‘thingness’ explores the object in its many forms, diverse roles and capacities, whether this is in terms of its design, practical application, symbolic function, modes of engagement, or social meaning. It includes areas of research and practice that are concerned with the appropriation, re-presentation, reconfiguration and repurposing of objects; the tension between the aesthetic and extra-aesthetic/materiality and meaning; objectification, agency and the complex network of subject/object relations and personal and collective identities that are mobilised by objects; the productive indeterminacy and familiar unfamiliarity of ‘thingness’; cultural memory and the affective and psychological resonance of objects; the seduction of mass material culture and the consumable and commodified object; ‘object orientated ontology’ and ‘speculative realism’; and the corporeal habits, spatial practices, behavioural systems, performative situations, social dispositions and cultural capital that arise in our everyday encounter with objects.

Place, space and site

Place, space and site encompasses areas of research that are broadly concerned with environmental experience, spatial cognition, social engagement and the poetics and politics of space. The range of issues addressed though both practice and theory include: social placement and spatial belonging; relationships between time, place and cultural memory; contested space and politics of location; migration and exile cultures; the definition, negotiation and redefinition of boundary positions; liminality and in-between-ness; site, non-site and transitional space; site-specificity, context and situated practice; notions of proximity and distance; and the process of activation and decentring within installation practice.