Knowing Through Making: The Role of the Artefact in Practise-Based Research

Maarit Mäkelä


In this article the making and the products of making are seen as an essential part of research: they can be conceived both as answers to particular research questions and as artistic or designerly argumentation. As an object made by an artist-researcher, the artefact can also be seen as a method for collecting and preserving information and understanding.

However, the artefacts seem unable to pass on their knowledge, which is relevant for the research context. Thus the crucial task to be carried out is to give a voice to the artefact. This means interpreting the artefact. During the process of interpretation, furthermore, the artefact has to be placed into a suitable theoretical context. In this process the final products (the artefacts) can be seen as revealing their stories, i.e. the knowledge they embody.

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