The ‘Epistemic Object’ in the Creative Process of Doctoral Inquiry

Carole Gray, Julian Malins, Maxine Bristow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Within the framework of practice-led doctoral research in the Art and Design sector, there has long been debate about the role of the artefact/creative works in the process of inquiry and in the final submission for Ph.D. examination. Their status can be ambiguous and the concept of ‘exhibition’ is – we would argue – problematic in this context.
Therefore, we want to suggest an alternative way of considering the role of artefacts/ creative works in a doctoral submission, by discussing the liberating concept of ‘epistemic objects’ – their possible forms and agencies, and the alternative display/ sharing of the understandings generated from these through ‘exposition’ not exhibition.
Whilst our experience and expertise lies within the sector of Art and Design, we suggest that some ideas in this chapter may resonate and be relevant to other creative disciplines in the revealing and sharing of doctoral research outcomes. This process can be difficult and provoke many anxieties for the practitioner-researcher and their supervisors, so some clarity on this might help everyone involved in the examination of doctoral work to approach it with integrity and confidence, and see it as a valuable learning experience for all involved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing Art as Research in Learning and Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationMultidisciplinary Approaches Across the Arts
EditorsRoss W. Prior
Place of PublicationBristol, UK
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781783209767, 9781783209750
ISBN (Print)9781783208920
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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