Empirica research group approaches research with an attitude, where making, acting and engaging play important roles.

About Empirica

The Empirica group approaches research with an attitude, where making, acting and engaging play important roles. The group’s goal is to develop exploratory methods, where art and design related practices are utilized in experimental ways as research practice.

The group also conducts fundamental design research in design history, design professions and values, cross-cultural connections in design and design in societal discourses.

The group’s theoretical framework is in humanities. For the group the term culture refers on one hand to our situated everyday habits and environments and on the other hand to professional practices related to the field of art and design.

For mapping out the different creative processes, the group documents and reflects in diverse ways. Its main challenge is to gain deeper understanding of the creative practice: how the practice unfolds and what is the relation between the processes and the results? How does the creative activity within the field of art and design impact on and digest influences from the society.

More information about the ideology of Empirica can be found in our strategy.

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Recent Publications | Complete list

August 2016 |

Personal exploration: Serendipity and intentionality as altering positions in a creative proces by Maarit Mäkelä in FORMakademisk

This article is based on documentation and reflection of the author’s creative practice in contemporary ceramic art at the beginning of 2015. The article discusses how the creative process proceeds by alternating between two positions: serendipity and intentionality. By describing the different phases of the process, it reveals the interplay between the diverse range of activities and how these gradually construct the creative process.

May 2016 |

The Knowing Body in Material Exploration by Camilla Groth & Maarit Mäkelä in Studies in Material Thinking

This paper explores the role of the knowing body in material exploration. The findings suggest that previous material experiences gathered through our body, guide us in material exploration even before physical manipulations start. Tactile impressions and images of materials are key in the choice of materials. The physical manipulation of materials help resolving complicated spatial design problems as the design is taken into the lived experience.

December 2015 |

Aesthetic Responses Made Visible Through Voices of Experts by Anna Kholina in Journal of Research Practice

This article examines the development of professional expertise in environmental aesthetics and proposes to rethink the role of experts and their contribution to the field by addressing tacit processes behind their judgements. It suggests reconsidering and widening the profile of the expert in environmental aesthetics to blur the divide between experts and lay public as well as between the users and producers of knowledge.

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