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

April 2018 |

Urban Hitchhiking: Wandering with Others as a Research Method by Anna Kholina in Suomen Antropologi

This essay introduces urban hitchhiking, a reflective practice of sharing a walk with strangers, and considers its relevance for research and artistic practice. We demonstrate this with the help of our own accounts of Urban Hitchhiking as two artists who developed the concept and a researcher who practiced it. The essay summarises four perspectives that emerged from our findings: spatiality, performativity, gender, and hospitality.

April 2018 |

Rethinking materialities in higher education by Maarit Mäkelä and Teija Löytönen in Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education

Art, craft and design activities are fundamentally creative in nature, requiring the implementation of ideas in the form of materially embodied artefacts. Within art and design education, initiation to the creative process is usually enhanced via a studio model where material experimentations are an integral part of learning processes. This case study explores materiality in learning from a relational perspective where material forces are at play in constituting learning: how learning is entangled with or an effect of the engagement with the materiality of places, environments and (organic) matter.

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.

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