RMIT Australia
Practice Research Symposia


The DAP_r Project was initiated and centred around the two annual Practice Research Symposia (PRS) at RMIT Melbourne. The PRS lie at the heart of a longstanding program of doctoral research exploring what designers actually do when they design, and developing new and innovative approaches to creative practice. The research candidature becomes a process through which creative practitioners develop their research capability, becoming fully fledged creative practice researchers.

The PRS is a semi-public event that represents a coming together of academy and industry over common research. It begins with public viva examinations of completing candidates, situated within a professionally staged PhD exhibition, followed by work-in-progress presentations by all current candidates across the fields of Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Spatial Information Architecture and Fashion & Textiles. Each candidate’s presentation provides space for public consideration of their research. The process of enquiry developed over the course of a research candidature is punctuated by these biannual presentations, which open up the research to interrogation and explication through group discussion, involving peers, supervisors and other experts.

The PRS weekend also includes public lectures, discussion panels, training and capacity building opportunities and social events, and are a key site of relationship building, collaboration birthing and project generation. An intensive, twice-yearly gathering of research candidates, supervisors, and esteemed guests, the PRS’ prime purpose is to be the tangible focus of a learning community set up to facilitate collective learning. The School of Architecture and Design stages six PRS events every year – the two in Melbourne are mirrored by PRS in Europe and Asia.

In 2016 and 2017, for the duration of the DAP_r Grant, DAP_r partners had the opportunity to fully participate in the PRS. Candidates from partner institutions attended and presented alongside RMIT candidates, benefiting from the networked supervisory system; academic partners joined panels, bringing new perspectives that enhanced the diversity and richness of the PRS ecosystem. The DAP_r Project was thereby situated within an established and successful model of creative practice research and an extensive supervisory network.

Over the course of the project, partner and partner candidate involvement grew and DAP_r became embedded in the PRS, adding a breadth of perspectives.

The four PRS that fell within the duration of the DAP_r project are represented by the following booklets, which provide an overview of presentations and events:

Research methods training and supervisor development opportunities are offered at all PRS. In October 2017, this took the form of a Supervisor and Candidates Forum exploring 'the contribution of creative practice research' and featuring a number of DAP_r partners.

Video credit: Kiralee Greenhalgh and Sam Burzacott

More information about the RMIT PRS, including videos of all PhD examinations, can be found on the Practice Research Portal.