The Visual Research Study Group consists of post-graduate research students from across the disciplines of design, arts, visual culture and architecture. We have come together to facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion of the roles that the visual can play in academic research. The group aims to host a forward looking programme of exhibitions, discussions and other events exploring the ways in which research can be produced, curated and reviewed through visual means.

Based at Edinburgh College of Art, part of the University of Edinburgh since 2011, the group members are all enrolled in doctoral and master’s research programmes involving creative practice, design and the production of textual theses. The multitude of methods, subjects and modes of study that characterise the group’s work makes it a diverse and dynamic focus for interdisciplinary debate on the role of the visual in research. In the variety of work undertaken by the group, the visual may refer to a body of research, a method of investigation or a mode of presentation, where research protocols and conceptual limits are themselves open for questioning through collective critique and reflexive practice.

The Visual Research Study Group is open to all students of the University of Edinburgh wanting to reflect on methodologies, theories and techniques of working with visual material, and critical approaches to representation.

Grateful thanks are due to Dr. Ella Chmielewska, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Visual Studies in the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, whose seminar on visual research methods inspired the group’s formation.

We would also like to thank Dr. Sophia Lycouris, Director of the Graduate Research School at the ECA, who has greatly supported the formation of the group and has provided invaluable assistance with the organisation of the 2012 exhibition, kompas.

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