‘Developing an understanding of our personal research journey’

Lucy Russell, LDoc Student, 18 June 2015


Lucy Russell on the June 2015 student led workshop ‘Together as a group we created an outline of what was wanted or needed to share our PhD research experiences and issues. The LDoc workshop day would also become a clear demonstration of peer support and a space for personal reflection.


Workshop facilitator Marcelo described the days focus as developing an understanding of our personal research journey using creative critical thinking techniques. He asked us to bring twelve images that represented our research.


I was excited as this meant exploring two key questions in my research:


1. My research aims to facilitate a visual voice for others to engage in a two-way conversation with fashion and beauty advertisements, based on my own practice of (re)drawing. How clearly would my own research be read by others when I described it through my own practice of (re)drawing?


2. Can visually describing something explore new depth of understanding?


Inspired, I made new images to describe some issues surrounding the depiction of body-image in fashion and beauty advertisements, one described the materiality when thinking about body-image comparisons through adding plasticine to highlight the difference between the flat images of a magazine and the 3Dness of a body. In another I removed the body from the ‘Body Issue’ of a magazine thinking about what is seen, but also what is not seen.


The morning was spent mapping our own relationship to research and was as informative about each other as it was about our research methods. It was also clear how far we had come and what further journeys we had to make, through the PhD and beyond.


When in the afternoon workshop we displayed our images, the rest of the group read my research more clearly than I could have ever hoped, increasing my project confidence. A greater insight was gained into each other’s research and the images shown gave a wonderful picture of diverse design research.’  More on Lucy’s research here: ‘What I see I own’