Radical Spaces of Making

Art student working in studio with large window on Falmouth campus and person walking past and looking in.

This Research & Innovation Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Radical Spaces of Making.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

Spaces of making have the capacity to shape life-worlds, shift political, economic and material narratives, and generate creative outputs that strengthen social and environmental bonds (Adamson, 2018; Desilvey, 2017; Luckman & Thomas, 2018; Marchand, 2008; Shales, 2017). With specific attention paid to practices of making, this doctoral project proposal invites an exploration of the function of the studio (Buren, 1979) through active studio practice within the Falmouth School of Art, whilst also addressing the artists’ studio in its expanding socio-political forms beyond the campus (Thorne, 2012). As such, the research may attend to the capacity for shared places to foster new relations by ‘enabling and constraining the way in which people come together’ (Kohn, 2018), and where assemblages of matter, materiality and performativity might also be activated (Bennett, 2010). Here, there are opportunities for enquiry throughout Cornwall’s creative and heritage sectors; where consideration might be paid to how, why and where makers are working.

Starting from a recognition that conceptualisations of space are now understood to encompass multiple intersections of human and non-human ecologies (Massey, 2005; Haraway, 1988; Sloterdijk, 2011), this doctoral proposal encourages an investigation and pursuance of the radical within the research narrative; thus opening up potential for the examination and contestation of spatial practice at a root level (Shaw and Humm, 2016). 

It is suggested that primary modes of practice-based research methodologies be drawn from, but are not limited to, sculpture, drawing, performance, craft as social practice, and audio-visual media. Other research methodologies might extend to the creative turn in the humanities framed by ethnography, anthropology, geography, archaeology, social science and experimental pedagogies.

This doctoral project would aim to contribute to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary agendas, whereby opportunities are encouraged between disciplines and HEIs regionally, nationally and internationally. It is also important to acknowledge the possibilities through this doctoral proposal that links can be made with the wider ‘maker’ community of Cornwall, depending on the level of social engagement that the candidate establishes. Here there is huge value in creating critical dialogues of co-learning across different age groups, and economic and socio-cultural backgrounds towards a diversification of pedagogic attainment levels and aspirations in the region, and support connectivity and innovation in the productions and pedagogies of maker practices within FSA.

Radical Spaces of Making offers opportunities to carry out in depth research on the variety and distribution of spaces of making across the region, looking into both established and ‘below the radar’ spaces, and exploring non-traditional, temporary and experimental maker activity. This will perhaps form part of a survey of maker spaces that might support graduates, develop wider understanding of opportunities for graduates and offer opportunities to establish connections and generate new knowledge around the actual processes of developing maker and artist-led spaces. 

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the following Research & Innovation programme and department:

Programme Pedagogy Futures
Department Falmouth School of Art

As successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, we recommend that you review details of the programme aligned to this brief before you complete the application process.

Project brief lead

David Paton photo 3
David Paton photo 3

Project supervisor: Dr David A Paton

David is an artist-researcher and a craftsperson with a specialism in Cornish granite. He has been a practicing artist and stone sculptor since 1993, and for many years worked extensively in the public sphere, initiating a number of artist-led and socially engaged projects across the UK. 

Read more

How to apply

Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

Apply for a Research Degree
Falmouth University students sitting on steps with a wooden cladded wall behind


Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr David A Paton.

E: David.Paton@falmouth.ac.uk

Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.

E: research@falmouth.ac.uk

T01326 255831

Additional resources

Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Fund your Research Degree

See the options available to help you fund your research degree.

Fund your Research Degree
Students sat around a table in the AIR building
Students sat around table in AIR

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships

You can apply for a fully-funded Falmouth Doctoral Studentship as part of your research degree appli...

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships
Research & Innovation
R&I Homepage Lead

Research & Innovation

By stepping beyond disciplinary lines, harnessing creativity and working with communities, we delive...

Research & Innovation
News_Make a Difference in Research: Workshop Success
Impact Training Workshop October 2013. Image courtesy of CommsConsult.

Doctoral Project Briefs

We invite MPhil and PhD project proposals that respond to a doctoral project brief.

Doctoral Project Briefs