Art & Design Research Institute (RIAD)


The Research Institute for Art and Design, RIAD, represents the research and advanced scholarship of art, design and architecture carried out by over 60 academic and research staff at Ulster University. 

RIAD research activity is undertaken in the areas of Applied Art, Design and Fine Art and has established cross-disciplinary and cross-institution scope alongside specialist and thematic research through 5 overlapping clusters of research activity:

- Art, Conflict and Society 
- Art and Context
- Creative Ecologies
- Future and Virtual Worlds
- Space and Place

Art, Conflict and Society Research Cluster
The Art and Conflict research cluster embraces world-leading research that makes links between specific conflicts and transferrable research outcomes. Documentation, fieldwork-based research and art practice publication across a variety of media including photography, film and urban design.

- Landscapes and contested spaces,
- Art and social cohesion,
- Art and crisis
- Art, visual documentation and societal disharmony

Art and Context Research Cluster
Art and its context give rise to research concerning the relationship of art to literary, political, technical, cultural and historical situation.

- Art and literature
- Image and text relations
- Narrative an oral art research practices
- Archival and documentary practices
- History

Creative Ecologies Research
The creative industries account for a higher proportion of employment in the Ulster than in the rest of the UK, and the field is characterized as solo practitioners and SME. This cluster investigates design management, creative industries alongside research that arises directly from discipline or material considerations.

- Creative industries
- Ecologies of production
- Cultural and creative industries
- Design management

Future and Virtual Worlds Research Cluster
Future and Virtual Worlds research includes physical products (hardware), technical ‘future’ designing, digital outcomes and philosophical or policy work. World leading Animation research and practice has influenced the development of this field of practice as a regional strength. Research in this cluster is overtly concerned with cross cutting global consideration such as connectivity and sustainability and design for wellbeing:

-Technology, tradition and innovation
- Product attributes and people behavior,
- Universal design and systems for pervasive wellbeing
- Connected societies, sustainable living
- Innovation and Industry
- Animation

Space and Place Research Cluster
Researchers in this cluster share a design focus manifest in architecture, landscape, interior and product design that is underpinned by consideration of place. A strand of research considers specificity of place including historical, geographic and cultural identity.

- Interactions of structure
- Environment and site responsiveness
- Sustainable and environmental
- Site, narrative and story telling
- Cultural memory and vernacular
- Landscape

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