A practice based methodology for research in the archive

Pierce, Gina (2019) A practice based methodology for research in the archive. In: Futurescan 4, 23 - 24 January 2019, University of Bolton.


My research focuses on the fabric samples and documentation held in the archive of the furniture company Parker Knoll Ltd, part of the Frederick Parker Collection London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom (UK). This archive is an under researched and under theorised resource, particularly in a creative context. The anonymous and neglected fabric samples are unknown to the textile community and I will be undertaking the first critical study surrounding this collection.

The aim for this practice-based research is to create material responses to the archive in the form of the ‘interpretative object’ that reveals and explores the context of the fabric samples’ design, selection and manufacture. Here connections between the archive and the audience can be reflected upon to formulate a new model of pedagogical use of an archive both in design education, and with different social and community groups.

My research proposes an intention to explicitly act as an intermediary or transitionary tool to inspire a selected participatory group into a guided activity. The project work undertaken will be reflected upon to determine the success or otherwise of the models used for furthering the use of the archive as an educational methodology.

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