EKSIG 2013: Knowing Inside Out – experiential knowledge, expertise and connoisseurship (July 2013, Loughborough UK)

Dates: 4-5 July 2013
Location: Loughborough University, UK
Conference website: http://www.experientialknowledge.org
Deadline for submission for abstracts: UPDATED: 22 November 2012

EKSIG is part of a programme of Special Interest Groups set up by the Design Research Society (DRS) to facilitate international exchange and advance in relevant areas of design.  EKSIG is concerned with the understanding and management of knowledge in research and professional practice in design in order to clarify fundamental principles and practices, with regard to both research degree regulations/requirements and research methodology.

With the theme Knowing Inside Out: experiential knowledge, expertise and connoisseurship, the conference aims to provide a forum for debate about expertise and connoisseurship by professionals and academic researchers, exploring the role and relationship of generating and evaluating new and existing knowledge in the creative disciplines and beyond.

The issue of expertise and connoisseurship has come to the fore in recent years as professionals and scholars from many disciplines negotiate the tension between the explicit justification required by research and the tacit appreciation and judgment that expertise and connoisseurship entail.

Expertise is considered the highest level of skill acquisition and knowledge within professional practice, being based on experience and tacit understanding and an intuitive grasp and judgment of its processes and
situations (Dreyfus & Dreyfus 1986). Much expertise operates without conscious effort and the tacit knowledge that sustains expertise is not generally made explicit nor is it easily articulated. Deliberate practice and extended experience result in automaticity and immediate intuitive response. For example, a pianist’s hand movement, a designer’s choice of material, a radiologist’s instant diagnosis, etc.

In contrast, connoisseurship can be defined as the external judgement or ‘the art of appreciation displayed in any realm in which the character, import or value of objects, situations and performances is distributed and variable’ (Eisner 1998: 63), and which relies on experience and tacit knowledge. For example, curators utilise their tacit expertise and connoisseurship together with their explicit knowledge in museology and conservation to make judgements on which artefacts are suitable for collections or exhibitions. This raises the question, for example, how inquiry into the practice of curatorship may accommodate the requirements of the practice of research and how we judge academic and creative output.

In many disciplines, expertise and connoisseurship pervades all parts of practice, including processes, the creation of artefacts and/or other kinds of physical manifestations and finally the interpretation through other professionals, such as curators, critics, historians, gourmets etc. While knowledge and experience generated from within creative and professional practice have extensively been disseminated in the research context as a written text and artefacts, the expertise and connoisseurship of professionals have rarely been considered in this context. However, this seems key to understanding, for example, procedural inquiry, using the role of creative output within any inquiry as an illustration or demonstration of the researcher’s knowledge or any embedded meanings (e.g. concepts, function, user behaviour, etc.). How professionals develop their expertise and connoisseurship and how these forms of tacit judgement facilitate explicit justification in research, including the generation, evaluation and communication of knowledge therefore remains open to questions and debate.

With this conference, we wish to explore the roles of the researcher’s professional knowledge and the different ways in which it can be utilised and communicated within the framework of research. This may include, for example, investigations into the nature, aims, evaluation, and/or necessity of different forms of expertise and connoisseurship as well as modes of communication and exchange for experiential and procedural knowledge.

We wish to bring together engaged professionals and scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, fields of knowledge production and methodological approaches to explore these issues.  We invite contributions from creative subjects and other disciplines, e.g. design, architecture, engineering, craft, media, performance, music, fine art, curation, museology, archaeology, philosophy, knowledge management, education, health, cognitive science, gastronomy, oenology, sensory studies, etc., that are concerned with the expertise and connoisseurship in research and in creative and professional practice.

29 August 2012 First call for papers
1 October 2012 Second call for papers
1 November 2012 Final call for papers
15 November 2012 Submission of abstracts ends
20 December 2012 Notification of accepted abstracts
15 February 2013 Submission of full
29 March 2013 Notification of acceptance of papers
29 April 2013 Submission of revised papers
4&5 July 2013 Conference

For EKSIG 2013, we invite papers which offer new or challenging views on the subject.  Papers will be selected subject to a double blind review process by an international review team.  In the first instance we ask for the submission of abstracts by 15 November 2012.  Authors of selected abstracts will be asked to submit full papers.

We invite the submission of abstracts of 800 words (including references) by 15 November 2012.  Authors of selected abstracts will subsequently be invited to submit full papers (4000-5000 words) by 15 February 2013.

For further details please visit: http://www.experientialknowledge.org

Conference Organisation:
Dr Nithikul Nimkulrat, Loughborough University, UK
Dr Kristina Niedderer, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Dr Mark Evans, Loughborough University, UK
Prof Seymour Roworth-Stokes, University for the Creative Arts, UK
The conference is hosted by the Loughborough University and co-organised by
the University of Wolverhampton.


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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