2009 Conference


Interventions in the Public Domain

The papers in this publication were initially delivered at the annual conference of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University over the three days from 30th September to 2nd October 2009. The papers have been peer-reviewed in a double-blind referee process that required considerable effort and expert co-ordination by Marie Gehde, the Administrator of the ACUADS 2009 Conference at QCA. My role as editor has been to ensure the integrity of the process and to adjudicate on any conflicting reports from the referees. With over sixty papers submitted, the process of allocating papers to referees with corresponding disciplinary expertise in institutions other than the author’s own has been a complex task, but also a rewarding one. It was heartening to see the care and professionalism taken by so many referees who have given their time to ensure the rigour and quality of writing in the art and design disciplines. I express my gratitude to these individuals who remain anonymous to all but Marie Gehde and I.

The theme of this publication “Interventions in the Public Domain” was chosen by the Queensland College of Art, ACUADS Conference Committee, chaired by Professor Paul Cleveland, since it is the prerogative of the hosting institution to choose the focus of the Annual Conference.  The session themes were chosen by members of the Convening Committee and not unexpectedly reflect particular areas of research strength at the QCA, Griffith University.

The session “Public Art: Towards a Critical Discourse” was proposed by Associate Professor Jay Younger who has extensive experience in the arena of public art as both a practitioner and curator involved with some of the largest public art projects in Queensland.

QCA Adjunct Professor Tony Fry is Convenor of the Design Futures Masters program in the College and has been one of the leading international figures in the movement towards sustainable design practices. His session “Sustainability, Design, Education and Transformation” brought together a very diverse range of papers all united by the recognition that design practices need to be at the leading edge in shaping change towards a sustainable future.

There was strong representation of QCA and GFS (Griffith Film School) staff in the session “Documentary and Narrative” convened by David Lloyd, as documentary photography and film are particular areas of research focus at Griffith University.

David Lloyd also proposed the much more unfamiliar theme of “Refereeing the Visual” with the hope that debate in academe might give far greater prominence to visual literacy.

The session I convened “Theory for Practice” was in direct response to a request made at a round-table of research directors and deans from art and design schools from around Australia and convened by Professor Brad Buckley at the Sydney College of the Arts in March 2009. At this meeting, where the primary discussion point was the ALTC funded Creative Arts PhD Scoping Study, there was unanimous agreement that the 2009 ACUADS conference needed to include a session dealing with exegetical writing generally and specifically the writing of an exegesis within the studio-based PhD submission. I enthusiastically took up this suggestion as my provocative introduction to the call for papers indicates but I was nevertheless overwhelmed by the depth of the response. At last it would seem, Theory has become the most popular topic in art and design schools, at least when it comes to the shaping of new exegetical modes of writing to illuminate studio practice.  And, from the wide range of papers presented in the “Theory for Practice” sessions it is clear that university-based art schools from Perth to Brisbane are developing techniques and methodologies to both teach and critically evaluate exegetical writing at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

In this publication, the papers are arranged alphabetically by author within the various session themes and each theme is introduced with the original statement given by the session convenor in the initial call for papers.

Dr Ross Woodrow, 
Associate Professor, 
Deputy Director (Research and Postgraduate) 
Queensland College of Art, Griffith University 
Brisbane, Australia, 
December 2009.
ISBN: 978-1-921291-90-6.

ACUADS 2009 Conference
Interventions in the Public Domain
Queensland College of Art, Griffith University
South Bank | Brisbane | Queensland
30 September – 2 October 2009