Our understanding of creative economies research implies processes and practices of creation and experimentation, curation and entrepreneurial engagement. Accordingly, we see research as being involved in the fields of action of the creative economies. Only this will enable the description and interpretation of the important dynamics, practices, strategies and transformations.
Five aspects are central to our notion of research:
1. Research is a process of creation: Every attempt to describe and interpret the dynamics of the creative economies also implies a specific perspective that reveals certain phenomena while concealing others. Our research therefore involves developing different models. We search for perspectives that question established ideas. We seek to develop new methodologies, experimental arrangements and laboratories for experiments. And we establish platforms facilitating controversial discussion on heterogeneous perspectives: this approach reveals the point of a single perspective.
2. Research moves “in between” established positions with risky projects: Research must consciously probe into areas where matters become controversial, insecure and complex, into the space “in between” well-known perspectives and ideas. Accordingly, we are interested in new connections between forms of creativity and economic models. We zoom-in and zoom-out to view matters from afar and close-up. We combine quantitative approaches and qualitative approaches, proven methods and experimental arrangements.
3. Repertoire of research practices: In line with our understanding of research, our work is grounded in highly diverse research practices. We employ mapping methods. We develop models. We experiment with actors in the field. We work on case studies. We do experimental statistics. We develop new concepts and a language for describing the creative economies. We curate workshops and panels. We encourage discussion in informal and unfamiliar contexts. We try out our research in different text formats. And we work together with new actors time and again. As a result, our approach is constantly shifting, not least since we challenge established ideas and test new models.
4. Multiple forms of knowledge: Our research approach prevents a dominant form of scientific knowledge from emerging. Instead, we move between multiple and heterogeneous forms of knowledge. Thus, some things are best illustrated with time series, others with outstanding examples. Alternatively, you stage debates. Not the single data point matters, but the resulting ecosystem of approaches, references, connections and contradictions. There is no such thing as a neutral “view from nowhere.” It is rather a matter of developing knowledge resources that other actors can use for their research initiatives, entrepreneurial strategies and value creation.
5. Self-application: Accordingly, we do not see ourselves as a research team situated outside the creative economies, but as actors in the field. We work as co-curators with other actors in multiple forms and formats. Our research venture makes us a player in the creative economies.
This notion of research drives our research agenda (→ see Research Agenda). At the same time, we endeavour to continually expand the repertoire of possible projects, practices, perspectives and forms of knowledge and to involve actors who bring in alternative approaches. These manifold efforts generate the surprises that challenge and fascinate us and advance our research.