Powers of Design: A heuristic inquiry into the Victoria and Albert Museum’s residency programme
Saskia COULSON and Louise VALENTINE
There has been a well-documented increase in the level of investment and
engagement offered by British museums to the creative industries, as
evidenced by the proliferation in the provision of residencies in recent years.
Residencies offer the time and resources to innovate in practice, and can
result in objects, events or services which benefit the host organization and
participating individuals. This paper will briefly review British examples of
contemporary residency programs, identifying the overlapping and disparate
characteristics of residencies, and provide an overview of various real-world
practices to determine the main practical and strategic value offered by
residencies to project stakeholders. Furthermore, this paper will offer an indepth
heuristic perspective of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Residency
Programme, with emphasis given to the development and management of
the service and its situation within the Museum’s wider organizational
framework. This study contributes to a growing debate that design can be
employed as a way of thinking about the development of cultural products
and services, and uses the concept of residency as a lens through which the
traditional and emerging frameworks of design can be viewed and can foster
a discussion on the agency of design within a cultural organization.
PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014
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