Immersive Photography: a practice-led methodological approach to landscape photography research

Keywords: Creative practice, Practice-led research, Landscape photography, Methodology, Design research


In recent years, there has been a notable shift in the design field towards practice-led research, driven by the recognition of design practitioners as valuable contributors to knowledge production. However, the lack of well-defined methodologies for conducting practice-led research in academia has posed challenges to its progress and widespread adoption. This article aims to address this gap by providing examples of effective methodologies in practice-led research. The article emphasises the importance of robust frameworks that foster a symbiotic relationship between design practice and research, integrating theoretical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. It presents an innovative approach developed by the author during their PhD, which contributes to the ongoing discourses on practice-led research in design. The proposed methodology consists of four stages: the landscape, data gathering, reflection, and feedback. By engaging in iterative cycles of design exploration, critique, and reflection, the researcher gains a holistic understanding of design processes and their outcomes. This approach facilitates an in-depth exploration of the complex interplay between design concepts, materials, and the surrounding landscape. Ultimately, this article contributes to the discourse on practice-led research in the design field by introducing a methodology that embraces the practical, creative, and theoretical aspects of design inquiry. It responds to the increasing demand for examples of effective methodologies and provides a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners engaged in practice-led research at the PhD level. 

Author Biography

Marcos Mortensen Steagall , Auckland University of Technology

Marcos Mortensen Steagall is an Associate Professor in the Communication Design department at the Auckland University of Technology - AUT, where he started in February 2016. He is the Communication  Design Postgraduate Strand Leader and Programme Leader for Communication Design and Interaction Design for Year 3.  He holds a Master's (2000) and PhD (2006) in Communication & Semiotics acquired from The Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and also a PhD in Art & Design from Auckland University of Technology in 2019 using practice-led research and landscape photography. His research interests are connected to practice-oriented research methodologies in Art, Design and Technology; visual semiotics; Lens-based image-making and indigenous epistemology. 


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