Researchers in the arts, media and design often struggle to find serviceable methodologies within the orthodox research paradigms of quantitative and qualitative research. In response to this and over the past decade, practice-led research has emerged as a potent strategy for those researchers who wish to initiate and then pursue their research through practice.
This paper examines the dynamics and significance of practice-led research and argues for it to be understood as a research strategy within an entirely new research paradigm - Performative Research. Taking it’s name from J.L. Austin’s speech act theory, performative research stands as an alternative to the qualitative and quantitative paradigms by insisting on different approaches to designing, conducting and reporting research. The paper concludes by observing that once understood and fully theorised, the performative research paradigm will have applications beyond the arts and across the creative and cultural industries generally. We stand at a pivotal moment