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What is Research: An Example

Creative Research: An Example

Although research is a thoroughly individualized process, try interpreting this model to alternate environments; for example:

  • In the course “Space and Place in Urban Planning,”the syllabus requires students to “read” the built environment by becoming adept in researching, investigating, and interpreting communities.
  • Each of these actions will be conducted differently according to what mode of reasoning you use:

Creative Research using Deductive Reasoning: Problems

We are oftentimes creative in mind-mapping ideas when researching social spaces. As an example, Kensington Market in Toronto elicits such a host of visceral and emotive impressions.

However, distinguishing “case studies” from their general contexts or even broader theories can be problematic and essentially clouds our creative voices.

Creative Research using Deductive Reasoning: Solutions PART 1

1. Encyclopedias: accessing the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas can be an ideal starting point for broader theories; for example, the entry on "Memory" offers a compelling frame for viewing neighbourhoods that have a long and diverse history such as the Kensington Market area of Toronto.

Instead of ONLY using "Kensington Market" as your initial research terms, you have much more conceptually engaging theories, such as:

  • Culture and Negotiating Meaning 
  • Community and Negotiating Society
  • Self and Negotiating Identity

Now, try identifying the general context through which these ideas can be expressed:

  • Empowering the public sphere
  • Enacting diversity
  • Art as social change
  • Designing a sustainable society

Finally, you can try searching for specific case-study examples you see on a site visit to Kensington Market

  • Pop-ups
  • Micro-economies
  • Local food networks
  • Subcultures
  • Relational aesthetics 
  • DIY culture

Creative Research using Deductive Reasoning: Make Decisions!

But, ultimately, you can't research all of these topics, so be sure to find a theory, context, and case study that is of interest to you, such as:

  • Theory:Community and Negotiating Society
  • Context:Designing a sustainable society
  • Case-Study:Local food networks

Creative Research using Deductive Reasoning: Solutions PART 2

2. Books and Journal Articles

Use Context to find books, and use Case-Study to find articles such as this one sourced through the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database:

Hébert, Yvonne M., et al. "New Modes of Becoming in Transcultural Glocal Spaces: Second-Generation Youth in Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto." Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol. 40, no. 2, 2008, pp. 61-87.


Quotations from the article are informative:

"Second generation youth are currently the focus of much research and policy attention with respect to their integration, which is not yet well understood. Based on graphic and narrative data recently collected in three cities, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto, we analyse second generation youth's patterns in glocal spaces where transcultural modes of belonging are created and lived. Our analysis focuses on attachments to locality and a continuum of mobilities of mind, body, and boundaries. The findings are interpreted in terms of the complexities of their integration processes as well as their relevance to social policy development" (Hébert 61).

Now use these concepts (and others from books and journal articles) to map onto your deductive research model:

Creative Research using Inductive Reasoning: PART 3 ?

After all of this research, you may decide to now use Inductive research and conduct a case-study survey of "social entrepreneurs" engaging in glocal food networks! Use what you have learned deductively about communities and negotiating society, designing sustainability, and local food networks to inform you inductive exploration of Kensington Market as a case-study example whether it be through a oral history interview, creating a site intervention art installation, or designing an app for retailers in the community.