The Form and Function of the Artist Studio: A Pioneering Fine Art Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project Developed by Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins College of Art

By Arantxa Echarte.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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This paper presents a case study of a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) project initiated in January 2010 by Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. This project enabled discussions about the form and function of the artist studio to be explored in great depth through the development of a range of activities and use of a varied range of research methods. This is the first time fine art has been the subject of a KTP and it is therefore considered a highly innovative project. Sustaining affordable, high-quality, and appropriate studio provision in London in what is likely to become an increasingly challenging economic environment for artists and art organisations alike, will leave little margin for error. This KTP is particularly important for Acme at a time when a number of new capital projects are in development. An example of such projects is a standalone studio building developed in partnership by High House Production Park, Acme and HAT Projects in Purfleet, Essex. Emerging findings from this KTP are proving invaluable to achieve a detailed client brief for this pioneering development. These briefs will also apply to future capital developments and will ensure that Acme continues to provide and manage studios that meet the changing needs of artists. Additionally, this research contributes to establishing Acme as the leading organisation in the studio provision sector. This paper shows the range of activities in which the Research Consultant Dr. Arantxa Echarte has been involved. It defines the applied research methods and methodologies, and it demonstrates how a fine art KTP project can improve competitiveness and productivity through the use and transference of knowledge.

Keywords: Artist Studio, Artist Studio Provision, London, Design, Research Methods and Methodologies, Innovation, Advice, Leading, Knowledge Transfer, Artists, Studios

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 337.554KB).

Dr Arantxa Echarte

Artists' Studios Research Associate, Acme Studios, Central Saint Martins College of Art, London, London, UK

I am an active artist and Researcher Consultant in the Arts. I graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2012, a Pg.Dip. in research also from UWE in Bristol, an M.A. in art and design from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland; and a First Honours Degree in fine arts from the University of The Basque Country, Spain. As a research consultant, I specialize in developments in contemporary arts in London (i.e. the study of the studio sector and archival studies), knowledge transfer, and research methods and methodologies (i.e. academic methods and methodologies and SROI). My present artistic area of interest lies within anthropological and ethnographical study in view of the idea that anthropology reconstructs stages of social and cultural evolution through recording ways of life that rapidly change. As an artist, I engage with places and people, immersing myself within specific “situations” offered by the surrounding environment and developing what an ethnographer would call “field work.” (See www.arantxaecharte.com.)