An Investigation into ‘Autoethnography’ in Fashion and Textile Practice-led Research
Practice-led research develops tacit knowledge through practice. This personal knowledge needs to be shared, to be accepted in academia. Autoethnography, which is an ethnographic method relating subjectivity to social science, is sometimes used to connect tacit knowledge with academic one in practice-led research. Through fashion and textile practice-led PhD case studies from renowned UK institutions such as the Royal College of Art and University of the Arts London, the characteristics of autoethnography in fashion and textile practice-led research are identified. Firstly, autoethnography in practice-led research adopts various areas of the social sciences as practice-led research does. Secondly, autoethnography makes readers feel intimate with the author and helps readers to understand practice-led research and tacit knowledge. Thirdly, it is used as a way of knowing, and sometimes leading research. Fourthly, it sometimes leads to unexpected results. Fifthly, a researcher can review the process to find something wrong, missing or unnecessary. Thus, autoethnography is an effective and reliable method not only to make a subjective practice objective but also to develop practice and fashion and textile practice-led research through investigating its process. This study contributes to producing tacit knowledge by using autoethnography in practice-led research and helps understand the nature of practice-led research in order for it to be expanded into art and design area.