Although students come in thinking they will write essays, the lab’s milieu is that an essay (for example) is a process of “making” with words. Once we recognize it as a making, we can experiment.
Adrian Miles is a senior lecturer in New Media at the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne, AU. He is program manager at the Consilience Lab and co-director of the non/fiction lab at RMIT.
What is your lab called and where is it?
It’s called the consilience lab. It is at RMIT University in the School of Media and Communication, Melbourne.
What sorts of projects and activities form the core of your work?
Well, I’m sort of cheating perhaps. It is an honours lab. Honours in Australia is often an additional and optional fourth year of study. It builds upon the three year undergraduate degree a student has completed and is a research year where students undertake a substantial project. A 12000 word thesis is a good measure of the sort of thing that would be done. In this lab research is done via thesis or project + exegesis. It is the standard pathway to a PhD (you can apply for a PhD directly after a successful honours year.)
Since we are a school of media and communication, and 70% of the students do it by project, there is often a ‘technological’ focus.
The lab is a degree program so has a curriculum. We have a common research class (methods, etc), and three thematic labs lead by researchers. For the past three years one lab has revolved around media materialism (using Alien Phenomenology as the introductory reading). This is the most tech of the three thematic labs we have offered.