Powers of design: A heuristic inquiry into the Victoria and Albert Museum's Residency Programme

Saskia Coulson, Louise Valentine

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There has been a well-documented increase in the level of investment and engagement offered by British museums to the creative industries, as evidenced by the proliferation in the provision of residencies in recent years. Residencies offer the time and resources to innovate in practice, and can result in objects, events or services which benefit the host organisation and participating individuals. This paper will briefly review British examples of contemporary residency programs, identifying the overlapping and disparate characteristics of residencies, and provide an overview of various real-world practices to determine the main practical and strategic value offered by residencies to project stakeholders.

Furthermore, this paper will offer an in-depth heuristic perspective of the Victoria and Albert Museum's Residency Programme, with emphasis given to the development and managements of the service and its situation with the Museum's wider organisational framework. This study contributes to a growing debate that design can by employed as a way of thinking about the development of cultural products and services, and uses the concept of residency as a lens through which the traditional and emerging frameworks of design can be viewed and can foster a discussion on the agency of design within a cultural organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference : Design Management in an Era of Disruption - London College of Fashion, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20144 Sep 2014


Conference19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Residency
  • Museum
  • Design Management
  • Heuristic Research

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  • Making the Case: collaborative concept development of products and services for a new design museum

    Bletcher, J., Valentine, L. & Coulson, S., 2014, Proceedings of DRS 2014: Design's Big Debates. Y.-K., L., K., N., J, R., E., S. & A., V. (eds.). Umea, Sweden: University of Umea, p. 728-743 16 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
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