ADMRC and Lab4Living launch Research Archive

ADMRC Research Archive

The Art, Design & Media Research Centre (ADMRC) and Lab4Living have launched an online archive presenting the wide range of research carried out by staff. This new resource provides rich insights into the methods and approaches employed by over 30 members of staff in research which was recently judged by REF to be 90% ‘world leading’ (4*) and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*). The archive provides a resource for students and researchers exploring practice and research methods in art, design and media.

Still from 'Influence of Mars' by Susannah Gent

Still from ‘Influence of Mars’ by Susannah Gent

Developing the archive

The Art, Design and Media Research Centre and Lab4Living are together providing detailed information on over 70 research projects from the last seven years on the Art, Design & Media Research Archive.

Each project is presented in a digital portfolio (which can incorporate performances, designs, artefacts, exhibitions and digital media). Lab4Living and ADMRC have worked together to develop a standardised format which can capture the richness and share the scope and range of research undertaken in this sector. The flexible portfolios presented on the archive enable greater exploration of research which can take many forms, including physical and digital artefacts, installation, exhibition and performance.

Still from Rose Butler's 'Lines of Resistance' and Stuttgarter Filmwinter logo

Still from Rose Butler’s ‘Lines of Resistance’ and Stuttgarter Filmwinter logo

Responding to a need

It has long been felt within the sector that art, design and media disciplines lack suitable repositories for their research, either physical or digital. The Art, Design & Media Research Archive begins to attend to that gap, providing a useful online resource and reference point for researchers and students seeking to explore research methods in the field.

Using the Life Cafe kit

Using the Life Cafe kit – Claire Craig

Archive aims

The archive, hosted at, gives ADRC and Lab4Living a means of disseminating and citing work alongside and beyond traditional academic publication routes. During the pilot phase, the archive’s limited exposure has highlighted its potential as a learning resource and reference point for research students and early career researchers in particular. Both the design and the content of the archive is informed by almost 30 years of practice based research at Sheffield Hallam University.

It is hoped that this work will a springboard for debate on practice-based methods in our disciplines. We hope the archive will enable a systematic documentation of evidence of the societal impact generated from research undertaken in art, design and media.

Research represented in the archive

Initially, the content covers the submissions made in 2021 to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) panel. Consisting of leading academics across all sectors of research, the panel judge submitted projects on the extent of impact they have had, their originality and quality, awarding them a grade from; recognised nationallyrecognised internationally, internationally excellent and world-leading. The ADMRC and Lab4Living, like other research institutes within Sheffield Hallam University, went through the rigorous process of identifying the leading projects and presenting them for submission.

This archive collection makes these output submissions available for further exploration by anyone. Whilst most are presented in full, due to a range of reasons including funders’ requests, public identification, or confidential agreements, some submissions are not fully accessible. However, where possible an overview of the projects’ goals and outcomes has been made available.

The archive also details the benefits to society, culture and health in the three impact case studies which were rated 100% ‘world leading’ (4*) and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) in REF2021.

2020-02-20 CWTL Digital tablet desk credited to Dr David Swann III

sdr 2020-02-20 CWTL Digital tablet desk credited to Dr David Swann III

What’s next?

Over time, projects will be added to the archive on a rolling basis as ongoing research projects reach completion and key completed projects are consolidated, consolidating the archive as a world-leading repository of research in Art, Design and Media.

What next?

Explore the ADMRC Research Archive

Our REF2021 results

Find out more about the ADMRC

Find out more about Lab4Living