Embedded Research Network
To plant: to bring theoretical, live and creative reflexive practices to studies of groups, organisations and institutions.

To be planted: research that grows within living organisations, through people, ideas and their meetings.

To be a plant: researching in the liminal space between inside and outside, covert or overt; navigating and storytelling against/towards academic/practice positions.

Plant is a network to support embedded research within art, architectural and civic organisations. We investigate the creative spaces, objects, and practices surrounding, and produced through, embedded research projects.

This site is a collection of embedded research PROJECTS and associated RESOURCES.

Plant has been established to make the diversity of collaborative hosted relations within embedded research projects visible and explore connections between peer practices. The network aims to critically reflect on the different embedded research positions which have been adopted in relation to non-academic host organisations. With this in mind, a LEXICON of embedded research has started to emerge, allowing projects to be categorised by relationships, methods, collaborators, co-productions, and spaces.

Our working definition of embedded research︎︎︎

List of members and affiliations︎︎︎


Next Meeting:


The network is shaped and organised through open meetings. All welcome.

Online via Zoom—contact us for the link

For these meeting we usually pick a short reading/ resource/ provocation relating to embedded research as a prompt for conversation.

Last month: ‘From Practitioner to Practitioner-Researcher’ in Robin Nelson, Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 

Here is a list of previous and forthcoming selected prompts. We often meet on the last Tues of the month. Let us know if you would like to attend but are unable to make this day/time.A

Acid-Soaked Molluscs: A Xenophoric Approach to Practicing Sculpture and Print
Julia McKinlay
Submitted January 2021
Leeds Beckett University and Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI)

Link to bodies of work︎︎︎

This PhD by practice thesis examines three bodies of work produced while being embedded in the team delivering YSI 2019: Feeling the Underside, an artist’s book; Mollusc Series, a series of etchings; and Coiled in a Single Plane, Skimmed and Separated, an installation.

Moving in and Out, or Staying in Bed: Using Multiple Ethnographic Positions and Methods to Study Artist-Led Housing as a Critical Spatial Practice
Jonathan Orlek
University of Huddersfield and East Street Arts

Link to thesis︎︎︎

This thesis is concerned with the provision of housing by artist-led organisations. It is also an embedded ethnographic study of a particular house called Artist House 45, a pilot project located in South Leeds. An understanding of artist-led housing as both collective artworks and interventions within the housing sector is developed. The research explores new strategies, rooted in and among the day-to-day processes of artist-led organisations, for communicating, translating and scaling artist-led housing.

Integrated Knowledges, Integrated Publics: Classificatory Practices, Boundary Crossings, and Public Space at The Hive, Worcester
Katherine Quinn
University of Warwick and The Hive Worcester
Link to thesis︎︎︎
Thesis was a multi-layered ethnography (one year intensive with multiple catch-up visits over 4 years) of a joint-use academic and public library which used lived methods (including dwelling, doodling and ficto-critical description) to examine shifting conceptions and productions of space around hard and soft classifications (public/academic, belonging/non-belonging, private/public, valued/not-valued). The ethnography situated my experience as a “shy researcher” (albeit one with Shy Pride) and developed doodle practices that emphasised inhabiting (the library’s) rhythms rather than—necessarily—directly interacting with it.

Site © Copyright 2023 Plant Embedded Research Network. Site design by Jonathan Orlek. PWZigzagfont by Peax Webdesign. Resources licenced under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) unless otherwise stated. Initiated by Claire Booth, Julia McKinlay, Clare Nadal, Jonathan Orlek and Katherine Quinn.