SAFAA states that successful teaching is significantly influenced by the research in the given field, which also promotes the improvement of teaching processes and the effective implementation of academic programmes.
SAFAA encourages research development as far as the latter:
- contributes to raising the reputation of the university, directly influencing the improvement of the university’s activities and having a unique contribution to the progress of research in the fields of art studies, fine arts, design and applied arts,
- enables the generation with innovative approaches and ideas to make an important contribution to the development of national thinking, culture, economy, technology and industry, providing a valuable service to society,
- creates an environment and equal conditions that are attractive for young researchers, promotes the involvement of qualified specialists and managers in research activities,
- ensures the acquisition of additional material and financial resources by developing the research potential necessary for the sustainable development of the strategic goals,
- provides new opportunities for cooperation, creating the necessary conditions for the exchange of experience and effective implementation of educational programmes among researchers and professors.
The SAFAA defines research in art studies, fine arts, applied arts and design as creative inquiry that leads to the generation of new ideas and concepts. It can be described as a systematic investigation of a situation or problem with the aim of revealing new facts to explain the situation or solve the problem. Research activity implies critical thinking, a clear statement of position, rigour and originality. Moreover, new ideas, concepts, and dissemination of one’s own positions at relevant national and international levels are an inseparable part of effective research.
The research activities at the SAFAA encompass also knowledge exchange, reinforcing the links with teaching and cooperation with partners from the state and private sectors providing professional knowledge, skills and experience. The latter will contribute to innovations in the field of art as well as the formation of intellectual property.
Thus, the SAFAA affirms that research activities include a set of practical processes, work with various materials, critical thinking and the development of a creative mind.
The SAFAA strongly encourages the observance of the code of conduct and ethics in evolving research activities as defined by the institution’s regulations on integrity and other legal documents.
SAFAA strictly adheres to the permissible requirements for research implementation and presentation, excluding any manifestation of plagiarism in research works. Plagiarism is defined as:
- The verbatim quotation with the change of some or several words and/or verbatim quotation of certain and/or complete paragraphs (passages) from scientific works, books, articles, etc. without giving a proper reference,
- Copying whole or several parts of a creative work (e.g. painting, graphic work, etc.) of any prominent author.
Any case or manifestation of plagiarism is punishable and is governed by the SAFAA Policy on Academic Integrity.
With its research strategy, SAFAA also ensures the formation and maintenance of equal conditions and a proper research environment, encouraging the implementation of inclusive approaches during the teaching and research processes.
The Context of Research
The State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia has developed its own approaches and ideas for research development in the fields of art studies, fine arts, applied art and design. Emphasizing creative approaches and scientific innovation, the SAFAA distinguishes research priorities and basic principles.
SAFAA has set research as one of its strategic priorities, focusing mainly on creating and disseminating novelty, innovative ideas and creative thoughts.
Therefore, the research at the State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia is aimed at unconditionally meeting the modern requirements of art studies, fine arts, design and applied arts, as well as the rapidly developing industry, which will contribute to the development of cultural values and technology at the national and international levels.
Thus, the SAFAA distinguishes:
- Practical-applicable research with an emphasis on creative disciplines: fine arts, design, and decorative applied arts. The purpose of research here is to deepen the knowledge of materials and tools, to master professional skills, to master and develop artistic and design tools, to stimulate creative imagination, and to study all this in the context of art and design processes.
- Scientific-theoretical research, which mainly concerns the study of the history of art and art studies. The goal is to study the works of art and the development of artistic and humanistic thoughts in the historical process, which implies the research of artistic facts, the content, stylistic and formal patterns of their creation, as well as the study of artistic schools, their interactions and their contribution to the artistic process according to epochs, civilizational-cultural units, individual artists and art-critics. Emphasis is placed on the study of Armenian art and art studies, considering it in the context of regional and global art and culture.
The research strategy identifies the following issues:
- to strengthen the role of the State Academy of Fine Arts by contributing to the development of research in the fields of art history and theory, fine arts, design and applied arts by conducting effective research, the results of which will be tangible and visible at least at the national level,
- to promote the research activities of the teaching staff, supporting the development of their professional abilities,
- integrate a greater number of young researchers, contributing to their professional and scientific growth,
- contribute to the creation and development of the research environment by providing favourable and equal conditions and resources for the active activity of researchers,
- to ensure the formation of the scientific mass, creating opportunities for the implementation of interdisciplinary research,
- contribute to raising funds for research and the acquisition of funds from external sources,
- promote the internationalization of research and strengthen strategic cooperation in order to spread research culture.
SAFAA developed the research priorities, identifying the thematic directions for each field.
Priority is given to the promotion of interdisciplinary research within the framework of history, philology, architecture, archaeology, design, fine arts, aesthetics and philosophy, in the following thematic areas:
- The study of Armenian art of the early Christian and medieval periods, in the context of Eastern Christian culture, Caucasian studies and Byzantine studies highlighting the commonalities and peculiarities, which will enable to interpret and value Armenian art in a more thorough way (in particular, the theme of “The influence of the sacred tradition of Jerusalem on Armenian medieval art, theology and culture” is encouraged).
- The investigation of the history of Armenian art studies, which is an almost unexplored field and will enable to enrich and complete the knowledge about Armenian artistic thought, schools, views and positions of Armenian specialists in Soviet and international scientific debates.
- The study of contemporary Armenian art (80s, post-independence period), that is again an under-researched field and contains great potential, especially from the point of view of ensuring professional competitiveness and internationalization.
- Women’s role and activity in the development of art and culture: History and present time.
- Development trends of synthetic arts in Armenian reality.
Fine arts (painting, sculpture, graphics)
- Tradition in modernity and modernity in tradition: the relationship between the national pictorial tradition and modern trends in art, both in the context of fictional and performance techniques and ideological content.
- Urban themes. “City and Urban Culture” programme.
- Techniques and technologies of combining painting and sculpture.
- Graphic solutions in digital art: the application of modern technologies and potential opportunities in graphics.
- Innovative concepts and artistic solutions in book illustration.
- Combination of innovative-experimental and classic technologies in graphics printing.
- The theory of composition: from classical to modern trends.
Design and Applied Arts
- Website design. Artistic thinking and digital facilities.
- Artistic conceptualization of modern means of communication.
- The problems of artistic design of entertainment-information application programmes.
- Armenian fashion trends in the international context: the relationship between national tradition and modernity.
- Pottery in an indoor and outdoor public environment.
- Application of pottery in art therapy.
One of the primary conditions for the effective implementation of research is the creation and maintenance of a healthy research environment. SAFAA pays special attention to ensuring the proper environment, resources and equal conditions for conducting research at the university, guaranteeing diversity. The involvement of appropriate resources (financial and material) and staff with the required professional skills in the process is one of the best guarantees for establishing and disseminating the research culture, which is adopted by the SAFAA in developing its activities.
Throughout recent years of its activities, the SAFAA has recorded remarkable progress in the development of institutional capacity for research. In line with the adopted mission and strategy, the SAFAA will continue to ensure the development of the required material, financial and human resources, contributing to the quality and effective implementation of research.
- Workspace, tools and laboratories.
- Access to the library and other repositories (archives).
- Access to other scientific, creative, museum and library institutions.
- Letters of reference and letters of recommendation.
- Opportunity and support to be published in local and international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
- Assistance in participating in local and international conferences.
SAFAA is committed to replenishing the staff with specialists, professors and leaders with the required qualities, who will play a major role and contribute to the professional growth of young researchers, the development of research activities ensuring the formation of the next generation of researchers and lecturers. For this purpose, the SAFAA has concentrated human resources that coordinate, implement and control the entire research process, ensuring development and continuity.
SAFAA will continuously promote the professional growth of the academic staff and management team through organizing capacity-building events, linking their research interests to research thematic areas, and supporting scholarly progress.
SAFAA will ensure the monitoring process of the individual and activity progress of the staff for further support and improvement.
Bodies and Units Involved in the Research Process
- The research centre, scientific secretary, and relevant chair implementing the academic programme (coordinating the process).
- Academic staff and management (implementation of the researcher’s educational programme).
- Quality assurance centre (process control/improvement).
SAFAA guarantees the allocation of financial resources for the implementation and continuity of the research and the researcher’s educational programme, setting the amount of funding by the SAFAA budget.
SAFAA is also committed to creating favourable conditions for increasing financial flows and raising external sources and fundraising. For this purpose, the SAFAA encourages the active involvement of the institution, staff and researchers in national and international grants, in order to develop new research ideas and acquire funds and improve resources.
Teaching and learning as well as research are the core directions of SAFAA activities and it’s also due to their effectiveness that the institution succeeds and raises its reputation.
SAFAA will proceed with developing and improving the functioning of those administrative units and institutional capacities that directly contribute to the implementation and realization of the strategic research goals.
The SAFAA is responsible for implementing and operating effective research coordination processes, as well as monitoring and improvement mechanisms that will contribute to strengthening the institution’s role in the fields of art studies, fine arts, design and applied arts research.
The SAFAA will ensure the links of research and the academic programme in research to the strategic goals of the institution, assuring the connection of research with teaching.
SAFAA will proceed with seeking and creating new cooperation platforms with the leading educational institutions of the field and private sector, ensuring the development of the field inside and outside the country through joint research, as well as promoting the development of art, technology and industry.
SAFAA will undoubtedly and completely ensure the research keeps its unique place and role in the institution’s vision, mission and set values.
Monitoring and Improving the Research Strategy
The quality management system adopted by the institution is one of the important guarantees of increasing the effectiveness of all the processes of the SAFAA, including the research, through the implementation of which the performance of the research management and coordination, the researcher’s academic programme is evaluated.
SAFAA highlights the continuous functioning of the quality management system for the institution’s research sector, identifying quality assurance mechanisms and tools aimed at the implementation of research objectives and monitoring of performance indicators. Effective application of the developed mechanisms and tools will contribute to further improvements in the sector’s regulatory documents, process and academic programme.
The SAFAA attaches special attention to the feedback of external and internal stakeholders in the processes of research strategy and especially in the processes of setting priorities, problem formulation, curriculum development and learning outcomes, encouraging their direct involvement. The analysis of the suggestions and comments received from the latter will contribute to the improvement of the mentioned processes and research development.