Muusa: Material research modelling and synthesis
The project aims to develop a new artistic research methodology using material-based co-creation methods. Various models will be synthesised throughout the project, exploring multiple ways of approaching the material in creative processes and research. 
This includes questioning how to approach the material's chemical, physical, and biological composition in creative practices; how to utilise the material as a method, a process driver; and how to recognise the material as a muse, inspiring and redirecting thematic choices?

Exploring materials through artistic practice engages meaning-making (Karana, 2009; Midownik, 2014), sensory experiences (Karana et al., 2015), and their possible applications (Mäkelä, 2016).

There is a growing demand for research emphasising malleability while the various environmental policies, value chains and material culture are going through rapid changes (Adamson, 2007). Considering its complete metabolic chain, the material must be treated as a system (Capra, 1988). Accordingly, the researchers are exploring creative and multidisciplinary methods to develop new materials from the perspective of a designer and an artist rather than a material engineer. These hybrid methods broaden innovative methodologies and generate new knowledge through practice and research-creation processes.

The project is led by two artist-creative researchers and lecturers at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Kärt Ojavee and Juss Heinsalu (who are also the heads of the new Craft Studies MA program, dedicated to material creation), who approach creative work based on experience, operating on the fringes of art and science (Oxman, 2020). The team members have previous experience working in a multidisciplinary manner, involving external experts and cooperation partners.

As the project's final result, there will be three visual process models, which application possibilities can be adapted to other disciplines and used within the educational framework.
These methods will be integrated into the teaching work already during the project.

Secondly, an exhibition reflecting the process and results of Muusa will be curated, similar to the exhibition series Material (StuudioAine, 2018).
The context of a gallery brings the experience to a broader audience through a public presentation.

Third, an article that analyses the created models and practical examples will be published. The aim is to map and model the methodology's different stages, publish and validate the new terminology.

Duration of the project:  01.09.2023 – 30.12.2024
Funded by: Ministry of Culture