PhD Studentship: Luxury and Creativity

University of Southampton - Winchester School of Art - Winchester Luxury Research Group

Luxury products are often associated with traditional production techniques that have a timeless quality. The idea of craftsmanship is often evoked in the form of the artisan working in the leather goods workshop, or the atelier of the haute couture fashion house. Hence, for some luxury producers the adoption of creative ideas and innovation may be slow and incremental because the preservation of existing knowledge is central to the producer’s competitiveness. Yet, in other areas, the development of new knowledge through creativity and innovation is essential to the continued viability of the product. Moreover, many luxury products, including, for instance, private yachts and jets, are at the forefront of technical change.

Having a customer base able to afford high prices, luxury producers are able to invest in leading edge technologies and highly skilled labour with the aim of producing expensive yet novel products. Luxury producers as sources of creativity and innovation developed through investments in research and development are often overshadowed by the idea of luxury as an output of craft production. The purpose of this luxury and creativity project is to investigate creativity and innovation in the production of luxuries. Understanding where the balance lies between the preservation of traditional knowledge and embracing radical innovation is a key issue of concern for research on the production of luxury products.

Supervisors: Professors Joanne Roberts and John Armitage.

  • The successful candidate will start on 1 October 2018. The scholarship will offer full tuition fee and maintenance funding for 3 years. The doctoral stipend for 2017/18 is currently £14,000.
  • This studentship is only available for full time programmes and is open to applicants from the UK, the EU and overseas.
  • As part of the application you will be required to submit a CV, research proposal, degree certificate and transcripts, two academic references and proof of English language proficiency.
  • The deadline for applications is 15 February 2018. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Interviews of shortlisted candidates are likely to take place in w/c 19 March 2018.
  • The awards will be allocated by end of April, with the outcome being communicated to the candidates in May.

Contact Details for applicant

If you wish to discuss any details of the studentship informally, please contact:

How to apply

To apply please follow the ‘Apply’ link on the following webpage:

PhD Fine Art/Design:   

Please mention reference FBLA-ART-011 in the scholarship section of your application.

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