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Journal Article

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Information, Information behaviour, Information-seeking, Art and design students, Hong Kong Design Institute Library, Library use, Social networking




The process of information- and inspiration-seeking behaviour amongst artists and designers often involve direct observation, note-taking, collecting materials and image samples, recognising styles, analysing movements, patterns, textures, as well as experimenting with different materials and techniques. They also rely heavily on having access to a variety of visual resources, both physical and digital, during the process of inspiration-seeking. However, there have been few studies on how art and design students look for and use information in the digital age, especially in the context of the library. This paper reports on an empirical study of the inspiration-seeking process and other information-related behaviour of students at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). An online questionnaire was created to ask the HKDI students specific questions: the types of library preferred; students' comfort level with the HKDI Library; student respondents' information needs; and their preferred sources for inspiration. They were also asked which media and venues they looked to for information that was important to their creative process. A total of 327 current students at the HKDI completed the survey. The research findings suggest that information-seeking behaviour of the art and design students was reflective of the fluid and creative nature of the art and design domain. They were regular users of traditional printed resources as well as the physical libraries. They also placed heavy reliance on the Internet and a variety of social networks when it came to inspiration-seeking. Inspiration was found from a very diverse and ‘idiosyncratic’ set of sources; often via accidental discovery. The students' status as emergent practitioners also suggested a strong need for career advice and interactions with peers practicing in the art and design field.

Source Publication

Australian Academic & Research Libraries

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