Pure research

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Also referred to as 'basic', pure research is dedicated to the generation of new ideas and paradigms for thinking and knowing within a particular field. It is often understood in terms of the discrepancy between Pure and Applied research in that it is not motivated by the production of a practical or technical outcome to be placed at the service of a community or corporate institution.

According to one source, pure research is undertaken for "the sole purpose of following one’s passion and curiosity in the search for new knowledge"(Lociano).

While pure research is pursued as an end in itself, it can create knowledge which may become the basis of applied research. The application of Deleuzean philosophy to the practices of art, architecture and media might be seen as an example of the achievements of pure research being channeled into applied research.

In addition, there is also a strong allignment of pure research to prestige, as well as a certain independence from any external forces and direction. Though these notions may be disputed, they support a rationale of academic autonomy. Pure research is seen by many academics "to be vitally important to society in the long term" (Martin).


Michael Kroeger has formulated the following oppositions between pure and applied research areas in the field of graphic design-

Theory: color, form, composition, content Internship, computer hardware / software
Knowledge Experience
Learning Training
Non-linear i.e. not in order Linear i.e. predictable/predicted outcome
Literary i.e poetic; experimental Practical i.e. clients & business oriented
Motivated by transfer information Motivated by profit
High-risk / low output Low-risk / high output


Pure research can be undertaken using the methodologies of quantitative research, qualitative research or even action research.


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