Volume 11 Issue 2 (2015): Experiential Knowledge, Expertise, and Connoisseurship

On Understanding Expertise, Connoisseurship, and Experiential Knowledge in Professional Practice

Nithikul Nimkulrat
Estonian Academy of Arts
Kristina Niedderer
University of Wolverhampton
Mark Evans
Loughborough University
Published January 16, 2016
  • expertise,
  • connoisseurship,
  • experiential knowledge,
  • professional practice,
  • practical activity


Expertise, connoisseurship, and experiential knowledge have been discussed as integral to professional practice by professionals and scholars inside and outside their professional domains. However, the notions of expertise, connoisseurship, and experiential knowledge have not been discussed explicitly in relation to practical activities. This special issue, “Experiential Knowledge, Expertise, and Connoisseurship,” explores the nature of experiential knowledge as relating to expertise and connoisseurship in practical activities within design and other professional domains. This editorial article discusses how the two types of specialist knowledge—contributory and interactional expertise, and connoisseurship—gained from experience, can be utilized to judge practice and outputs within the framework of research inquiry. The nine articles included in the special issue serve as examples, demonstrating ways in which these forms of knowledge are understood in research relating to professional practice.