The EKV facilitates multidisciplinary, practice-oriented research into current developments in the field of art and design, commissioned by and in close collaboration with the educational programmes of AKV|St.Joost art academy and of Communication & Multimedia Design in Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The future artists and designers of Avans University of Applied Sciences thus make a valuable contribution to their own field and to the economy. The valorisation of knowledge and applying that knowledge to education and the future professional field of the students at Avans are leading principles in this. The research should lead to an even better relationship between education and the professional practice, as well as to students being better prepared for their future roles as highly qualified, reflexive professionals.
One of the two new research groups within EKV is Autonomous Creation. It is intended as a platform for research into processes of autonomous creation in art and design. The main lines of research are:
- Authorship/usership: in their practice, visual artists, designers and photographers are authors, but they can be assistants, initiators, curators or mediators as well. The research group addresses the question of how the concept of authorship is to be understood and applied in our day and age. The concept of usership is increasingly founded on theory. This means that it can also be used in studies of art and design practices; research in which not the creative act itself but rather the nature of its use is the focus, irrespective of the original author. Such research contributes to the further application of usership in education and practice.
- Collaboration: autonomous artists have always looked for association with the collective as well, for economic, social and artistic reasons. Today, however, the collective itself appears to be changing in nature and meaning. The research group looks into how vocational art education may respond to these shifts in both individual and collaborative activities.
- The changing role of the artist: the current professional practice of artists is undergoing many changes. The stereotype of artists locking themselves in their studios to work in complete isolation from the outside world conforms less and less to the present-day practice. Three current contrasts within the artistic practice merit closer inspection: specialists versus generalists, craftsmanship versus technique, and internationalisation versus regionalisation.
One of the two new research groups within EKV is Human-oriented Creation. It is intended as a platform for practice-based research into creation from the perspective of the user. In human-oriented creation the working or living environment of users and how they experience this environment is the central theme, and users are actively involved in the creative process. The creative end product then satisfies a real user demand.
Practice-based research into human-oriented creation provides opportunities for making the abstract ideal of giving the user a central role concrete. It also gives students the opportunity to become professionals who are more involved in research and have mastered techniques to articulate the position and problems of users. Finally, this research theme lends itself to interdisciplinary projects in which artists and designers make innovative and creative contributions to solving problems in domains such as energy, safety and care.