The goal of the Research in Creative Practices professorship is to reinforce creative practices and the education in this field. We do so by developing research by makers for makers. The focus is on what actually happens in practice, as there is no shortage of theories.

Artists and designers can become stronger and reinforce one another by being more aware of their ways of working. Though makers regularly engage in mutual exchange about their work, this does not in itself promote the generation of knowledge that can be shared and be made useful for others. The question is: how can makers generate shareable makers’ knowledge with and for one another? The research of the past 15 years has paid too little attention to this.

Makers' knowledge?

Makers have their own personal ways of working. Much of the knowledge they use in their artistic and creative processes is implicit. The maker acts, and acts-not, on the basis of experiences, premises and ordering principles. However, some of the maker’s knowledge can be made explicit and shareable, for instance by way of taking distance.

Such shareable knowledge can lead to new insights and inspire other makers to change or improve their ways of working. Without apparent reasons, many activities within a maker's ways of working are not taken seriously, for instance the more ‘designerly’ ways of taking distance.

A two-fold approach

In this professorship we take a two-fold approach: 

a. Activating creative research in creative research groups

We work with creative research groups of makers, maker-lecturers and maker-students in the fields of fine art, composition and sound design, media, music technology and design. In these groups makers study each others ways of working and those of makers related to the group. Firstly to gain generative knowledge for their own practices, secondly to process and represent that knowledge, so it can be shared with other makers of various disciplines.

b. Developing ways of working in creative research

We develop ways of working in studying ways of working among makers. We focus on ways of gathering, processing and sharing makers’ knowledge that can be shaped further through being used. We experiment with ways of testing the value of knowledge by assessing its usability in creative practices.

Research definition

The development of mutual relationships between makers, and between makers and researchers, is a central issue in our research. We use the following research definition to position our work and to validate our results: Research is a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared.

Collaboration in creative research

We work with creative research groups of makers, lecturers and students within HKU and from the creative industries, in the following professional fields:

  • Media
  • Design
  • Fine Art
  • Composition and Sound Design
  • Music Technology

Professor Jan IJzermans

Professorship lecturers

dr. Jan IJzermans, professor

dr. Arja Veerman, researcher

Advisory Committee

prof. dr. Kees Dorst

dr. Mieke Moor

Marinda Verhoeven-Spe

Salvador Breed