Innovation is often deemed a sign of progress and is the approach with which we tend to tackle the challenges of our time. However, innovation is not necessarily a good thing. Caradt deploys art, design and technology to explore possibilities in seeking a sustainable future. If an innovative solution does not make a sustainable contribution, we will not implement it. Attention to ethical practices is paramount. Caradt therefore invests, perhaps more heavily than other expertise centres, in research into these ethical issues and, through each of its research groups, aims to participate in and contribute to current discourse on major societal problems and the collective quest for new models for living. The starting point for this is our collective mission statement, shared by all research groups: to critically challenge ‘the natural order’ of things.
There are three research groups within Caradt;
- Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries
- Research Group: Situated Art and Design
- Research Group: Biobased Art and Design
This expertise centre operates at the intersection of art, design and technology. It has substantive practices of engagement and exchange across a range of social, technological and scientific contexts. Rather than work within the confines of a particular discipline or knowledge domain, Caradt’s research groups take a meta-position from where they contribute to the continued reinterpretation and reformulation of these knowledge domains.
Building from a strong intellectual foundation, Caradt’s research draws, in terms of methodology and conceptual apparatus, from various academic research fields, such as philosophy, sociology, cultural studies, design research, art history, art theory, cultural history, and technological research. In doing so, our aim is for a critically reflective and rigorous approach. In this way, concepts and proposals from within the academic sphere gain new relevance through their varied application and reformulations in the practice-led research of the lectorates and, as a result of the strong embedding of this research in our education programmes, also in Avans’s art and design education.
Subsequently, the research and it outcomes are put into practice through concrete developments within (professional) art and design practices. Applied research is a strong aspect of higher vocational education, which enables dynamic and responsive interaction with empirical developments across relevant (professional) fields – often more readily than university institutions are able.
Expertise Centres of Avans University of Applied Sciences
Caradt is one of the six expertise centres of Avans University of Applied Sciences. Each expertise centre has several research groups around a specific theme in which lecturers, tutor-researchers and students conduct practice-led research in collaboration and consultation with companies, governments, social organisations, and education. The results of the research are implemented in Avans education. The expertise centres also collaborate with one another. For example, the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE) is a frequent partner in Caradt’s external projects.