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Autonomy for the Designer

Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

This research focuses on emphasising the autonomy of designers. Designers must be equipped to solve a client’s problem. This is never a simple fill-in-the-blank exercise, where the design solution follows from a strict sequence of logical design steps. In addition, a successful design requires a certain unruliness of the designer, who is not in service of the chosen solution direction. For this reason, despite many attempts, humans have never been successfully eliminated from the design process. A certain form of autonomy is expected from the designer within contemporary design practice.

This research has now been running for four years and focuses on explicating the autonomous thinking of designers. Approaches and articulations are sought after in philosophical texts to further explore this use of autonomy and to argue its importance. The outcome is of course not a formula, but an extensive package of suggestions, reflections, examples and exercises. These are aimed at promoting designers critical, social role and making them aware of potential autonomous approaches, in order to reinforce the unruly and radical creative strategies of designers in current design practice. 

Research outcomes

The results of the research regularly lead to internal educational publications and are also implemented in an annually developing form within the curriculum of the Communication & Multimedia Design programme in Den Bosch. A result of the research activity is the website creatieveweerbarstigheid.nlarrow

Ongoing research, started in September 2016. 

Principle investigator
Eke Rebergen

Other researchers involved
Bart Stuart
Klaar van der Lippe

Professor
Sebastian Olma

Collaborators
Minor Playful Interaction (CMD AI&I, ‘s-Hertogenbosch)

Institute
Avans University of Applied Sciences

‘Disrupting our contemporary society can be a serious design goal.’

Eke Rebergen is a researcher within the Cultural and Creative Industries research group and a tutor at the Communication & Multimedia Design programme at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch.

Eke Rebergen arrow

Publications

Rebergen, E. (2017), Geen voorgeprogrammeerde disruptie maar furieus onderwijs voor creatievelingen, arrowNetworkcultures.org (Blog lectoraat Netwerkcultuur HvA), 3 Juli.

Rebergen, E. (2018) “Provocative community-based humanitarian designarrow”, BunB Programme & proceedings.

Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

The research group Cultural and Creative Industries investigates the role of artists and designers as creative innovators and drivers of social and economic change. Affiliated researchers analyse the cultural and creative industries from a critical point of view and examine the conditions under which timely forms of aesthetic expression and social connectedness can actually take place within the precarious reality of this field. What economic models are required by artists and designers to create a meaningful practice within the aesthetic, social, and economic intentions of the cultural and creative industries? What skills sets are required for those artists and designers who don’t just want to follow movements, but actually shape novel social and economic models of the future?

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