‘Caradt’s practice-led research aims to empower artists and designers to make a meaningful contribution to society through their projects.’
Rens Holslag is project coordinator at the Expertise Centre Art, Design and Technology.
Rens graduated from the Industrial Design programme at TU Delft in 1984 with a study on Viditel. This was one of the first online information services, before the Internet. Since 1988, Rens has had an independent practice in designing user interfaces. He works with ergonomists, psychologists and programmers.
Together with Jochen Vorderegger, Leonard Verhoef, Hans Rijpkema and Pieter Rookmaaker, Rens developed a European standard human-machine interface for train drivers within the European ERTMS railway safety system. In 1997 this project was awarded an honourable mention at the Dutch Design Awards. An important product was the interface for the touchscreen ticket machine for all train stations of the Dutch Railways. He also delivered an extensive research and advice for a project in which all Dutch art academies are compared in terms of ICT approach and competences. This was carried out for the Dutch HBO-Council and Consultation on the Visual Arts (OBK).
Rens Holslag has been associated with the art education of St. Joost School of Art & Design since 1984. He held various positions, since the very first implementation of computers in art education. First as a teacher and later as an IT policy advisor. Since 2003, Rens has been affiliated with the professorships of St. Joost School of Art & Design. Initially as coordinator of the Visual Rhetoric research group. Since 2007 as project leader of the Expertise Centre for Art and Design (EKV). The expertise centre was radically renewed in 2019 and has since been operating under the name Caradt (Centre of Applied Research for Art Design and Technology).
Rens initiated various publications in collaboration with others, such as: Roots 40: Jacques Peeters, [Z]oo productions Eindhoven, 2015, Konterfeiten & context, AKV|St.Joost, Twee eeuwen kunstvakopleiding, Avans University of Applied Sciences, 2012, Het verhaal van Delta Expo, Avans University of Applied Sciences, 2012, Bedrijfsboek in Beeld, Eindhoven, Lecturis bv Eindhoven, 2011.
‘People are the product of their relationships with their environment. It’s important to understand how technological developments influence these relationships.’
‘Our research group investigates the role artists, designers and cultural producers in general can play in developing the aesthetics and poetics of a desirable future.’
‘The dynamic relationship between humans and living artefacts will continue to evolve reciprocally with mutual care.’
‘Almost everything I design is based on giving form to the invisible.’
‘In my work the concept of time is a recurring theme.’
‘As a result of my current research, I ask the students the questions “what is your work” and “what works for you.’
‘It is through the “not-knowing” that a stimulating and caring environment can be created to confidently share vulnerability.’
‘Understanding how creativity and imagination emerge from interactions with our environment will lead to better innovation processes, tools and technologies.’
‘Through an interplay of design and research, the apt questions and necessary tools can be discovered and applied to each research project.’
‘Performance is about engaging with versions of the self, stretching the gaze to see what others see when they look at you.’
‘Bacteria, Fungi, Humans, all part of the same experiment.’
‘The essence of the situated, cinematic experience of dance lies in the mental interaction where the public becomes co-author.’
‘To be able to research something thoroughly, you have to deeply engage, not just look at it from the outside.’
‘Could experimental sensory translation of art works improve their accessibility for sensory diverse exhibition audiences?’
‘I’m interested in how we can implement situated learning within design education.’
‘My particular interest lies in sharing interesting and thought-provoking stories. Communication is a big part of that.’
‘Doing research connects my practice with teaching; it strengthens and brings them closer together.’
‘How can the notion of the ‘script’ be used in a situated design practice? ’
‘The ultimate goal is to enable people to improve their lives, making them more enjoyable and comfortable.’
‘Attention during interaction is personal, not a given fact.’
‘My background in visual art makes me very involved in the content of the expertise centre.’
‘I’m looking for methods that take people as a starting point.’
‘Getting comfortable with ambiguity enables designers to absorb feedback and use it to make better design choices.’
‘Exploring and integrating novel perspectives to our everyday through the eyes of fungi.’
‘I look at the ways in which citizens can play an active role in shaping their cities, and how new media and technology can contribute to this.’
‘I am eager to explore how unique qualities of ‘living materials’ can transform the way we think, feel and act.’
‘Nowadays a brand is no longer an instrument of marketing, but it is a symbol for inspiring, meaningfull organisations.’
‘For me, the iterative design-research process is an exciting journey towards designs that can transform human consciousness.’
‘Disrupting our contemporary society can be a serious design goal.’
‘Nature is a perfect example of an iterative design process. It is inspiring and full of exciting solutions.’