WdKA Research Center timeline

2002-2006: Piet Zwart Institute

Launch of Willem de Kooning Academy’s first practice-oriented research professorship (“lectoraat”), Media Design Research.

The core research team of the lectoraat consists of Matthew Fuller (lector/practice-oriented research professor), Femke Snelting, Michael Murtaugh and Calum Selkirk. Half of the professorship is realized as a research fellow program. The visiting fellows are: Brian Holmes (2003), Alexei Shulgin (2003), Bureau of Inverse Technology/Kate Rich & Natalie Jeremijenko (2003), Lawrence Liang (2004), Florian Cramer (2004), Simon Yuill (2005), Peter Luining (2005), Lev Manovich (2005), jodi/Joan Heemskerk & Dirk Paesmans (2005) .

Activities included the public seminars Digital Work (2003), Freestyle – A seminar on Free, Libre, Open Source Software and design (2004) and Design Documents (2005) on mapping communication in interdisciplinary and anti-disciplinary work with media, software and society.

The lectoraat conducted a multi-year research project on software studies that resulted in the book Software Studies: a Lexicon. Other publications were the books Guide to Open Content Licenses and Words Made Flesh.

2008-2010: Willem de Kooning Academy

Launch of the research professorship (lectoraat) Communication in a Digital Age as the successor to Media Design Research, with a focus on transformations of established art and design disciplines through internet and digital technology, affiliated to all Bachelor and Master programs of Willem de Kooning Academy, with lector Florian Cramer.

The professorship includes visiting research fellows: Alessandro Ludovico (on the transformation of publishing, 2008), Marc Schwieger (on the impact of [the back then: new] social media platforms on communication and advertising, 2010) and Olia Lialina (on migrant/diasporic telecommunication shops in Rotterdam, 2011).

Activities included the symposia print/pixel (2009) on e-books and digital publishing and viralcommunication.nl (2011) on social media and meme culture. Publications included the book Post-Digital Print by Alessandro Ludovico as well as publication support for the book FLOSS & Art edited by Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk.

2010-2018: Creating 010

Launch of the second WdKA research professorship (lectoraat) Cultural Diversity, with lector Hugo Bongers (2010-2014), research fellow Mark Terkessidis (2012) and lector Nana Adusei-Poku (2013-2017).

Rotterdam University of Applied Science (RUAS), of which Willem de Kooning Academy is a part, clusters its research professorships (lectoraten) into five research centers. The two research professorships of Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) and the research professorships of RUAS’ School for Communication, Media and Information Technology merge into the new research center Creating 010.

At the same time, WdKA restructures its Bachelor curriculum by introducing three graduation profiles with their own specific interfaculty curricula: Autonomous, Social and Commercial [art and design] Practices. Their curricula make up fifty percent of a Bachelor study at WdKA.

The two WdKA-affiliated research professorships Communication in a Digital Age and Cultural Diversity continue under the common name and research profile 21st Century Visual Culture, and later transform into the lectoraten Autonomous and Social Practices.

Projects and publications include: the exhibition No Humans Involved at FKA Witte de With (2015, curatorial fellow: Nana Adusei-Poku), WdKA Makes a Difference (with contributions by Nana Adusei-Poku, Teana Boston-Mammah, Jan van Heemst, Esma Moukhtar), post.pic: imageboards, tagging, tool images, visual studies – a primer by practitioners (with contributions by Florian Cramer, Aymeric Mansoux, Julius von Bismarck, Timo Klok, Kim de Groot, Mark Halawa, Sandra de Haan), the research project and mapping The Autonomous Fabric of Rotterdam, the book Also-Space (by reinaart vanhoe), and co-production/support of the books Masters of Reality by Steve Rushton and  Image Management by Kim de Groot.

Willem de Kooning Academy, Codarts University of the Arts and Erasmus University Rotterdam begin structural collaboration in the Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab (RASL), initiate dual-degree study programs, cross-institution course modules and joint research projects. The research projects GAMPSISS and Autonomous Fabric of Rotterdam are jointly conducted by researchers from the three institutes.

2018-today: Research Center WdKA

The WdKA-affiliated research professorships leave Creating 010 which continues as a research center on digitization and social transformation. A new Research Center Willem de Kooning Academy is created, as a separate and formally independent entity from the school WdKA.

In 2018, Michelle Teran is appointed research professor Social Practices. Florian Cramer continues the professorship Autonomous Practices. Aymeric Mansoux is appointed research professor Commercial Practice in 2022. Renée Turner and Vivian Sky Rehberg, closely involved in the Rotterdam Arts and Science Lab with Codarts and Erasmus University Rotterdam, join the Research Center as senior lecturers, Aldje van Meer joins as senior lecturer and supervisor of the Living Stations.

All people, projects, activities and publications of Research Center WdKA are listed here on this website.

(More questions are answered in our FAQ.)