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Professorship Tactical Design

The Professorship Tactical Design investigates design as a creative, communicative and integrative force for the transition to a sustainable society. Knowledge (science), decision-making power (politics) and creative imagination (art and design) should join forces for transdisciplinary research and design.

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Professorship Tactical Design

In brief

  • Designers at the centre of transdisciplinary research

  • Research by critical thinking and doing

  • Creative creation processes (prototyping) as a form of knowledge production and sharing

  • Collaboration between art, science and technology

  • Design as a form of visual communication, co-creation and participation

  • Student collaboration with renowned designers and scientists

About the professorship

Today’s complex, highly individualised and high-tech society asks designers how they can contribute to a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future. If design is to play a prominent role in the major transitions to a socially and ecologically sustainable society, it will have to relate to state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and to important current cultural, social, economic and technological developments.

It is impossible for a single designer to acquire sufficient knowledge in all these areas. To this end, designers will have to cooperate with various scientific domains, governments, businesses, social institutions and citizens. Designers are uniquely able to use their visual imagination in the form of concrete materialisations to provide a jointly understood language in order to connect all these players for a better future.

Central to the research is the creation and use of prototypes as boundary objects: prototypes that aim to develop, share and apply knowledge in complex, transdisciplinary change processes. Boundary objects contain knowledge that can be cognitively known, but especially affectively experienced. They are the most important tools a designer can use tactically in change processes.

The name Tactical Design refers to tactics as concrete actions and interventions in existing situations that can contribute to desired changes. These methods differ from design strategies that rely on preconceived plans and blueprints for change.

The professorship works together with the Fashion professorship in the ArtEZ Future Makers research programme that focuses on sustainable value chains for fashion, textiles and interior design.

The professorship is part of several design research networks such as the Network of Applied Design Research (NADR), Dutch Circular Textile Valley (DCTV), Gelderland Innovators for Sustainable Textiles (GIST) and CLICKNL, the Dutch research and innovation network of the top sector Creative Industry.