Vision of Education and Teaching

The Master Institute of Visual Cultures sets out to widen the debate on where we can take arts education and establishes further the impetus for developing an arts research culture.

The institution plays a vital role in generating new ways of thinking and innovative creative practice, empowering our learning community, both students and tutors alike, towards excellence through artistic practice, research, scholarship and knowledge exchange.

Our distinct master pathways of study in art and design, facilitate political and socio-economic key issues. Our programmes address urgent global challenges of the twenty-first century, connecting to six thematic currents in the field:

  • Migrant Aesthetics
  • Heterodox Identities
  • Economics of production
  • Emerging technologies
  • Ecological Degradation
  • Creative Industries

Research Groups

Expertise Centre Caradt (Centre of Applied Research in Art, Design and Technology)

We work closely with the Professors and research groups of the Avans University Center of Applied Research in Art, Design and Technology - ). Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (Caradt) facilitates multidisciplinary, practice-led research into current developments in the field of art and design, commissioned by and in close collaboration with the educational programmes. The future artists and designers of Avans University of Applied Sciences thereby make a valuable contribution to their own field and to the economy. The valorisation of knowledge and applying that knowledge to education and the future professional field of the students at Avans are leading principles in this. The research leads to an even better relationship between education and professional practice, as well as to students being better prepared for their future roles as highly qualified, reflexive professionals.

Many of our tutors hold an affiliated research position within a research group at Caradt where they develop and deepen their artistic research, which then feeds into the curriculum through research-led teaching. 

Research Group Autonomy in Art, Design & Technology

Dr. Sebastian Olma, Professor of Autonomy

The research group Autonomy aims to empower artists and designers to become professionals who can reignite society’s imagination toward a desirable and sustainable future. Since 2018 the MIVC has been working closely, hosting the public lecture series Performative Defiance; its aim is to provide within Avan’s an open, public forum where some of the foremost national and international voices challenge us to think about and discuss the role of art and design. As well as this, the MIVC is co-editor with Professor Sebastian Olma of the online web journal Making and Breaking: Cultural Production and Emancipatory Social Change, see and currently developing Issue #2 on the theme of the Post-Contemporary. We have invited contributors with backgrounds in art and art theory, philosophy, techno-feminism, Afro-European migrant studies, creative industries, net critique and gender studies to share their visions of the post-contemporary with these questions in mind: How do we escape the hamster wheel of the contemporary? Where are the traces of a desirable future to be found in the present? How can they be activated toward a post-contemporary practice that points beyond the aesthetic poverty of the here and now?

Research Group Human-Centred Creation in Art, Design and Technology

Dr. Michel van Dartel, Professor of Human-Centered Creation

The research group Human-centred Creation aims to empower artists and designers to fulfill an important role in the development of society on the basis of a better understanding of the Situated Turn in Art and Design. This understanding is a prerequisite to the development of the theories, tools and methods required to critically challenge the natural order of things. In human-centred creation the working or living environment of users and how they experience this environment is the central theme, and users are actively involved in the creative process. The creative end product then satisfies a real user demand.

Research Group Biobased Art and Design

Dr. Elvin Karana, Professor of Bio-based Art & Design [BAD]

The Material Incubator is the laboratory of the research unit Bio-based Art & Design that is located at the St. Joost Den Bosch campus. It’s the first materials design lab capitalizing on the role of artistic practice in unlocking the unique potentials of new bio-based materials and communicating them to a wider public, to accelerate their widespread understanding and further development (e.g. by industry investment). Bringing together researchers and practitioners from Avans University of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology and Willem de Kooning Art Academy in the Netherlands, Material Incubator [MI] encourages tangible interactions with the living organisms, such as algae, fungi, plants and bacteria, to explore and understand their unique qualities and constraints through diverse technical and creative methods taking artists, designers and scientists as equal and active partners in the material creation, see