Job Opportunity Practice-oriented Research Professor | Commercial Practices

Tue 15 Jun

Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) is a leading international and culturally diverse academy for Bachelor and Master programmes in art, design, media, leisure management and education. WdKA educates creative makers whose work is driven by artistic and design research. Our alumni help to strengthen visual and material culture in Rotterdam and beyond, and develop creative work that contributes to greater societal change. One half of WdKA's Bachelor curriculum currently consists of traditional art and design disciplines, the other half of interdisciplinary study programs in Autonomous, Social, and Commercial Practices where students of all disciplines mix. The Stations (advanced workshops focused on Research through Making) complete the three core building blocks of the school. At WdKA, education, research and practice are thoroughly interwoven with each other.

At the moment we are looking for:

Practice-oriented Research Professor (0.5 fte) - Commercial Practices in Art and Design

Deadline for applications: July 7, 2021
Note: We are looking for a candidate that can join us from September 1st 2021.
Apply here.


Willem de Kooning Academy, part of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (WdKA/RUAS) is looking for a Practice-oriented transdisciplinary Research Professor (Lector) for Commercial Practices in Art and Design. An academic with excellent design-driven or artistic qualifications in the field, substantiated by a PhD.

About the Commercial Practices

The Commercial Practices are one of three interdisciplinary  graduation profiles at the Willem de Kooning Academy. They can be studied by students from all majors currently offered at WdKA including among others fashion, audio-visual design and fine art. (See:

The Commercial Practice curriculum is fundamentally a design research curriculum, while WdKA’s Autonomous Practices depart from contemporary art and Social Practices from social engagement and pedagogy. As opposed to a conventional framing of design as a Commercial Practice, our curriculum focuses on design research in relation to the world as an ecosystem consisting of complex interdependencies. The art of a Commercial Practitioner is to simultaneously recognize, and work on, the details of their design commission and the larger systemic whole, even if the latter means to radically change the product or service expected by the commissioning party. WdKA’s Commercial Practices are therefore based on an ethics according to which the existing consumer society paradigm can no longer continue, and creatives need to contribute to a global collaborative effort of improving the state of our world and shaping a sustainable future. The complex interdependencies of our globalized world and social, economic and ecological systems require new forms of large-scale collaboration, innovation and change, with design playing a crucial role in these processes. This is what we want to research and develop in WdKA’s Commercial Practices. (See also: positioning paper, this paper can be requested via email:


Your tasks include: research; development; teaching; continued education of teachers; sharing knowledge with and contributing expertise to the professional field of artists and designers and to society at large; obtaining external project funding for research.


You are familiar with and see the value of design research and/or artistic research methods. A key focus of your work will be the incorporation of art- and design-driven experiments in efforts to create systemic change.

As a Practice-oriented Research Professor you work in close collaboration with the Program Leader Commercial Practices, (annually appointed) research lecturers, teacher teams and students. Together, you develop multi-year research programs that are strongly embedded into the curriculum and produce meaningful projects with educational, systemic and sustainable impact. As a Practice-oriented Research Professor you will be part of WdKA’s Research Centre. You will work in close coordination with the two Practice-oriented Research Professors (Lectoren) for WdKA’s Autonomous and Social Practices and seek collaboration with them.

  • You research what will be relevant for (future) study programmes and help translate these insights into new curricula.
  • You contribute innovative research and ideas to the professional field of art and design and to the creative industries and society at large.
  • You will contribute to WdKA’s long-term and short-term research agenda and planning, developing them in close coordination with its study programmes.
  • You will initiate and supervise externally funded research projects in collaboration with external partners to foster research within and extend the impact of WdKA’s Commercial Practices.
  • You will contribute to the development of future Professional Doctorate and a Transdisciplinary PhD cycle.
  • You will help to stimulate transdisciplinary research within the context of RASL (Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab).


You contribute to teaching on all levels (Bachelor, Master and PhD-guidance) of WdKA’s curriculum. Within WdKA and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, practice-oriented research is closely connected to teaching and oriented towards improving the quality of the school.

Output gained from research will continuously be translated into WdKA’s art and design curricula. It will crucially inform our students, contribute to their competence and critical expertise. Your research will contribute to innovative visions on the future of art and design and their practice.

You will work as part of WdKA’s Research Centre closely affiliated to WdKA Research Station, a cross-curricular research workspace within the school, and with the teacher teams of WdKA Commercial Practices. You will be clearly visible as a lead researcher and engage with diverse approaches of visualization and material embodiment in artistic research and research-through-design.

Continued education of teachers

You will contribute to the continued education of WdKA’s teachers, involve them in research projects and guide their individual research, including PhD theses.

Sharing knowledge and contributing expertise

As Lector (Practice-oriented Research Professor) you will develop collaborative research with students, teachers and external partners and experts, with the aim of critically developing the concept, position and activity of art and design as Commercial Practices. Part of your work is to research the added value of artists, designers and educators within projects with economic affect. Your research has an international perspective and international network of peers.

You are an excellent writer, presenter and moderator who enjoys to publicly share findings and results, inside WdKA and outside, nationally as well as internationally. You contextualize, share and present your own research as well that of students and teachers. You publish both academically and for larger audiences, in traditional and non-traditional forms, and are available to advise external partners such as companies, non-profit organizations and public institutions. You will represent WdKA in regional, national and international meetings, networks and in the media. You are open for creative and experimental forms of presentation and publishing, and to publishing your work Open Access.

Obtaining external funding

Part of your tasks is to obtain external funding for research projects that make important contributions to WdKA’s research and curriculum. For this purpose, you work in collaborative networks with other research institutes and stakeholders.


  • You are an experienced researcher and have initiated and conducted complex, innovative, multi-year research projects.
  • You are interested in building on and questioning existing Commercial Practices models  in relation to your own research and research conducted within the Practices.
  • You have a meaningful international network for the Commercial Practices which will be of added value in developing research projects.
  • You have practical experience with/obtained a portfolio of case studies about the creation of tipping points, change and transformation from within both small and large size operations/organizations.
  • You are open to the unknown, but also welcoming, by looking in, looking out, embracing risk and experimentation, and critically challenging the status quo.
  • You are skilled in developing and communicating new ideas that incorporate the unique role for designers and artists to help to shape the future and contribute to society at large.
  • You have proven skills in developing and fostering professional (commercial and non-commercial) networks and collaborations with other researchers and stakeholders (including but not limited to art and design professionals) nationally and internationally.
  • You have obtained a PhD in a complementary (but not necessarily obvious) field.


Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Rotterdam) offers you a fixed term contract for the period of five years (D4). The salary range is HBO-CAO grade 15 (€ 5,797.43 minimum and € 7,485.19 maximum per month) based on a fulltime employment, exclusive of 8% holiday pay and 8.3% end-of-the-year bonus. Our fringe benefits include excellent training facilities and an attractive pension scheme. An assessment is part of the procedure.

All staff members of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences must be able to submit a Certificate of Conduct (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag, VOG) issued by the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security.


For more information about this position and the selection procedure, please contact Charlotte Bik, Head of School Research in Art & Design, WdKA, telephone number +31 (0)10-794 4845, e-mail:

Please submit your application with a motivation letter, CV, publication list and copies of your academic degrees via our website. If your portfolio exceeds 10 MB we advise you to use WeTransfer and the e-mail:

Closing Date: July 10 2021, Apply here.