New Joint Research Professorship on Bio-Based Art and Design

Willem de Kooning Academy
Thu 8 Nov
WdKA & Avans Hogeschool Breda AKV|St.Joost

Elvin Karana is the new lecturer in Biobased Art & Design, a joint research professorship on Bio-Based Art and Design with Avans Hogeschool Breda AKV|St.Joost.

Elvin Karana has been appointed by the expertise centre as the lecturer in our new Biobased Art & Design professorship. This professorship is intended as a platform for practice-oriented art and design research and will focus on the understanding and development of biobased raw materials and processes.

Elvin Karana:

“Through this Professorship, I want to lay the foundation of a new research group that will push the boundaries of traditional materials development by capitalizing on the compounded role of art, design, science and engineering for understanding materials and their transition into meaningful artefacts. My aim is to institutionalize this approach for the design of next generation of bio-based materials, their widespread understanding and use in society.”

Elvin Karana has been investigating the complex nature of our experiences with materials in artefacts for over fifteen years. She developed theories, tools and a method to make the notion of ‘materials experience’ actionable in design practice. Her method and tools are applied in design courses in major European universities, including Delft University of Technology, Politecnico di Milano (IT), Imperial College London (UK), Malmö University (SE) and University of Gävle (SE).

Karana received her PhD in Industrial Design Engineering from the Delft University of Technology in 2009. In 2011, she co-founded the Natural Fibre Composites Design Platform to bring together material industries and designers to enhance the use of natural fibre composites in product design. She developed and coordinated the Materials Library: Made Of.. at TU Delft, between 2011-2015. She has organized above 20 public material design exhibitions at TU Delft and exhibited her work at the Dutch Design Week since 2013. In 2015, she founded the cross-country research group, Materials Experience Lab (, which she leads jointly with Valentina Rognoli (Poliecnico di Milano). The Lab was featured by Materials Today as “one of the leading labs helping shape the future of materials development”. She is the main editor of 'Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design' (2014, Elsevier).

Next to her new role at CARADT, Elvin Karana will maintain her current position as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where she leads the Materials and Manufacturing Section.

Collaborating parties

This new professorship is a collaboration between Avans University of Applied Sciences and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The research group of the professorship will consist of researchers from the art academies AKV | St.Joost, Willem de Kooning Academy and from the courses Communication & Multimedia Design at Avans University of Applied Sciences. The researchers of the professorship will also collaborate with the Avans Center of Expertise Biobased Economy, the national Lector Platform for Biobased Economy and the Rotterdam Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences.