Commercial Practices


Within the Commercial Practices we look at the world through three lenses (Futures & Presence, Systems & Materials, Contexts & Situatedness). Each lens provides a way of understanding the systems we are part of and gives clues on how to change them. Throughout your studies within the Commercial Practices you gain an understanding of all three lenses while specializing in the specifics of one. A single lens can redirect light that passes through it. In eyeglasses, this makes things less blurry. When you add an extra lens, like in a telescope, faraway things can be made to seem closer. Perceived through the holistic eye of the Commercial Practices, all lenses combined make preferable futures more tangible. Futures in which we embrace new ways of assessing worth and will work with alternative understandings of value, including the social, cultural, and environmental.


In the Commercial Practices we look at the world through three lenses instead of ‘vraagstukken’. Each lens provides its own methods and approaches to understanding the bigger picture that all three lenses combined help to create. Students position themselves within this larger picture based on their own (future) aspirations, using lens-specific knowledges and experiences learned throughout the entire Commercial Practices program.

How do you know what lens is right for you? Just like when you would have to pick a lens for a camera, choosing the one that is right for you depends a lot on the types of subjects or scenes you intend to shoot. Within the Commercial Practices, we let you try out three different lenses, compare their features, and customize their usage to your needs.

What are some of these features?

Lens 1

The Futures & Presence lens introduces methods and collaborative problem-solving approaches to develop and communicate speculative visions of preferable collective futures. Students applying this lens use foresighting techniques and futures-oriented storytelling as a way to face the big and complex problems in the world today with optimism. The goal is to inspire people to act and initiate change today and make our collective future more desirable.

Lens 2

The Materials & Systems lens introduces methods and techniques to understand how everything in the world we live initially connected, from the natural world to the things we make and use. Students applying this lens use a combination of material knowledge and an understanding of systems design as a way to investigate the role of materiality in our daily lives. The goal is to think about materials differently and envision how this can impact our consumption in the future.

Lens 3

The Contexts & Situatedness lens introduces tools and methods to understand how technology, culture, identity, and community are interconnected and subject to constant change. Students applying this lens use design as a critical tool to understand how meaning is created, shared and perceived in different places, times, and cultures. The goal is to challenge traditional ways of thinking/knowledge production and create new tools and ideas that shape our collective future.