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Meaningful Artistic Research: collaboration UvH and HKU

'There is great promise in artistic processes for science'

On 5 June 2023, HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht) and UvH (University for Humanistic Studies) signed a covenant (2023-2030). It was a formal and festive starting point of a strategic and sustainable cooperation in the field of Art and Science. The cooperation is entitled Meaningful Artistic Research: artistic research as the binding focus of an inspiring collaboration.

Merel Visse (Associate Professor at UvH ) and Nirav Christophe (Lecturer at HKU ) prepared the collaboration. Visse: "There is great promise in artistic processes for science because they advocate a broad view of our society. Art is not just 'fun', as famous arts educator Harry Broudy once argued. The arts are necessary for 'good' living together, because they help us think in new ways about how we do that, live together. Conversely, UvH researchers give depth to artistic practices with their approach to research."

Depth and innovation

HKU research focuses on creative making processes. Themes such as care and welfare, identity and inclusion, circularity and sustainability (HKU Points of Light) are central. HKU's academic research is practice-oriented; the research proceeds through experiments and a working method in which the researchers themselves - as makers - are also part of the research.

UvH research addresses urgent and topical questions in our society, such as the future of our democracy, the design of healthcare practices, and ethical questions surrounding meaningful life, birth and death. It combines various empirical and methodical approaches from the humanities and social sciences.

Specifically, the collaboration makes it possible to do a PhD trajectory for artistic research within UvH's Graduate School. Practical and making work can be part of the research trajectory. The collaboration also opens up opportunities for joint fundraising at the intersection of Art and Science. Moreover, it can lead to innovation in education at both institutions or the development of joint, transdisciplinary education. Finally, the collaboration provides access to each other's networks.

PhD tracks

Two joint PhD research projects have already started. Marloeke van der Vlugt is conducting artistic research to arrive at an 'aesthetics of touch' and also calls it Genees-Kunst. And Simona Kicurovska is researching modern design practices: how can designers continue to engage critically with automated design tools? 

People involved

  • HKU: Nirav Christophe, Bart van Rosmalen, Walter van Andel, Veerle Spronck, Marloeke van der Vlugt, Simona Kicurovska and Henk Slager.
  • UvH: Carlo Leget, Merel Visse and Louis van den Hengel

    Project coordinator: Marieke Folkers,

More information?

Please contact Merel Visse,

Utrecht University of the Arts and the University for Humanistic Studies work together under the banner Meaningful Artistic Research. The aim is to conduct jointly inspired research that brings together approaches to art and science.