‘Structure-Breaching’ RASL Project to Receive €250,000 Euros in Subsidies

RASL is the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab, a collaboration between Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus University College, the Willem de Kooning Academy and Codarts Rotterdam. A RASL project for innovation in education has now been awarded a subsidy of €250,000. The project is an expansion of the existing collaboration between the aforementioned institutes and is aimed at developing and implementing transdisciplinary education and research by both students and teachers. By using a transdisciplinary approach – at the interface of science and art – new knowledge and applications can be developed.

The subsidy concerns a Leadership Fellow of the Comenius Programme, under the auspices of the Netherlands Initiative for Educational Research (NRO) and implemented by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The title of the awarded project is ‘RASL Compositions: Collaboration, Commitment and Creativity’. The committee that considered the grant application has deemed the project to be ‘structure-breaching’ and expects it to become an example for other institutes that are looking for ways to connect art and science.

The grant application for ‘RASL Compositions: Collaboration, Commitment and Creativity’ was written by Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens (Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus University College), Roger Teeuwen (Willem de Kooning Academy) and Tamara Rumiantsev (Codarts Rotterdam). Noordegraaf-Eelens: “This project is an opportunity to collaborate with social partners on the basis of combining scientific and artistic knowledge. We hope that this type of education will contribute to training professionals who are able to connect the realm of the imagination with that of academia in a productive manner.”

One of the RASL programmes is the so-called Double Degree: a five-year programme in which the student combines a bachelor study programme at one institute with another one at one of the other institutes. After successfully completing the programme, the student receives two full Bachelor diplomas. On the teacher level, ‘RASL Compositions: Collaboration, Commitment and Creativity’ builds on the experiences of the Double Degree programme. The teachers receive special training and form partnerships with teachers from other institutes in order to break open established paradigms.

The motivation for this educational innovation project comes from the students: students are using the opportunities to do a Double Degree but find that although the education is multidisciplinary, it is not yet transdisciplinary. A minor of 30 EC gives RASL the opportunity to not just provide art education and scientific education to more students but also to tighten the bonds with teachers and fellow students at other institutes in one dedicated project.

The institutes collaborating within RASL have the ambition to be key players in the art and science field in Rotterdam, with the goal to support versatile and talented students, develop innovative educational models and encourage multidisciplinary research. RASL enhances the international artistic profile of Rotterdam in art and science by bringing artistic practices to a higher level and enriching artistic networks.