How does the Next Economy affect art and design practices? The concept refers to the current period of economical and industrial transformations. Technological disruptive innovations, ecological crises and a bottom-up mentality have redefined traditional concepts of production, distribution and authorship / ownership.
In times of open source and DIY, hierarchies between makers, designers, producers, companies, consumers and individuals are changing rapidly and radically. This creates new opportunities for designers and artists to position themselves: as visionary, critical contributors.
Commercial Practices represent one of the work fields, that the Willem de Kooning Academy, art & design academy Rotterdam, distinguishes for graduating artists and designers. This economical landscape in transit requires a new mind-, skill- and toolset. In the Commercial Practices, we educate artists and designers in this new context. We believe that a transdisciplinary design approach and a critical, explorative view on innovation and new technologies are crucial skills for the hybrid practices of artists and designers, as instigators and collaborators in the Next Economy.
Our key questions are:
- How can artists and designers position themselves in this new economy?
- How and for which future markets will they design?
- What is their exclusive and distinctive role and identity in a commercial context?
- How will these developments change visual and design culture at large?