Symposium Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab

Symposium Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab

Join us on Wednesday 21 November 2018, 13.00-18.00 hrs for a symposium all about RASL, hosted in Blue City, a unique creative space in the heart of Rotterdam.

The first RASL Symposium will share insights gained from two years of transdisciplinary research and education. We will share our lessons learnt so far and present our plans for the future. We have a dynamic programme prepared for you with a keynote by Marleen Stikker, Director of Waag, several interactive workshop sessions and a riveting musical performance by Club Gewalt. Details of the thematic workshop sessions are as follows.

RASL symposium: thematic sessions

  1. RASL Double Degree

    In 2016 RASL launched the Double Degree programme, which allows students to simultaneously develop their artistic or musical talent and their academic ambitions. In a 5-year programme students can combine an academic study with an art/music studies. The programme has been carefully designed to stimulate synergy between the two studies, while keeping a regular study load. During this break-out session we would like to share with you what we have learned from three years of Double Degree, from the technical and the logistic challenges to the efforts of creating innovative content. Some of the topics that we will discuss:
  • What are the opportunities for cross-, inter- and transdisciplinary education within the framework of a Double Degree?
  • How to redesign the way the game of higher education is played, without breaking the rules?
  • How to involve stakeholders and calibrate processes from different organizations on a day-to-day basis?
  • How to facilitate a programme that allows students to find their own specific synergy between the two studies?
  • How do students experience the RASL Double Degree? What do they recognize as the added value of the programme?

The RASL Double Degree is currently offered in four combinations:
Willem de Kooning Academy (Art and Design) or Codarts (Music) in combination with Arts and Culture Studies (EUR) or Liberal Arts and Sciences (Erasmus University College). The complete curriculum overviews and additional information about the programmes can be found here

  1. RASL Compositions

In 2018 RASL was granted a Comenius Leader Fellowship. This grant allows RASL to explore a transdisciplinary relationship between arts, sciences and society, and the implementation thereof in education. Currently we’re developing a minor, RASL Compositions. to realize this goal. The education we will provide in the minor is based on three principles: commitment, collaboration and creativity.

  • Commitment as students themselves will be asked to study a topic of their choice (within the fields of expertise of the involved institutions).
  • Collaboration between different domains, is the foundation of this educational practice. This means that a variety of students and staff will participate in this programme. More specifically, this implies involvement of students and scholars with a background in performing arts, visual arts, in sciences and humanities.
  • Creativity by which we mean that the focus of this educational programme is on “what can be”, and not “what is”. So, it is not about the reproduction of knowledge but about the creation of “new” knowledge.

To develop this educational programme we will act on three levels:

  • Research into transdisciplinary practices and the implementation in educational settings
  • The development of a Teacher Training Programme, with and for the teachers that will participate in the minor
  • The development of a Minor called RASL Compositions which should be offered in autumn 2019.

Within this break-out sessions we want to focus on the goals we set for ourselves and the challenges we encounter when trying to reach them.

  1. RASL Research

RASL Research examines the relationship between the arts and society. Now more than ever different fields of expertise are crucial to addressing contemporary challenges. Since the start in 2016, RASL Research has been successful in acquiring three large grants, in close collaboration with many academic and professional partners. During this break-out session we would like to celebrate our successes, share our experiences and look towards the future.

  • Celebrating our successes:
    • short pitches of three funded research projects
  • Sharing experiences:
    • What were the benefits and challenges of working across traditional disciplinary lines?
    • How did we connect with relevant researchers within the three organizations?
    • What does each organization (HBO/WO/professional partner) add to the research project and how to synthesize this knowledge?
  • Working towards a bright future:
    • What should the future of RASL Research look like in terms of topics, disciplinary cooperation and internationalization?
    • Where do (funding) opportunities lie? And how can research best be supported?


Currently, RASL is partner in three large research projects funded by SIA/NWO: (1) Gameful Music Performances for Smart, Inclusive, and Sustainable Societies (GAMPSISS), (2) Performing artists and Athlete Research Lab (PEARL), and (3) Staging Popular Music: Researching Sustainable Live Music Ecologies for Artists, Music Venues and Cities (POPLIVE). Additional information about the projects can be found here.


12:30 Welcome and registration

13:00 Opening

13:15 Keynote by Marleen Stikker, founder of Waag, technology and society and guest on VPRO television’s Zomergasten.

13:45 Presentation of RASL: 3 years of innovation in education and research

14:00 Thematic sessions:

  • RASL Double Degree programme
  • RASL Compositions
  • RASL Research

15:00 Coffee break

15:15 Presentation RASL Essay publication

15:45 Herr Hamschterfleisch und Band präsuntiert: WIR SIND AMAZONE
Innovative Musical theatre by Club Gewalt

16:00 Working towards a bright future
Panel discussion about the opportunities of transdisciplinary collaboration and the
obstacles that need to be removed in order to make these collaborations possible.

16:45 Closing

17:00 Drinks with Bitterballen of BlueCity’s RotterZwam

 Click here to register by email

Location & Route

The RASL Symposium will take place in BlueCity, Maasboulevard 100, 3063 NS Rotterdam.

BlueCity is an incubator for circular entrepreneurs in and around Rotterdam. Situated in the former Tropicana swimming complex, this hub forms a breeding ground for 16 innovative, circular companies linking their waste-streams and creating much needed tangible and inspiring examples for the circular economy. Closing the loops and building the city and economy of the future.

Parking space is available, for route and OV options, click here.

For questions about the programme, please contact programme coordinator Renske Wassink at