Creator Doctus (CrD)

Creator Doctus (CrD) is a project developed at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie that seeks to realise a new European third cycle award for higher arts education. The new award runs parallel to the existing Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), valorising the output of artists as high-quality research that results in the creation of new insight at the forefront of art practice. The three-year research trajectory does not lead to a written dissertation, but to a collection of artistic works or projects. These provide answers to research questions formulated by the artist on the basis of a research area marked by a social partner. 

For information about this European cooperation:


First Creator Doctus promotion of Yael Davids

On September 28th 2020, Yael Davids has defended the outcomes of her research at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She presented the results to an assessment committee, the parties involved and a digital (livestream) and live audience. Her research 'A Daily Practice' has been assessed positively, and Yael Davids is the first artist to be granted the title of Creator Doctus (CrD). Davids’ research was supervised by Sher Doruff (senior researcher at Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Head of THIRD, a programme for third cycle artist-researchers at the Amsterdam University of the Arts) on behalf of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Nick Aikens (research curator) on behalf of the Van Abbemuseum. You can revisit the event and watch the public defense on Youtube.

Yael Davids' research has culminated into the exhibition 'A Daily Practice', commissioned by the Van Abbemuseum. Somatic learning forms the basis of Davids’ research. It is inspired by the work of Moshé Feldenkrais (1904 - 1984) who developed a method based on the conviction that movement can alter the way we think, observe and feel. This principle has inspired Davids’ approach to the museum, its collection and the exhibition. Davids wants to challenge habitual patterns of looking at art within the walls of the museum. For the Van Abbemuseum, the exhibition represents a step in the development of new ways for visitors to experience art: through movement and the body, rather than only with the eye or the intellect.

Read the Creator Doctus research publication here:
Designing the third cycle of art education

Second Creator Doctus trajectory by Femke Herregraven

The second Creator Doctus (CrD) trajectory started in January 2020 and involves a partnership between Sandberg Instituut and Waag in Amsterdam. Femke Herregraven has been selected for this pilot with her research project ‘The Evacuated’.

In a time when financial markets trade in potential future catastrophes, so-called cat bonds, this CrD trajectory starts from a question of agency: what is left to say about a future that is already mapped, calculated and traded on financial markets as a catastrophe? ‘The Evacuated’ investigates how the ‘catastrophe’ can be overcome as an anxious monetised eventuality in the current ‘discourse of doom’, and instead be reactivated as a plot device and create a sudden turn in dominant stories of techno-capitalism and knowledge.

The trajectory is co supervised by Waag, an institute that operates at the intersection of science, technology and the arts, and Flavia Dzodan, senior researcher and writer, on behalf of Sandberg Instituut. The co-funding for this second pilot is kindly supported by the Creative Industries Fund.

The first CrD pilot of Yael Davids is co-funded by Mondriaan Foundation with the Van Abbemuseum as the social partner. In the case of the second CrD pilot of Femke Herregraven, the social partner is Waag and co-funding is provided by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.