Download de Inspiratiekit Critical Arts-based Sustainability Education (CASE)

Klimaatverandering, microplastics, overbevolking, luchtvervuiling, watervervuiling, hebzucht, overconsumptie, pandemieën, uitsterven van dieren en planten. De mens maakt een rotzooi van deze planeet.

Traditioneel onderwijs rondom duurzaamheid schetst de verschijnselen en oorzaken van milieuproblemen maar zet studenten zelden aan tot het nemen van gerichte actie in combinatie met eigen onderzoek en het bestuderen en zoeken van bijbehorende theorie.

Deze inspiratiekit is voor docenten die een positieve bijdrage willen leveren rond duurzaamheid door met studenten onderliggende oorzaken op te sporen en ervaren situaties te veranderen met gerichte acties.

Deze inspiratiekit is samengesteld met in 2020 geteste scenario’s en (online)lessituaties aan Haagse Hogeschool, minor Sustainable Business en Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (HKU). Met een aantal aanpassingen (ter beoordeling aan de docent) is deze inspiratiekit ook bruikbaar in de bovenbouw van het voortgezet onderwijs.

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Download the Inspiration Kit Critical Arts-based Sustainability Education (CASE)

Climate change, microplastics, overpopulation, air pollution, water pollution, greed, overconsumption, pandemics, extinction of animals and plants. Humans are making a mess of this planet. 

Traditional education on sustainability outlines the phenomena and causes of environmental problems, but seldom encourages students to take targeted action in combination with their own research and the study and search for associated theory.

This inspiration kit is for teachers who want to make a positive contribution to sustainability by tracing underlying causes with students and changing experienced situations with targeted actions.

This inspiration kit has been compiled with scenarios and (online) teaching situations tested in 2020 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, minor Sustainable Business and Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). With some adjustments (at the discretion of the teacher), this inspiration kit can also be used in upper secondary education.

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Free-writing as a research method

Golden Circle, Sinek (2009)

Writing classes

To write a text that expresses your identity as an artist can be a pain. That’s why I provide writing classes for art students to help them with their artist statement. This provides a cover text that can be used for portfolio, graduation, festivals, galleries, exhibitions, pitches and competitions. A well-written artist statement distinguishes and forms an important part of the professional identity.

What inspires you?

As a first step, students write down in 10 minutes, unfiltered, or draw everything that comes to mind when they think about themselves concerning their artistic or professional context.

Then I ask the question “What inspires you?”. A conversation about their purpose (WHY) opens a certain space that remains closed if you limit yourself to describe what you make. What inspires you? is a key to this space and provides the depth that makes you think about your own position and that of others. What inspires you? is an invitation to talk and reveals the inspiration and drive of the maker. Many students share a passion for social and sustainability issues without knowing it from the other. When these insights are shared with the group, new information is added to existing narratives.

Next, I let them sort the harvest according to WHY, HOW, WHAT following the logic of the Golden Circle of Sinek (2009). WHY is about the purpose. The HOW is more about the artistic process and the WHAT is about the artefacts and materials.

The final artist statement or professional statement is a guiding text that students can use when entering the professional world.

PS: What inspires you? works also great as a conversation starter at parties and business gatherings if you want to avoid small-talk.

Let guided chance enrich your creative process

Do you know the phenomenon that when you delve into something, new and different things come your way? It almost seems like fate wants to tell you something. I call this phenomenon guided coincidence. This not accidental coincidence occurs when you work with an open mind. It can cause a snowball effect as new information arrives outside of your preparation.


• Enriching the creative process as a whole;
• An open view, allowing new impulses outside of cognitive preparation;
• Enrich the incubation phase by allowing guided chance.

This exercise stimulates the addition of new associative information to the subconscious with the aim of increasing the number of promising combinations. Recognizing the promising combinations towards a solution is the moment of illumination. This can take place long after the end of the exercise.


1) Take your research or question in mind for 1 minute and then put it away (you can take this very literally).
2) Grab a phone, paper, pencil or pen and enter a room with many objects or other stimuli (this space can be workshops, a large thrift store, store, museum, etc.)
3) Take a maximum of 20 minutes to look around and record what touches or catches your way (photo, text, drawing). Give yourself the space to associate freely and to put your question on the back burner. So do not search emphatically but go on impulse.
4) Discuss what you have found in groups of 2-4 people in max. 20 minutes and share the results.
5) Now pick up your problem again literally or figuratively and combine it with your photos, drawings, text and what you have discussed in the group.
6) And have you found an alternative angle? This appears over time. In any case, you have more input to connect and you look with a glance that will help you outside your obvious cognitive paths with your problem.

This method was first tested on January 20, 2020, during at HKU with Med students and graduates. Afterwards, the 12 participants indicated that they had found new input for their questions.