Student Desirée Kruizinga about the course Sustainable Creativity

Student Desirée Kruizinga
I would definitely recommend the course to other students, as it invites us to deal with scientific theories and critical thinking in a completely different way
Desirée Kruizinga

Desirée Kruizinga is studying the master Creative Industries. She completed the Sustainable Creativity course in her master's program.

Why are you interested in sustainability?

'I have taken an active interest in sustainability for years. It started when I became aware of climate change and tried to reduce my own carbon footprint by reusing things, adopting a vegetarian/vegan diet and using carbon-neutral packaging. This awareness grew when I started the Geography teacher training programme, in the first year of which I had the chance to develop a lesson for the Climate Planet. When I then made the switch to university and studied subjects including Gender Studies, I also became more aware of another aspect of sustainability: safeguarding the quality and accessibility of education, cultures and cultural heritage, social norms and values, and economic development. A lot of (tricky) issues come into play here and I like working on them with the aim of contributing to a solution.'

Why did you choose Sustainable Creativity?

'Sustainable Creativity is a compulsory course within my Master’s specialisation, Creative Industries. I think it fits in well with it, especially as it is offered in the first block of the Master’s. The course helps us think about what exactly we understand by ‘creativity’ and ‘sustainability’ and about how these two concepts are linked. If the course hadn’t been compulsory for me, I would definitely have taken it as an elective component, as it is structured so practically: you are not assessed on the basis of an exam or paper, but by means of a multimedia project that you work on throughout the course. In my view this is a ‘more sustainable’ way of learning, as you engage with the material in a much more conscious and more personal way than if you were learning it for one specific test, after which you usually forget it all again.'

In your opinion was the theme of sustainability well represented on the Sustainable Creativity course?

'I think the theme of sustainability is well represented on the course and that it is also dealt with fully. When it comes to sustainability people often only think about climate change, recycling and carbon emissions, but the course also covers other aspects of sustainability. For example: equality/inequality in the creative industry and the accessibility of culture and art.'

What new insights did you gain during the Sustainable Creativity course?

'On this course we first reflect on what creativity and being creative means, addressing dominant and romantic ideas about creativity, and we think about how creativity is linked to sustainability. We look, for example, at the internal creative process and the role that interaction with others plays in this, and we reflect on the relationship between innovation and creativity. During the course we also examine how creativity can help to resolve sustainability-related issues from different perspectives, such as a political perspective, but also from the perspective of the design and production of a project or its consumption. This also makes clear how important the relationship is between all these different perspectives and that social issues relating to sustainability can only be resolved if there is good collaboration between them. Lastly, we get to know a number of methods that can help us study creativity in practice and make and justify choices within our own multimedia project.'

During the course you also have to carry out assignments. Can you explain exactly what you had to do for this assignment?

'As a final assignment for this course we work in groups to develop a creative multimedia project that deals with a question relating to sustainability. We can decide for ourselves on the topic and the format we use for this project, as long as we approach the theme of ‘sustainability’ in a productive way and we employ the theoretical concepts discussed in the lectures. You could make a video, for example, but also a podcast or a physical object. Within the course we are prepared for this project from week one. During lectures, for example, there is plenty of freedom to work in our groups and we can ask the lecturer questions. We are also given tips to help us work out our question in concrete terms and conceptualise our project. As we discuss a different aspect of creativity and sustainability each week, we are encouraged to keep reflecting on our project and apply the knowledge and methods we have learned.'

Would you recommend this course to other students?

'I would definitely recommend the course to other students, as it invites us to deal with scientific theories and critical thinking in a completely different way. As you are assessed in a very practical way – in other words, based on a multimedia project – you have to draw on entirely different skills and not just ‘academic writing’ or ‘reproducing knowledge’. You still carry out research, but you present your findings in a different way. That means you not only find out what your own talents are, such as creative writing, video editing, photography, or directing, but also the talents of others. On this course you will definitely come across students with different backgrounds, leading to enjoyable and surprising encounters and allowing you to work together in an interesting way. Lastly, I think that the working method used on this course helps you retain the knowledge you have acquired better, as you have so much (creative) freedom in the way you go about your work. I think this is really valuable for many students in terms of developing their talent and ensuring they get satisfaction from their studies.'

Do you want to know more about the course Sustainable Creativity?

Read here the testimonial of lecturer Vincent Meelberg

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