Dr Alice Twemlow has been named professor by special appointment in the Wim Crouwel chair in the History, Theory and Sociology of Graphic Design and Visual Culture at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. The chair was established on behalf of the Wim Crouwel Institute, a foundation dedicated to making the heritage of Dutch graphic design accessible for research and education. Twemlow will combine her professorship with her work for the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK) and Leiden University.
Twemlow is internationally recognised for her work as a scholar, educator and critic, and her active engagement in many aspects of contemporary design culture. Her research has focused on design criticism, consumption of graphic design, the relationship between design and time, experimental publishing, critical and speculative design, and the nature of design and artistic research and methodologies.
The Wim Crouwel Chair is part of the Book Studies research group at the Faculty of Humanities. Twemlow will contribute to the educational offering there with lectures and seminars on the history, theory and sociology of graphic design and visual culture, available to all Master’s students. She will also supervise students in Book Studies who would like to specialise in graphic design and follow this track through to graduation. In addition, Twemlow will supervise PhD candidates, conduct and disseminate her own research related to the graphic design collections, and represent the professorship in international research networks.
She is currently a professor (lector) at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, where she heads the ‘Design and the Deep Future’ research project. She is also associate professor at the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University where she supervises PhD candidates in the PhD Arts programme.
Previously, she was head of the Master’s programme Design Curating & Writing at the Design Academy Eindhoven. And prior to that, she founded an MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
The chair is of great importance to the Wim Crouwel Institute, because, in the Netherlands to date, the history, theory and sociology of graphic design and visual culture have been insufficiently represented as subjects of scientific inquiry at university level. Following in the footsteps of its namesake, the pioneering Dutch designer Wim Crouwel, the Wim Crouwel Institute wants to encourage rigorous academic research into graphic design and thereby to enhance the visibility and relevance of this discipline in the Netherlands and internationally.
The chair was created in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities (UvA), the Allard Pierson – the collections of the University of Amsterdam, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The graphic design collections of both institutions will be frequently used for educational and research purposes within the framework of this chair.