Middelkoop, C. van (MFA)

Catelijne van Middelkoop is a Design Fellow and former Professor of Visual Communication Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Research Lecturer at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, and Research Professor (Practor) ‘Meaningful Creativity’ at SintLucas in Boxtel and Eindhoven. Her main research interests include the position of ‘making’ in creative processes, the influence of emerging technologies on the field of visual communication design, the changing role of the designer in a predominantly digital age dictated by machines, as well as speculative futures for (and pasts of) art and design education.

Catelijne is co-founder of Strange Attractors Design, a trans-disciplinary research studio known for its experimental and nonconformist approach to critical design practices. The core of these practices is shaped by a ‘research through design’ approach, which she has successfully applied in various educational settings, from vocational schools to academia, both on an operational and an organizational level. Here she focuses on the role of human creativity and the adaptiveness of design curricula to the influence of emerging technologies and social change.

Academic Background

Catelijne started out studying Art History and Archeology at the University of Amsterdam in 1994 yet graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague with a Bachelor degree in Graphic and Typographic Design in 2000. The research and thesis project she worked on during graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art (MI, USA) focused on design tooling and digital crafts, topics she explores in even more depth and from both a human and non human perspective while pursuing her PhD degree with a research project called “The Last Makers. Shaping the future of (Dutch) design education through (de-)constructing its (speculative) past(s).”


  • 2022 - 2024
PhD Candidate, University of Groningen
  • 2014 - 2020
    PhD Candidate, Bauhaus Universität Weimar
  • 2000 - 2002
    2D Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • 1996 - 2000
    Graphic & Typographic Design, Royal Academy of Art (KABK)
  • 1994 - 1996
    Art History & Archeology, University of Amsterdam 



  • 2001 - present
    Co-founder/partner/designer/researcher, Strange Attractors Design & The AI-GENCY
  • 2021 - present
    Research Lecturer ‘Commercial Practices’, Willem de Kooning Academy
  • 2020 - present
    Practor (Research Professor) ‘Meaningful Creativity’, SintLucas
  • 2020 - 2022
    ‘Moonshots’ Studio Leader, Design Academy Eindhoven
  • 2013 - 2022
    BA Department Head [Man and] ‘Communication’, Design Academy Eindhoven

Specialisation / field of research

  • (Visual) Communication Design, Design Education, Speculative Design

Involved in the project(s)