Annemarie Geerling

Annemarie Geerling, lecturer Art and Design at ArtEZ University of the Arts and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, graduated as a teacher of visual arts and design in 2002. In recent years the focus in her teaching practice moved from teaching visual art towards the coaching of interdisciplinary creative processes and design research in the bachelor teachers training course (in art and design as well as the interdisciplinary programme with music and theatre).

She enjoys the cooperation with professionals from other (art) disciplines and loves to develop her teaching practice further in this angle. Annemarie got her Masters of Education in Arts in 2015 (HKU) with a final design research, developing an interdisciplinary improvisation tool for art students. Within the research group Art and Professionalisation at the HKU she now continues her research of the possibilities of interdisciplinary improvisation in need to meet, learn and connect with creators of different artistic disciplines.





Plaii is a tool to encourage artists from different disciplines to meet each other in an interdisciplinary improvisation. Plaii is designed to let the participants know each other’s views behind and principles of the making processes in their discipline. Plaii contributes to the education of students, preparing them for the current hybrid professional arts practice.

Plaii is a new way to improvise with participants from different art disciplines. Each participant picks a card with an instruction in the form of multi-interpretable shape; this shape invites one to a playfull improvisation. After this improvisation several questioning cards raise and support a deepening conversation. After this conversation two more improvisations and conversations follow.

Plaii also contributes to generating ideas and gaining inspiration. The name Plaii refers to a definition of play in wich pleasure, spontaneity and the feeling of freedom are important. The two ii’s stand for Interdisciplinairy Improvisation.



Artists from different artistic disciplines cooperate and mingle more and more nowadays. They look at each other’s work and increasingly incorporate elements from other art-disciplines in their own creative process. Looking at higher arts education, collaboration is an important competence. A growing number of courses includes ‘interdisciplinary collaboration’ in the study programme.


In her teaching practice, at ArtEZ University of the Arts, Annemarie Geerling noticed that the hybrid art world is still little represented in higher arts education. Students and staff of different departments of art universities have difficulties finding each other naturally. That is the reason that Annemarie, when doing her Master research at the interdisciplinary Master of Education in Arts at HKU, chose to focus on the question how to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration in higher arts education. In her final desigh research project she designed the tool Plaii. Plaii is a new tool for improvisation with participants from different art disciplines. With ‘Plaii’ students get to know each other’s personal views behind and principles in their different making processes.

Plaii can be used in the studio or classroom right away. It also invites participants to further research into interdisciplinary improvisation. Annemarie has started to investigate in what way Plaii can be applied in an adjusted form in other circles for other target groups. For example with a team of secondary school art teachers and with art professionals at the ICON (Innovative Conservatories Network) seminar in Helsinki in October 2016.

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