What is the Basicyear?

The Basicyear is the first year of the four-year Bachelor's degree programme in Fine Arts and Design. At the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, students complete the Basicyear before they begin a specialisation. It is a general, formative year that offers a broad and coherent programme, all components of which are mandatory. The focus of the programme lies on becoming intensively acquainted with numerous views, concepts and working methods, with the aim to linking these to the students' own interests and potential.

 

What does a week in the 1st study year look like?

In the Basicyear, you have three and a half days of lessons. The rest of the time is for working on assignments, in a room or in the workshops. You have classes with the same group of students. The 3rd floor of the Rietveld building is for the Basicyear. There you will also meet the other Basicyear students.

 

Which courses do you take in the 1st year?

In the Basicyear you take 5 main subjects: mixed media, sculpture, theory, design, and drawing and painting. Around these you follow the Studium Generale, art history lectures and a Design Studies module.

 

How are your classes currently being designed with the measures against Covid-19 in mind?

Almost all classes take place at the academy. There is, however, a restriction on how often students can be at the academy. In the Basicyear, 3 days during the week instead of 5, and on Saturdays based on registration (there is not enough room for all the students at the same time). The classes are split up. And the students work at home more on their assignments. There is also less storage space for large projects. There are limitations.

 

How many theoretical courses are there?

In the Basicyear, theory is divided into different parts: art theory is one of the main subjects, in addition there are art history lectures, and there is the Studium Generale (a programme for the entire academy). For art theory you read texts, get small written assignments, and write a final essay. In addition, the theory class is for exchanging ideas and discussion.

 

What is the teaching language?

The teaching language is English.

 

What are you working towards as a student of the Rietveld?

You are working towards an independent practice as an artist or designer.

 

Is it about self-inquiry, or also a place in the job market?

You are not working towards a position in the job market as you would with a dentistry course. Most dental practices are similar. This is not the case with art and design practices. In that sense, there is a question of self-inquiry: you will determine what your own practice will entail.

 

What’s an example of an assignment for a Basicyear student?

The assignments you receive in the Basicyear are very varied in nature; short, long, open and closed. With every one, the Basicyear tutors will encourage you to understand the question posed by the assignment, and then let you give it your own twist. We see the assignments as a means to share your studies with others. Every student does something different with the same assignment. That way you also learn from each other.

 

How do the classes develop throughout the year?

Over the course of the year, more and more independence is expected from you.

 

Is there a typical Rietveld Basicyear student?

All Rietveld students are different. What they may have in common is great independence, openness and curiosity.