Amsterdam, 2 November 2023

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is pleased to announce the appointments of three new head teachers. The new heads of the Ceramics, Graphic Design and Fashion departments bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the art academy in Amsterdam. They will start from 1 January 2024.

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is a small-scale, internationally oriented university of applied arts and design. The academy is characterised by inquisitive and experimental art education. All full-time students start in the Basicyear and then choose three years of in-depth study in a specialisation (at one of the departments). Each department has its own way of working and has a high degree of autonomy. 


Jonas Vansteenkiste has been appointed as the new head of the Ceramics Department. He studied at KASK in Ghent and St-Lucas in Antwerp. In his work he is guided by 'spaces'. He builds architectural spaces or creates situations that could be called 'mental spaces'. Since his residencies at Sundaymorning@EKWC, he often works with ceramics in his installations. He is also active as an exhibition maker. With his experience he will challenge the students to push the boundaries of ceramics with their sculptural spatial works. 

Graphic design 

Rasha Dakkak has been appointed as the new head teacher of Graphic Design. She is a Palestinian graphic designer. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Basel School of Design in Switzerland. She takes a reflective and critical approach to the profession, focusing on the social and political implications of the discipline. No stranger to the academy, she is currently the coordinator of the Sandberg Institute's F for Fact temporary master's programme. Her cultural and intellectual perspective will contribute to a more inclusive and diverse curriculum. With her arrival, she brings new ways of looking at the field and the discipline.


Elisa van Joolen has been appointed as the new head of the Fashion Department. Van Joolen works at the intersection of fashion and fine art and has an international career. She approaches clothing design in a socially engaged way. One of her distinctive qualities is the way she emphasises collaboration, research and participation. Her work examines the 'fashion system' and proposes new models of production and presentation. This fits well with the direction the Rietveld Academie's fashion department took a few years ago. No doubt Van Joolen, together with the fashion team, will continue to encourage students to enrich the concept of 'fashion' with innovative concepts and radical approaches.