The Rietveld Academie is an open environment for education in visual arts and design, where students prepare themselves with great independence and self-organisation, from different perspectives and histories, and in dialogue with the world, for individual and collective practices. Rietveld graduates can contribute critically and experimentally to communities, contexts and situations, or create them themselves. 

Core values

We stand for:

- The intrinsic value of art

- An open and socially engaged attitude towards the other as well as society

- Research, experiment and critical questioning

- Pluriformity and the oppositions resulting from that

- The freedom to develop a personal approach and make one's own choices.


1. Position

We see our academy as a free and critical environment where the undefined and unsolicited can be brought about. In this environment, we consciously and actively seek different forms of engagement with the world from the point of view of art and design.

2. Engaged autonomy

We opt for an approach to visual art and design from an autonomous position in engagement with the world.

3. Education as dialogue

For us, art education is first and foremost a continuous critical dialogue between students and teachers in which they question the student's work, work process and choices.

4. Subjectivity as a starting point

We see the students's personal interests, qualities and backgrounds as the starting point for our education. On this basis, we encourage students to develop their own work process, both independently and in collaboration with others, and to take responsibility for it. This enables a development that is based on a singular and unique standpoint in the world, which is something everybody has but which the artist chooses as a starting point and which can be accompanied by an active openness to what is happening in the world.

5. Making and thinking

Becoming an artist or designer is a formative process in which practical action and reflection continually interact and in which a personal vision, mentality and approach are developed while experimenting. In that process the students commit themselves to a medium, discipline or field of interest and engage with the world.

6. Critical curiosity

In order for the development process to run smoothly, we encourage students throughout the entire programme to form an attitude whereby they approach the world openly, critically and inquisitively.

7. Basicyear

Our general formative first year is a binding factor in the study programme. The joint exploration of fine art and design stimulates the investigative attitude of the students and helps them to make a well-considered choice between departments by the end of the year. This collective kick-off forms a basis for exchange and collaboration across departments in the higher years.

8. Departments

For the higher years we proceed from a structure with departments, which arise from different disciplines and areas of work, with their own working methods and their own discourses. As between the disciplines in practice, there are interfaces and affinities between our departments and these are investigated and exploited.

9. Across boundaries

Our departments encourage students to take as their starting point their own interests and motives, which relate to the world in many ways, to probe their medium, discipline or specialism in depth, and to explore its boundaries and cross them. We use the interspace between the departments to give students the opportunity to relate to other contexts, to collaborate, to organise their own education and to do research.

10. Responsibility

We take responsibility for creating a humane, liveable world. We educate artists and designers in an open culture, where diversity, inclusivity, solidarity and social awareness are givens, and where care for the natural environment is clearly present in everyday practices.

11. Cherishing differences

The most fertile incubator for a self-determined artistic practice is an environment characterised by a multitude and diversity of points of view and approaches, and the need to make personally-driven choices and follow one's own paths.