Architectural Design takes a spatial view of the world and thus has a direct connection with the society of today and tomorrow. In the department, students are encouraged to adopt an artistic, experimental as well as functional approach, using their own fascinations as a starting point. To help them, the teachers – designers and artists from the practice – provide them with spatial skills, resources and theory. They challenge the students to reflect on themselves in relation to the outside world. An internship of at least three months is a compulsory part of their studies.
In the department, thinking about space and creating areas is developed by teaching spatial design in the broadest sense of the word, by experimenting and reflecting and by learning skills in a specially designed and ongoing workshop programme. Within the programme, there is a strong emphasis on theoretical education and reflection: writing, discussing, researching and questioning oneself and others are important learning activities. Students thus acquire the ability to apply their own accents and develop individual qualities and interests during their studies. Through experimentation – not necessarily governed by the rules of the real world – students learn to incorporate their own fascinations in their work and give it content, depth and form. This ultimately leads to the development of their own artistic vision which is expressed in their own formulated projects and a thesis in the final exam year.
The aim is to teach students to become independent designers with a unique approach and position in terms of society and their field. With the knowledge and skills acquired during their studies, they can start their own independent practice or proceed to do a master’s programme.
The curriculum consists of four main components:
1. Projects: two project classes per semester that are thematically determined and that a student can connect to their own fascination.
2. Theory class: One session a week is spent on reading, writing, presenting and analysing texts. Knowledge about philosophy, history and conceptual thinking are important to take a stance.
3. Workshops for developing skills and design tools: an ongoing workshop program where we connect to the academies workshop spaces includes techniques, skills, materials that are the base for students to express their artistic ideas and vision. Within the workshop - that normally lasts four weeks - there is an active collaboration with the academies workshop spaces and other departments.
4. Reflection: every two weeks students will be guided in reflecting on their own working process. Students will learn to give words and direction to ideas, methods, processes and its own position.
1. One workshop a year, accompanied by a leading designer/artist during Rietveld Uncut.
2. One excursion abroad with a focus on history and theory.