- Jurgen Bey
- annelys de vet
- on: tailor-made
Think tank for visual strategies
Course director: Annelys de Vet
A research and development department for society / an autonomous zone / a mediator in the investigation of social priorities / an intellectual playground
The Design Department functions as a visual think tank where students commit themselves to various cultural, political and research-based visual projects. They can build their own programme with an open curriculum, creating hybrid forms of communication that draw on their skills as writers, editors, visualizers, programmers, conceptualizers and form-givers. They grapple with critical issues in contemporary society – engaging in research, initiating their own projects, curating events, directing, programming, editing and designing media.
Critical design / Design research / Social awareness / Cultural analysis / Designing processes / Visual communication / Visual journalism / Storytelling / Media strategies / Cultural connectors / Speculative design / Anthropologists of the future / International symbol making
Communication has arrived at a stage in which knowledge and information seem available to everyone and everywhere, all the time. ‘I don’t know’ becomes ‘I’ll find out’. In this time of full disclosure the world appears to be shrinking, while at the same time it gives the impression of growing due to this same disclosure of all its data. Designers are surfers in an omnipresent ocean of information.
Today, communication design focuses on structuring, conducting, and shaping a dialogue. A design is no longer simply ‘a medium’ – such as a poster, book or website – rather it exists ‘in the media’. The task of media designers has therefore changed from designing information to dealing with information. This means that their practices concentrate on the conditions and characteristics of the context within which a design exists. This implies an understanding of that context and an ability to consciously make connections within it.
The Master’s students at the Design Department develop a ‘radar’ for social change. They are critical agents of process and they govern communication, reflection, understanding, debate, collaboration and cross-fertilization. As responsible professionals and dedicated enthusiasts, they visualize new vistas and communicate through designed languages that are tailor made to engage with social issues. Equipped with critical analysis, well-organized actions, commitment and collaborations these designers process what happens around and between us.
The Design Department is an independent place for study, practice and research, which invites students to be creative, productive and self-critical. It offers space for selflessness, vulnerability and unpredictability, where relationships between the personal and the public can be forged. Ultimately, such an environment is one that reflects our complex world and is flexible enough to change with the students.
Each student ultimately puts together his or her own programme on the basis of topics, assignments and projects offered and suggested by the department, depending on the interests and initiatives of the students. Their critical sensibility is placed at the centre of all activity.
Students are encouraged to work and carry out research independently as well as collaboratively, to be analytical and to reflect on noteworthy developments in society. Research is done on social and cultural issues, as well as on visual and narrative methods and strategies. Each project inspires different forms of research. Many projects arise in collaboration with experts, such as philosophers, authors and programmers. Being able to think and act flexibly are important competencies. An essential aspect of the programme is the link to professional practice: we regularly connect students to potential clients, relevant organizations and other actors during their studies.
At the beginning of the course, more emphasis is placed on projects and subjects proposed by the department. The first year concludes with at least one self-initiated project. Second-year students focus more on self-initiated projects and their graduation essay. To graduate from the Master of Design programme, students must successfully complete a self-initiated, formulated and executed design project, a provocative essay, a public presentation explaining the degree project and an installation/presentation at the graduation show.
Each year, the department admits 8 to 12 students who show themselves to be in possession of multiple relevant talents, and of the ability to visually express themselves in an elaborate and convincing manner. Basic competencies, such as creative ability and technical skills, have already been developed during their bachelor education. Students demonstrate during the selection that they possess these talents and are able to fully deploy them in the broadening and deepening sense implied by a Master's study. Candidate students are evaluated on the basis of their design talent and expertise, their motivation, creativity, critical reflection, inquisitiveness, analytical skills, ability to think independently, and for the awareness of the larger professional, social, cultural and ultimately political context. We welcome designers who take the initiative, speak out compellingly, take an engaged position and accept responsibility for it.
Students who successfully complete the Design Master's programme are awarded a Master of Design (MDes) degree.
At the Sandberg Instituut, students are encouraged to collaborate, and to establish a relationship to the world around them – i.e. outside the institute and the profession. The most valuable things can arise during unpredictable encounters and at unexpected moments. We believe in the politics of strangers and the lure of strange places.
Students are educated as designers who work and think critically from a background of craftsmanship, theoretical and contextual awareness and an understanding of research. They are able to chart a personal trajectory within a complex field. Sandberg designers attain positions in an expanding global network of innovative designer positions, and make use of this network to further their professional practices. The progressive aspects of their ideas are connected to the critical reception of their work. Graduates have established clearly articulated visual, social, cultural and political design positions. They are often influential to colleagues as well as to a wider (public) context. They work at the vanguard of their field and deliberately assume the role of pioneers, i.e. they contribute to develop the field and the way people think about it. In short, they position themselves as ambassadors of a changing design profession.
The permanent team consists of a department head (Annelys de Vet), a coordinator (Anke van Loon), three permanent instructors (Nina Folkersma, Rob Schröder and Daniel van der Velden) and a media tutor and technical assistant (Jan-Kees van Kampen). Various guest instructors also participate and are invited on the basis of specific knowledge or expertise. Everybody has their own linguistic and conceptual frameworks and hence take different perspectives.
ANNELYS DE VET (Course Director) is a graphic designer, editor and initiator. Since 2009 she has been head of the Design Department of the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. She has a studio for graphic research and cultural design in Brussels, which initiated and authored several publications investigating the role of design in relation to the public and political discourse: ‘Subjectieve atlas van Nederland’ (BIS Publishers ’05), ‘The public role of the graphic designer’ (Design Academy Eindhoven ’06), ‘Subjective Atlas of Palestine’ (010 Publishers ’07) ‘Subjective atlas of Serbia’ (Dom Omladine ’09), ‘Subjective atlas of Hungary’ (HVG ’11) and ‘Subjective atlas of Mexico’ (Textofilia ’11). She has been a lecturer at Design Academy Eindhoven, Jan van Eyck Academie Maastricht, HKU, Sint Lukas Brussels and the International Academy of Arts Palestine.
NINA FOLKERSMA (tutor) is an independent curator, editor and art critic, based in Amsterdam. After graduating in History of Art from the University of Amsterdam, she completed the Curatorial Programme of De Appel in 1996. Since then she has worked both as an independent and employed curator for institutions like the S.M.A.K. in Gent (Belgium), Castrum Peregrini in Amsterdam, Museum Het Domein in Sittard, and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. Next to her curatorial practice, Nina regularly writes about contemporary art and culture, amongst others for Metropolis M, the Dutch magazine on contemporary art of which she was also an editor for many years. Nina Folkersma teaches at the Sandberg Instituut since 2009, with a special focus on the writing of the final essay and the making of the graduation exhibition.
ROB SCHRÖDER (tutor) was one of the founders of the design collective Wild Plakken (1977-1993). In 1991 Rob Schröder was asked to work for the VPRO, a Dutch national broadcasting company. He makes documentaries about Art and Politics. In 2011 together with Gabriëlle Provaas he directed the movie ‘Meet the Fokkens’. Since 1982 Rob Schröder has been a teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam.
DANIEL VAN DER VELDEN (tutor) is a graphic designer and writer. Together with Vinca Kruk he founded Metahaven, a studio for design and research. Metahaven’s work — both commissioned and self-directed — reflects political and social issues in provocative graphic design objects. Metahaven authored Uncorporate Identity, a book on politics and visual identity in our dystopian age, published by Lars Müller in 2010. His solo exhibitions include Affiche Frontière (CAPC musée d’art contemporaine Bordeaux, 2008) and Stadtstaat (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart/Casco, 2009). Group exhibitions include Forms of Inquiry (AA London, 2007), Manifesta8 (Murcia, 2010) and the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011 (Gwangju, Korea). Daniel has been a tutor at the Design Department of the Sandberg Instituut since 2007. He is also a Senior Critic in the Graphic Design MFA programme at Yale University.
Recent guest instructors included Åbäke (Belgium/France), Filip de Boeck (Belgium), Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács (Netherlands), Max Bruinsma (Netherlands), Catalogtree (Germany/Netherlands), Emory Douglas (USA), Gert Dumbar (Netherlands), Martijn Engelbregt (Netherlands), Reem Fadda (Palestine), Mieke Gerritzen (Netherlands), Hendrik-Jan Grievink (Netherlands), Bregtje van der Haak (Netherlands), Rick Poynor (Great Britain), Jonathon Puckey (Netherlands), Jonas Staal (Netherlands), Gerard Unger (Netherlands), Boy Vereecken (Belgium), Barbera Visser (Netherlands), Coralie Vogelaar (Netherlands) and Astrid Vorstermans (Netherlands).
- krist gruijthuijsen
- on: tailor-made
Course director: Krist Gruijthuijsen
The Fine Arts master is about exploring the idea of ‘autonomy’ through practice-based reflection, structured in custom modules. I believe in a dedicated and tailor-made education. Addressing acute social and economical issues from traditional parameters indicates that one can raise questions like could this conversation be viewed as sculpture?
tailor-made / flexible / dedicated / structure / making / autonomy / sense and non-sense / friction / plurality / authenticity / linguistic / performative / visual / madness / attitude
The remodelled Fine Arts department of the Sandberg Institute retains its focus on the notions of autonomy and making while simultaneously addressing the social and economical roles and implications of these traditional parameters of art production.
The structure of the program rethinks conventional notions around the division of artistic labour by placing different aspects of production into three open models; Language, Image, Play/Object. A main tutor develops the curriculum for each model over the course of two years, whereby the Sandberg Institute will function as headquarters from which each program can modify and manifest itself internally as well as externally.
Fine Arts is thus a more tailor-made form of education, with the ambition to guide artistic practitioners / artists to position and differentiate their existing body of work. The course offers a constructive pallet in which the student applies with a proposal for one specific model. This causes each group to become smaller and more flexible, enabling them to properly research and reflect upon the different aspect within their practices.
Program 2013 - 2014
Students can apply with a proposal for one specific model but nevertheless will have the opportunity to follow the other models as a minor. This allows each group to be small, flexible and focussed.
Language, is of language, and about language, Language as description, as well as the languages of what is seen, heard and written. The program will be divided between developing artistic practice and tasks designed to broaden ways of seeing and working. Language concentrates on a holistic way of approaching art making expanding and exploring the potential of what artist practice can include. Language will visit and be visited by a variety of people from various fields related and unrelated to creative practice.
Main tutor: Jason Dodge, artist (US)
Image centres around the notion of representation, time and context in various (audio-) visual practices. Although the program will not disregard technical or formal considerations, n Gruijthuijsenor issues of public presentation, the emphasis will be on the development of individual strategies for production: strategies for processing and materializing thought, intuition and knowledge; strategies commonly developed through making-experience and through the consideration of the strategies of others.Several times a year, the Image group spends some days together in a group critique, an elaborate session of thinking and talking through each other’s works (in progress). Common interests that emerge through these sessions, can be addressed with the help of expertise that is invited accordingly.
Main tutor: Nicoline van Harskamp, artist (NL)
Play/Object focussed on the contemporary constructions of performativity and object-based productions within a cross-disciplinary (public) context (theatre, dance, music). It will concentrate on the invention and exercise of one's discipline that is open to conversation as a mode of developing thoughts. This could include walks in the forest, studying the same subject with experts of various disciplines, art's role in life-writing at large, autobiography as a tool of collective speculation, infinite games where one is not fully aware of what type of decision will be asked to be made next, time-based ways of being, collective forms of authorship, insurrection of experience and emotions, non-causal reasoning, spaces of attention
Main tutor: Raimundas Malašauskas, curator (LT)
The Fine Arts department is looking for eager, active and ambitious students willing to participate in group tutorials, workshops and other (un)conventional forms education: authentic makers, who are open to fundamental reflection on their work. A sound background in art or equivalent expertise in affiliated fields is requested.
Candidate students will be evaluated on their motivation, previous experience, and portfolio. The admission committee will focus on the authenticity, artistry, and autonomous visual quality in the work presented.
Students who have successfully completed the master’s program Fine Arts earn a master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.
Krist Gruijthuijsen, course director (NL)
Judith Leysner, coordinator (NL)
Praneet Soi, tutor (IN)
Aaron Schuster, theory tutor (US)
Jeroen Boomgaard, theory tutor (NL)
Goldin + Senneby, Celine Condorelli, Katya Sander, Carey Young, Mladen Dolar, Robert Snowden, Angie Keefer, Vilem Flusser Archive, Lisa Oppenheim, Tirdad Zolghadr, Dennis Cooper, Pierre Bismuth, Lisette Smits, Marcos Lutyens, Christiana Ricupero, Tim Etchells, Koen Brams, Stuart Comer, Sally O’Reilly, Chus Martinez, Trevor Paglen, Stuart Bailey, Joachim Koester, Sissel Toolas, Wayne Koestenbaum, Red Vaughan Tremmel, John Menick, Lidwien van de Ven, Nils Norman, Willem de Rooij, Doug Asfhord, Sam Ashby, Marie de Brugerolle a.o.
Yosuke Amamiya (JP), Roi Alter (IL), Daniela Bershan (DE/NL), David Bernstein (US) Valentina Desideri (IT), Kroot Jurak (EE), Geraldine Longueville (FR), Aapo Nikkanen (FI) Jurgis Paskevicius (LT), Diego Tonus (IT), Sophia Holst (NL), Pedro de Moraes (BR), Perrine Bailleux (FR), Alissa Šnaider (EE), Richard John Jones (UK), Matthew Shannon (AUS), Tamara Kuselman (ES), Alex Bailey (UK), Victoria Durnak (NO), Joyce Vlaming (NL), Rikke Ehlers Nilsson (DK), Adam Ulbert (HU), Melanie Ebenhoch (AT), Johan Gustavsson (SE), Hrafnhildur Helgadottir (IS), Veniamin Kazachenko (RU), Nina Frankova (CZ), Marcello Spada (IT)
KRIST GRUIJTHUIJSEN (1980, NL) is a curator, writer, publisher and course director of the MA fine arts department at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Recently he has been been appointed artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz, Austria.
As co-founding director of Kunstverein in Amsterdam, he has organized exhibitions, events and publications of o.a. Ian Wilson, Ben Kinmont, Dennis Cooper, Ray Johnson, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Guerrilla Art Action Group, Adam Pendleton, Simon Martin, Dexter Sinister, Robert Wilhite, Richard Kostelanetz, Nedko Solakov and Raimundas Malasauskas. His exhibitions and projects have been presented at a.o. Manifesta 7 (Italy), Platform Garanti (Istanbul), Artistsspace (New York), Extra City (Antwerp), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade), Swiss Institute (New York), Anthology Film Archives (New York), A Gentil Carioca/ Galeria Vermelho (Rio de Janeiro/ Sao Paulo), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Marres, Centre for Contemporary Culture (Maastricht) and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.
Gruijthuijsen has produced many publications amongst others ‘The Encyclopedia of Fictional Artists + The Addition’ (JRP Ringier) , ‘We all Laughed at Christopher Columbus’ (Revolver), ‘Novella (not yet another story)’ (Revolver), Ben Kinmont: Prospectus, works from 1989 – 2011, (JRP Ringier), ‘Paper Exhibition: Selected Writings of Raimundas Malausaskas’ (Sternberg Press).
RAIMUNDAS MALAŠAUSKAS (born in Vilnius, lived and works in Brussels) is a curator and writer. From 1995 to 2006, he worked at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, where he produced the first two seasons of the weekly television show CAC TV, an experimental merger of commercial television and contemporary art that ran under the slogan "Every program is a pilot, every program is the final episode." He curated "Black Market Worlds," the IX Baltic Triennial, at CAC Vilnius in 2005. From 2007 to 2008, he was a visiting curator at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and, until recently, a curator-at-large of Artists Space, New York. In 2007, he co-wrote the libretto of Cellar Door, an opera by Loris Gréaud produced in Paris. Malašauskas curated the exhibitions "Sculpture of the Space Age," David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2009); "Into the Belly of a Dove," Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2010), and "Repetition Island," Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010). His other recent projects, Hypnotic Show and Clifford Irving Show, are ongoing.
NICOLINE VAN HARSKAMP lives and works in Amsterdam. She has been a resident artist at, amongst others, Platform Garanti Istanbul, Project Studio Büro Friedrich Berlin, the Christiania Researcher in Residence Program Copenhagen and the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. In 2009 she received a Science Fellowship with the Rijksakademie and the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam. For her series of works on surveillance personnel she was short listed for the Beck’s Futures 2004 prize. In 2009 she won the national award for young artists in the Netherlands, the Prix de Rome. Her recent solo exhibitions include ‘Yours in Solidarity – Episode 1’ at D+T Project Brussels, ‘Any other Business – a scripted conference’ at Spinoza festival Amsterdam. The live piece ‘Expressive Power Series’ was staged at Witte de With in Rotterdam, the New Museum in New York and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2010.
JASON DODGE his work is born out of love for a simple economy of visual and literal language. The artist’s seemingly minimal sculptures and spatial interventions belie an intense interest in the emotional potential for objects to transmit meaning. Unexpected combinations of apparently familiar objects, presented out of place and stripped of their function or purpose, create an elusive and poetic narrative sustained by a broad network of associations. Evocative of something unseen or somewhere else, Jason Dodge’s works explore surprising histories and untold tales.
Dodge studied at the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, USA, and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Solo exhibitions include the Villa Arson in Nice, the Moderna Museet Projekt in Stockholm and Casey Kaplan in New York. He is represented by Casey Kaplan in New York. Jason Dodge lives and works in New York and Berlin.
AARON SCHUSTER received his BA from Amherst College (USA), where he specialized in legal theory, and MA and PhD in Philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). His doctoral dissertation, The Trouble With Pleasure: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, examined the concept of pleasure in the history of philosophy, concluding with Freud and Lacan. He was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in 2005-2006, and has taught at PARTS (Performing Arts Research Training Studios) in Brussels and the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. He has written on contemporary art and culture for Cabinet, Metropolis M, Frieze, Mousse, De Witte Raaf, and others, and has collaborated as a writer with artists on a number of projects, including a performance piece with Mario Garcia Torres, an opera libretto with Loris Gréaud and Raimundas Malasauskas, a science fiction film with Alexis Destoop, and a comedy show with Nicolas Matranga. He is currently preparing a book on Deleuze and psychoanalysis (MIT Press, forthcoming 2011), and a study of the history of levitation in twentieth century thought and culture.
PRANEET SOI is born and educated in India and the United States. He currently lives and works between Calcutta and Amsterdam. Soi's work maintains a number of fundamental underpinnings at its core, relating to both the individual and the context within which they live. What are the possibilities to recover a sense of landscape in the face of incessant territorialism? And how can the individual be represented within this struggle, in respect to the fragmentations caused by progress and its extensively manipulated representation within the media. His work has been presented at the 55th Venice Biennial, Manifesta 9, Van Abbemuseum and Artspace, Sydney.
JEROEN BOOMGAARD is an art historian and art critic. He is currently Professor of Art and Public Space at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and head of Master Artistic Research at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, both in Amsterdam. Boomgaard also directs the research group Art & Public Space (Lectoraat Kunst en Publieke Ruimte), a partnership between the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the Sandberg Instituut, the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and the Virtueel Museum Zuidas (or VMZ), which stimulates research and theoretical reflection on the role of art and design in the public domain. He regularly writes articles about art and public space for publications such as Open. Cahier on Art and the Public Domain. In 2008 he edited a collection of essays on art in public space, High Rise – Common Ground, Art and the Amsterdam Zuidas Area. He also co-edited (with Bart Rutten) the book The Magnetic Era: Video Art in the Netherlands 1970–1985 (2003). Boomgaard lives and works in Amsterdam.
- jerszy seymour
Dirty Art Department
Course Director: Jerszy Seymour
action / poetry / experimental / material / meaning / infection / evolution / revolution
The Dirty Art Department is an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action. It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, the holy and the profane. It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and between other people and ourselves. It is a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings or galaxies.
Although The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it rejects the Kantian division between the pure and the applied. Since god is dead and the spectacle is omnipresent, the creation of new and alternative realities is the only way to provide a new perspective on our life on this planet.
The department is structured as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action. It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, the holy and the profane. It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and between other people and ourselves. It is a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings or galaxies.
In line with its inclusive view on design, the Master’s degree programme is open to students from all backgrounds, including designers, artists, bankers, sceptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and those with an inquiring mind. Encounters and crossovers with the other Master’s programmes at the Sandberg Instituut form an integral part of The Dirty Art Department’s mission.
Reflection at The Dirty Art Department takes the form of dialogue and exchange; a conference series and an online platform allow the course to function as an open school of thought, by sharing the toolbox, subjects, and lectures of the programme with the world at large.
Course director: Jerszy Seymour
Course co-director: Catherine Geel
Tutors: Stephane Barbier Bouvet, Clemence Seilles
Sandberg director Jurgen Bey will also regularly be involved as a tutor.
The course consists of a collective toolbox of subjects ranging from materials, process, production techniques, and poetry to economics, philosophy, art and design theory, politics, and logistics. All students are asked to contribute to the toolbox. After an introduction project, students are asked to organize themselves as a group and to build their own study subject. From this starting point, students go on to develop – as individuals or in teams – their theses and projects, with the support and guidance of the tutors. Throughout the course, the tutors stimulate individuals and groups to continually assess, develop, revise and evolve their projects. In addition, guest teachers from the design field and affiliated disciplines are called upon to enrich the department’s quest. Guest tutors and lecturers from different fields are regularly invited to come and add their spice to the soup. The final presentation is seen as a launch pad towards the future.
Although the course has a background in design, it seeks to open up the subject and welcomes students from all different backgrounds including designers, artists, bankers, cynics, sceptics, optimists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and those with an inquiring mind.
The Dirty Art Department provides a setting in which students can undergo a deconstruction and reconstruction of their practice. The main learning objectives of the course include learning to set the agenda and to initiate the project, broadening your perspective, experimenting with ideas, materials, and philosophies, determining your individual stance and your group choreography.
Students who successfully complete the Master’s programme are awarded a Master of Design (MDes) degree.
JERSZY SEYMOUR (course director) was born in Berlin in 1968 to a Canadian mother and German father who were both ballet dancers. He grew up in London during the eclectic roller coaster of the eighties, where he studied engineering at South Bank Polytechnic (1987 – 1990) and industrial design at the Royal College of Art (1991 – 1993). Shortly after this he moved to Milan and started his own experimental projects, including ‘House in a Box’ in 2002, ‘Scum’ in 2003, and the clothing concept ‘Tape’ in 2003.
In 2004, Seymour moved to Berlin where he formed the Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop and embarked upon a series of conceptual projects seeking to revitalize the position of design within society. In 2005 he created the ‘Brussels Brain’ installation, (Design Brussels), and, in 2007, the exhibition ‘Living Systems’ (Vitra Design Museum) to investigate the individual economy. In 2008 the installation ‘The First Supper’ (MAK, Vienna) proposed the possibility of an ‘amateur’ society; this was followed by ‘Salon des Amateurs’ (Marta Herford, 2009) and the ‘Coalition of Amateurs’ (MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2009). He was also invited to show a retrospective of his work at Villa Noailles (France), creating the exhibition ‘Being There’. These and other ongoing experimental and conceptual projects form the central thrust of his work. Parallel to this he also designed products and strategies for companies including Magis, Vitra, Alessi, Hermes, Moulinex, SFR, Swatch, Smeg, Evian and IDEE. Seymour is represented by Gallery Kreo in Paris.
His work has been exhibited in many museums worldwide, including the Design Museum in London, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel and Berlin, the Palais de Tokyo and Gallery Kreo in Paris. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the ‘Fonds National d’ Art Contemporain’ France, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the MAK in Vienna and the ´Musee d´Art Grand-Duc Jean´ in Luxembourg.
As an integral part of the philosophy of the Workshop, he teaches and gives workshops at the Royal College of Art in London, the Domus Academy in Milan, the ECAL in Lausanne, the HfG in Karlsruhe, HBK Saarbrucken, the Vitra Design Workshops in France, UdK in Berlin, and the Strelka Institute, Moscow.
In 2000 he was presented with the Dedalus Award for European Design and he received the Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art in 2003.
CATHERINE GEEL (course co-director) is a professor, critic and exhibition curator based in Paris. She is in charge of Design Theory & History at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Cachan and contributes to seminars (Ensa, Parsons). Her main topics are ‘Designers’ Status: The Autonomy of the Design Field and The 60’s Moment from Ulm to the Italian Radicals’, ‘A Marketing Counter-History XIX-XXI century’ and ‘The Text as a Design Project’.
She is responsible for the Case Study Days in Limoges (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art / Art & Design Dept.) dealing with such topics as ‘Decor & Decoration’, ‘Movements of War’, ‘Theoretical research and transfers’, and ‘The Creator as the New Business Model: Ideal & Practical’.
Geel has written extensively on the Dutch Design context and organized the 1st exhibitions of Hella Jongerius and Aldo Baker in France, among other things. She is also an editor of books, catalogues and other publications, working for different publishing houses.
Geel co-founded the Design Festival Design PARADE and was an associated curator at Villa Noailles, in charge of the design programme until 2011. She is Deputy Design Editor for Archistorm, a French review magazine on architecture, contemporary art, and design. She regularly writes and collaborates with ArtPress, Abitare, Beaux-Arts Magazine, et cetera. She is also a project supervisor for designer’s commissions (Jurgen Bey, Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison, Bouroullec brothers.) from various sponsors, was a member of purchase committees for different institutions in France, and has produced a design programme for the French national Radio France Culture (Pierre Paulin, Andrea Branzi, et cetera) since 2002.
STÉPHANE BARBIER BOUVET (tutor) is a designer (educated at ECAL). He lives in Paris and Lausanne where he is responsible for developing the ‘one person studio BB’ activities and 1m3, a contemporary art space of which he is co-founder and co-director. Within a framework of solo, collective and collaborative projects with artists and designers such as Benjamin Valenza, Jelena Martinovic, Adrien Missika and Jerszy Seymour, his work has been shown at the Swiss Cultural Centre (Milan), the Contemporary Art Centre ( Geneva), CAR Projects ( Bologna), Claudia Groeflin Gallery (Zurich), Art Since 69’ (New York City) and at Blancpain Gallery (Geneva). He collaborated with Kaleidoscope magazine during Artissima 16 (Turin) and the Hesperides Festival (Fine Arts Museum of Lausanne). His recent work includes the scenography for the ‘Fun Palace’ (Centre Pompidou, Paris), an intervention at Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the scenography for the MUDAC Swiss Design Awards exhibition (Lausanne) in 2011, for which he received a Federal Design Grant.
CLÉMENCE SEILLES (tutor) is a designer who has been living and working in Berlin since 2009. She reproduces real-life situations through the use of objects, performances, installations and illustrations. The creation of excitement provides the motivation for each of Clemence Seilles’ projects. She is also founder of NoisyChronic, a web platform on sounds in contemporary world. NoisyChronic first appeared in 2003 as an open source mailing list through Clemence’s gmail account to exchange sourced music and clips and it remains active to this day.
…things exist by mistake.
Q: Why didn’t you make it larger so that it would loom over the observer?
A: I was not making a monument.
Q: Then why didn’t you make it smaller so that the observer could see over the top of it?
A: I was not making an object.
—Tony Smith about his six-foot steel cube
Studio for Immediate Spaces
Course director: Anne Holtrop
In between the logic of constructing architecture and the design of objects, we experiment and explore the immediate space. This Master’s degree programme offers a place for understanding and defining all kinds of spaces that have a direct relation to their users. Spaces that surround us while we work, eat, relax, wander around and contemplate. They may be inside buildings, in between them, in gardens, forests or ruins; in restaurants, terminals, shopping centres or museums. In principle all the spaces we see at every moment when we look around us.
This Master’s programme aims to explore interior architecture as a specialized focus on spaces that have an immediate relation to their users, wherever these spaces can be defined. The field is expanded beyond this – into the private, landscape and public space – in order to open up possibilities for experiment and exploration of the interior.
To avoid drifting endlessly, the enormous scope of this field is compensated by a direct way of working, following our own intuitions and guided by a strong interest in questioning and experiment with space itself. Often designs are based on the fact that they solve, rationalize or mimic things; on giving answers, rather than asking questions. We believe this can only lead to things we already know and never surprise us truly. It is the safe way, yet we want to go the way of doubt and uncertainty. We believe that it is only by experiment and individual engagement that we can find interesting propositions which could ultimately have an impact on our world.
In the Studio for Immediate Spaces we take the specificity of our experiments and explorations of spaces as the basis for our programme. An example of this could be to work with a particular material and try to understand its nature; how it forms in the moment of transition from a fluid to a solid form and what the intentions of such a formed space could be. Another example is to engage with a specific place: what could be the space of a place in relation to its surroundings, to cultural and geographic influences?
The Studio for Immediate Spaces welcomes all those who are eager to experiment and explore spaces around us, to examine how these are constituted, what they consist of and how people use and relate to them.
course director: Anne Holtrop
coordinator: Rinske Wessels
tutors: Jan de Vylder, Jo Taillieu & Inge Vinck (private space), John Lonsdale (landscape space), Bas Princen (public space), Lucy Cotter (theory)
The basic structure of this two-year Master’s programme consists of a semester programme with the design & research studios, a weekly programme of lectures, discussions and workshops and a theory programme. The studio’s work forms the backbone of the Master’s programme. Here the students develop their design and research skills, working both individually and in groups. The two first-year studios are focused on the private and landscape space; the second year studios are focused on the public space and the students self-initiated final semester. While creating work within the framework of the studio, questions that emerge are researched by the student. Much emphasis is placed on the direct experience of spatial and physical work; and on the reflection and questioning of these spaces. The final semester is also organized within a studio, only the student is free to work on his own project. During the third semester students prepare their thesis for their graduation semester.
Theory lessons will be given weekly and they will loosely reflect the focus of the studios and the weekly programme. During the theory programme, students will read and discuss texts and produce written work.
In addition to the semester programme guests from different disciplines and nationalities will be brought in each week to organize one day in the form of a lecture, discussion, walk, creating work or other activities. The main purpose of this is to is to ensure there are fresh ideas and input every week. These visits will be recorded and made available on the website, thereby creating a potentially interesting archive.
At certain points during the year a full week is dedicated to a workshop and to travel. The week functions as a time-out from the regular weeks and helps students to fully focus on a specific topic like the research of a material or making a 1:1 space.
Students need to have a genuine interest in the spaces that surround us, what they consist of and how people relate to them. They have a strong interest in the unknown and follow their intuition. They have a hands-on mentality and their work is characterized by experiment. Every year the master has place for ten students. Minimum entry requirements are a Bachelor’s degree in architecture, interior architecture, fine or applied arts, or demonstrable experience in these relevant fields.
This Master’s programme is set up for experiment and for the exploration of spaces, based on the idea that the profession is in motion and not formally set. More than anything else, students will develop a mentality characterized by self initiative, a broadened perspective, the capability and will to experiment with materials and the openness to look, share and reflect with others. Students will become experts in the immediate spaces around us.
Students who have successfully completed this Master’s degree programme will be awarded a Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) degree.
Anne Holtrop (course director) was born in The Netherlands in 1977. He studied architecture at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam from 1999 to 2005. After graduation, Holtrop set up his own practice. He has been awarded several grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) and also received the Charlotte Köhler Prize for Architecture from the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation in 2008. In 2009 he joined an artist-in-residence programme in Tokyo, in 2011 in Seoul and in 2012 in Copenhagen. He is head of the Master’s programme Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam; a visiting lecturer and external critic at various art and architecture academies and is editor of OASE, an independent architectural journal for architecture.
His work ranges from architecture models to temporary and permanent buildings, for which he occasionally collaborates with the artists Krijn de Koning and Bas Princen. In 2009 he made the Trail House (Museum De Paviljoens), a temporary house based on the spontaneous paths of a vacant land. That same year he started working on a wellness spa in the form of a floating island in Amsterdam (Floating Gardens). In 2011 he won the competition for the National Museum for The New Dutch Waterline. Both are expected to be completed in 2014.
His work has been exhibited in many museums, including the Nouveau Musée Nationale de Monaco (Monaco), Gemeentemuseum The Hague (Netherlands), Ludwig Forum Aachen (Germany), NAi Rotterdam (Netherlands), Museum De Paviljoens Almere (Netherlands) and Tokyo Wonder Site (Japan).
Be realistic, demand the impossible
School of Missing Studies
Course directors: Bik van der Pol
A two-year Master programme on Art and Learning (2013-2015)
As political and economical forces have come to shape the perception of culture, (art) education – regarded to be a place of cultural production – has fallen behind. Education and learning need to reclaim space, as they are means to participate in politics, creating forms of political socialization.
The title of this Master course is taken from an ongoing project initiated by Bik Van der Pol in 2003, in collaboration with artists, thinkers, and architects. Since its initiation, The School of Missing Studies (SMS) has functioned as a nomadic, collaborative platform for experimental study and research of the public environment (public space, public time, public good) marked by, or currently undergoing abrupt transition. Under the roof of the Sandberg Instituut, SMS operates as a one-time MA programme on Art and Learning. Following the observation that singular disciplines sometimes fail to discern or capture significant knowledge about uncommon or unprecedented situations, SMS invites prospective students to develop, discuss and share possible methods to scout for this information, which seems to flow freely in unbound space and through open networks. Participation in the programme is not restricted to artists: SMS brings together practitioners with diverse educational or professional backgrounds, who share a common ideal to make ‘the missing’ their mission and are interested in artistic practice as a modus operandi for imagination and productive speculation. Both art project and MA course, SMS proposes to find common and uncommon grounds for research and practice, from where acute political, social, educational and urban challenges can be articulated and further debated.
Art is a form of organizing relationships between disparate objects and/ideas that can produce new meaning and experiences, thereby effecting disruptions or significant change in everyday life – even if only small. As a way to form and formulate knowledge, art can create uncommon perspectives and bring about new ways for understanding, beyond what is relevant to its own context. One could even argue that art brings change only there where it breaks with the desire to perpetuate its own rules. Transgression is seen as an intrinsic quality of art, and the transgression of art’s institutional limits can be seen as springing from a reflective engagement with those very limits. How can this urge for self-reflection; the continuous challenging of prevailing ideas, and persistent refusal of absolute models, be disseminated as a potentially extra-disciplinary tactic – a way to work with undefined or unclassified knowledge and in spaces that are subject to change? The School of Missing Studies takes artistic practice as its point of reference for the desire to experiment with new modi operandi for the production of relations, meaning, and experiences in public space.
In a world where the value of art is challenged, it is timely to reinvest in its place in society. The School of Missing Studies embraces the qualities intrinsic to artistic practice, as a means to disclose – make public – what is at stake in public space. The issue of public space has long been articulated in close connection to democracy, and many theorists have argued that when democracy is under threat, so is public space. The discussion of public issues is therefore not exclusively of this time, but all the more relevant in light of the current increase of private ownership and privatization of public space.
With the term ‘public space’ we refer to any site of potential conflict over rights, information, relations, and objects – a space that requires articulation, so that a community can be formed, called to order, and enter the order of the political. ‘Publicness’ does not manifest itself in spatial matters only. In fact, recent debates over forms of common property such as knowledge and culture show that public space is to be understood in the broadest terms possible – as that which holds the fabric of experience-as-community together. Threatened by forms or acts of exclusion, privileged access, and disinformation, these sites of public property are just as precarious as natural resources, and need to be rearticulated time and again. However, if the economic paradigm forces us to retreat from the realm of publicness, then what is the public issue?
As a platform for experimental learning, the School of Missing Studies considers education as a space of experience and encounter, a strategy for emancipation, and a potential response to public issues. The programme offers time for analysis, speculation and imagination. While functioning as a collective space of discourse and experimentation, SMS also turns to itself – the space of education – as a model and manifestation of publicness, taking the paradoxical but necessary form of a ‘closed’ programme. Within the institutional setting of the art school, SMS proposes to formulate a notion of (artistic) practice that is articulated in dialogue with other fields of knowledge, and that could generate a political attitude towards the need of a more ‘general’ practice for effecting change and innovation in society, that takes the speculative, the undefined, ‘the missing’ into account. SMS welcomes students who believe that artistic practice has the potential to turn the School into a public sphere.
Collectivity is not the result of dialogue, nor is dialogue the result of collectivity. Learning is a time-based art that implies action, ritual, theatricality: a tutorial team of thinkers and practitioners (working in, and between areas such as the arts, urbanism, technology and politics) will assist students in developing and formulating new processes of learning, using different formats of collaboration, staging, publishing and writing. We imagine a way of learning that is rooted in practice as a process for continuous reconfiguration, using dialogue as its major mode of transfer. Collectivity is the means, not the end: in the collective attempt to find common and uncommon ground, with public space as the (literally) common denominator, students enable themselves to develop conceptual tools and methods for a form of critical (self-) education.
We embrace the ability and flexibility of artists to be in charge of their own ‘context’ in a public environment – both in terms of production and presentation. During this two-year programme we will investigate the socio-cultural and political function of public space and spatial practice through relevant theoretical writings and reflect on current developments with different thinkers and practitioners, forming key areas of contemporary experience. Students of the School of Missing Studies develop a critical notion of ‘spaces of experience’ and actively respond to this by examining how individual practice positions itself within. Fieldwork, reading groups and discussions are tools to develop the conditions for such a space to take shape.
The SMS programme will be structured in blocks with a range of national and international tutors. Interactions between students in various disciplines, as well collaborations with other institutions and stakeholders will be part of the programme. Students will be connected with different spaces of production as well as seek collaboration with museums and art spaces, archives, theatres, universities, corporations, and other possible platforms and professional circles. Students will work in and out of a team, and develop a criticality towards collaboration, practice and research.
Tutors: Ayreen Anastas, Samira Ben Laloua, Maria Boletsi, Rene Gabri, Maria Lind, Ernst van den Hemel, Sarah Pierce, Praneet Soi, Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas and others to be announced.
Candidates for the School of Missing Studies have a clear interest in what’s happening in the here and now. They share a desire to address urgent issues of collectivity, and have already developed a basis for this in their practice. The ideal cohort of students would be of varied backgrounds, including but not limited to arts, design, architecture, social and urban sciences. Prospective students are interested in other fields of knowledge and knowledge production: by switching roles between ‘expert’ and ‘professional amateur’, and through processes of de- and re-skilling in their respective fields, The School of Missing Studies enables students to develop surprising and unconventional perspectives in their respective fields, and promotes the integration of multi-disciplinary knowledge.
The School of Missing Studies accepts a maximum of 12 students. Applicants can submit their applications by filling out the online form of the Sandberg Instituut, accessible via the link on this page. We ask applicants for a clear motivation, and description of how they envision their contribution to the programme. Applicants should also provide descriptions of their background, provisional plan, research questions, professional goals, and how they expect the programme to help them realize these goals. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their creative talent, expertise, motivation, craftsmanship, analytical skills, flexibility, and ability to work and think independently. Students who successfully complete the programme obtain a Master degree of Fine Art (MFA) or Master of Design (MDes) from the Sandberg Instituut.
Background BIK VAN DER POL
The artistic practice of Bik Van der Pol is collective, leaving the studio as a place of production and using the artistic workplace itself – practice – as the site of research and production. This is a conscious political and artistic choice, and also sets the conditions for a (social) space generated by dialogue and collaboration where an encounter may happen that might result in a work of art. Their work has shown an increasing focus on when and how public space ‘takes place’; on its conditions and (terms of) accessibility, exploring where and how art can create forms of knowledge. Similar to artistic practice, public space is a space of dissensus – a space of learning (by doing), of negotiating differences, of speculation and conflict. It is not a clean, pre-set space, but one that is murky, full of noise and continuously contested. Bik Van der Pol work collaboratively since 1995. They live and work in Rotterdam.
Material Utopias (MFA)
A two-year programme focusing on exploiting material experiments to the full in the creative process (2013-2015)
The Master’s programme Material Utopias creates a strong link between concepts and making. For several years now, there has been a notable revival of interest in the material quality of artworks, and a notable revival of interest in traditional crafts. With this Fine Arts programme we are taking a leap into the future. We will discover new materials, push the boundaries of traditional materials and techniques, and learn to understand their inherent associations. The programme creates relationships with external workshops and departments within the Gerrit Rietveld Academie that are focussed on specific materials and techniques. At the start, September 2013, there’s a close relationship with the renowned Bachelor departments of Ceramics and Glass. Links with other departments will soon follow.
material experiments / cultural meanings / historic references / future / innovation / ideals / dreams / visual concepts / passion for making / reflection
The programme celebrates the material expression of artworks, as the medium in which an artwork is executed is a major part of its message, content or narrative. Experimentation with both new and traditional materials, and reflection on their characteristics and inherent meanings, will play a major role from the very start of the creative process. The most important characteristic of the programme is the strong link between concepts and making: while defying conventions and shifting the boundaries of materials, ideas for new works are born.
The students will be challenged to dare to propel themselves into the future and to speculate about the role that materials will play in the artworks of tomorrow. To that end, they will be provided with tools with which they can broaden and deepen the expertise they have acquired in the past. Every week, the students will receive intensive supervision from the head of the Master programme Material Utopias and from experts in specific materials. Apart from traditional materials, such as ceramics, glass and textile, new materials and techniques will be introduced by a varied group of artists (and technicians) for whom the visible evidence of the making process also plays a major role in the end-results. Some of the lessons take place at the academy, and others in various workshops.
During the first year, the students work on theme-based assignments, formulated by the tutors. In the second year, they work on themes they have formulated themselves.
The first-year of the programme consists of two tracks running in parallel:
Track 1: broadening
Regardless of the background of the students and regardless of the expertise they are aiming to develop further, the programme includes lessons and workshops during which they research unknown materials and techniques. Under the theme ‘Material Utopias’, there will be time for both the ‘making’ process and theory and reflection on materials and techniques.
There are particular associations with every medium, material, and technique, all of which can be explained from a historic, cultural, and societal perspective. The older a medium, the more layered are the meanings concealed in it. During the lessons, the students will learn to interpret these meanings so that they can then use them actively and innovatively in their work. In addition, they will learn to relate the media to larger-scale societal developments, both local and international.
Supervision during this part of the programme is given by the Course Director of the Master programme, Louise Schouwenberg, and by various tutors (see Staff).
Track 2: deepening
The second track on which the students work during the first year semesters is supervised primarily by an expert in a specific material, such as one of the heads of the Bachelor programmes Ceramics and Glass, Bastienne Kramer or Jens Pfeifer. On the basis of the students’ portfolios, they will select either a general assignment or decide on specific assignments for individual students. Apart from their guidance the students can consult all other tutors.
During this track the students will deepen their knowledge and expertise and learn how to push the limits of specific materials and techniques. They can use the well-equipped workshops of the departments of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the professional knowledge of the assistants in the workshops. We will also look for facilities outside the programme, if students wish to work with unusual materials. The programme will endeavour to involve as many workshops as possible.
General lessons: as well as these two tracks, there are regular group discussions between the head of the department, tutors, external experts, and the students, during which a variety of topics may be raised. Special lessons that may trigger the imagination (including drawing), workshops and excursions are organised. Finally, every period is concluded with a special presentation at a special location.
Louise Schouwenberg, course director.
Wendel ten Arve, coordinator.
A varying group of artists will guide the students, either weekly, or in workshops, or as visiting critics. Tutors in 2013-2014: Eylem Aladogan, Pascale Gatzen, Folkert de Jong, Bastienne Kramer, Erik Mattijssen, Jens Pfeifer, Robert Zandvliet, and others.
The Master department Material Utopias accepts students for whom content, making process and visual expression go hand in hand. We expect the students possess already some skills in working with materials and are willing to expand and push their limits, while developing expertise with unfamiliar materials and media.
Candidate students will be evaluated on their portfolio and motivation. The admission committee will focus on the originality and visual quality in the work presented, on the eagerness of the student to allow material experiments to guide and inform the creative process and his or her capacity to reflect on the making process.
Students who have successfully completed the Master programme Material Utopias obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA). If the project has led to products, a Master of Design degree (MDes) can be obtained.
Open Day Sandberg Instituut: February 7th 2013
Closing Date for Applications Material Utopias: April 1st 2013
NETWORK AND LINKS
Louise Schouwenberg studied psychology (Radboud University Nijmegen), sculpture (Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam), and philosophy (University of Amsterdam). After establishing her career as a visual artist, her primary focus since 2000 has been on theory and, incidently, curating exhibitions, including exhibitions for gallery Fons Welters Amsterdam (2012), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam (2010), Utrecht Manifest (2009), Textile Museum Tilburg (2006). She writes for Dutch and international art and design magazines and has contributed to a range of books, some of the latest being the monographs on artist Robert Zandvliet (Nai Publishers, 2012), artist Erik Mattijssen (Timmer Art Books, 2011) and designer Hella Jongerius (Phaidon Press, 2010). Schouwenberg has taught at various art schools, including the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Since 2010, she is in charge of the Master’s programme Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven (MDes).
Wendel ten Arve
Folkert de Jong
- erik and ronald rietveld
- on: tailor-made
Course director: Erik and Ronald Rietveld
Vacant NL explores the potential of thousands of vacant buildings in the Netherlands dating from the 17th to the 21st century. This challenge calls for unorthodox and temporary interventions, which a team of designers and specialists in legislation, science, and technology will envision and test on location.
temporary use / mobile architecture / speculative design / adaptive design / multi disciplinary / applied anarchy / creative ecology / fieldwork / spatial experiments / strategic interventions / creative entrepreneurship / the co-working revolution / social affordances / public interior / reuse / design research
During the 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice, it became clear that thousands of inspiring, vacant public buildings in the Netherlands have the potential to be reused for creative entrepreneurship and innovation. With the two-year master’s program Vacant NL, the Sandberg Instituut is realizing its ambition to train designers, craftsmen and scientists to become specialists in the temporary use of buildings and other spaces.
Directed by landscape architect Ronald Rietveld and philosopher Erik Rietveld, www.rietveldlandscape.nl the program revolves around design research on the potential of vacant spaces. Insights and solutions from different fields of knowledge are combined to address the topic in an integrated manner. Several unique buildings are available for experimentation and for making site-specific design interventions.
Without doubt, what the Netherlands needs in the current decade is a multidisciplinary team of talented specialists in temporary reuse of buildings and other spaces. The challenge posed by Vacant NL calls for a range of visionary, unorthodox and unsolicited interventions. Design and build the impossible!
Course directors: Ronald & Erik Rietveld Tutors: a.o. Barbara Visser
One of the defining features of this master’s program is its focus on experimenting with and testing concrete designs in real life settings. A central issue in that connection is how design interventions can create the conditions for temporary reuse of buildings and other spaces and contribute to cross fertilization between design, science and technology. The students start off by exploring together what a number of specific vacant locations in Amsterdam have to offer. But those spaces are hardly unique: they are representative of the enormous potential that inspiring vacant locations and buildings have throughout the Netherlands. By means of concrete studies carried out on location, the students will gain an intimate familiarity with a variety of successful temporary initiatives, learning about them from people with years of experience in occupying those spaces. They will then tap into that knowledge and that network of users to get inspiration for their own designs. Vacant NL brings together talented designers and creative specialists so they can come up with concrete, inspiring and replicable design solutions for temporarily vacant locations.
Vacant NL has a project-based structure: the two-year program is divided into various different modules, each with its own specific focus. The concepts and subjects that will be dealt with include the new ways of working, utopian thinking and speculative design in practice, tolerance in the public domain and creative ecology. Design research will figure prominently in all of the modules. The idea is to have the students work in specific (vacant) locations during each module, in periods ranging from several days to several weeks. At each location, they will be testing design solutions in terms of their practicality, aesthetic quality, and applicability elsewhere, both individually and in teams. Possible locations for the first year of study include: Radio Kootwijk http://rietveldlandscape.nl/nl/projects/451 and the Dutch Pavilion in Venice (on the Biennale grounds) http://rietveldlandscape.nl/nl/projects/452. After completing the two-year program, the students will be specialists in the temporary use of locations and capable of working with thousands of vacant objects in the Netherlands and abroad.
A core team – including Ronald Rietveld, Erik Rietveld and Barbara Visser, among others – will be intensively involved in the program and in supervising the students. The core team will provide the program with an extensive network, both national and international. Sandberg director and renowned designer Jurgen Bey will regularly be involved with the students as a tutor, in an effort to develop an inclusive mode of education. Guest lecturers who are active in the field of design, as well as a host of other relevant professions such as law, innovation, aerospace technology and research journalism, will supplement the core team on a regular basis.
Along with the permanent teaching staff, guest lecturers will convey their practical experience and knowledge to the students. By documenting those sessions, that knowledge can also be consulted by others. In that way, the master’s programme Vacant NL will contribute to the development of theory on vacancy and the temporary reuse of spaces. Where other master’s programs are broader in scope, this program has a more in-depth approach thanks to its focus on a single inspiring and relevant topic.
Vacant NL is open for ten students, all of whom will be expected to have a solid basis in a relevant discipline at the start of the two-year program. Seven of the students will have a background in design in the broadest sense of the word. This could be in architecture, industrial design, interior architecture, web architecture, or stage design.
The other three students will be resourceful specialists from other fields. They could be creative lawyers, fire fighters, documentary makers, urban geographers, cultural historians, research journalists, plasterers, event planners, or aerospace experts, for example. Their expert knowledge of their respective fields will enable them to contribute to surprising, unconventional design solutions. The variety in the students’ backgrounds and the contributions that specific experts from outside the field of design will make to the program will enable the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge. Vacant NL believes that by combining design, science, and technology in real-life situations, one can make the step towards real innovation.
Candidate students will be evaluated primarily on the basis of their design talent / expertise, their motivation, craftsmanship, creativity, analytical skills, flexibility, and ability to work and think independently. They will also need to have completed a relevant course of training and/or have demonstrably relevant work experience.
Students who successfully complete the master’s program Vacant NL obtain a Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) degree.
- Excellent design research
- Specialist knowledge of temporary reuse in the Netherlands and abroad
- Multidisciplinary expertise
- Affinity with societal issues and their integration in design processes
- Learning to present plans persuasively
- Applied knowledge about (replicable) design solutions in real-life settings
RONALD RIETVELD (Course director) graduated cum laude from the Academy of Architecture of the Amsterdam School of the Arts in 2003, having studied Landscape Architecture there. After winning the Dutch Prix de Rome in Architecture (1st prize) in 2006, he and his brother Erik started their own firm for design and research: Rietveld Landscape. They curated the Dutch commission to the 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice. Their commissions often revolve around urgent societal issues. The firm has its own research program in the area of the urban public domain.
ERIK RIETVELD (Course director) is a senior researcher at the University of Amsterdam / The Cognitive Science Center (CSCA) and a partner at Rietveld Landscape. Together with his brother Ronald Rietveld, he curated the Dutch submission to the 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice. He was a Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded him a VENI grant in 2009 for his research project ‘Unreflective Action in Everyday Life’. He regularly publishes in international journals such as Mind, Inquiry, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences and Theory & Psychology.
BARBARA VISSER (Visual artist, principal lecturer) lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied photography and audiovisual arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (1985–1991), the Cooper Union in New York (1989) and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (1998–1999). Visser’s work is driven by her fascination with the originals and copies, historical narratives and constructed biographies, which she translates into what she calls subjective documentaries. Infiltrating existing systems and media leads her to a diversity of forms of work, ranging from her guest role as a Dutch artist in a foreign drama series to one of her works being published on a Dutch postage stamp. Her recent exhibitions include: Vacant NL at the 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy (2010); Manifesta 7, in Trento, Italy (2008); How to Live Together at the 27th Biennial de São Paolo, in São Paolo, Brazil (2006); and Translated Works 1990–2006, at Museum De Paviljoens in Almere, Netherlands (2006). Barbara Visser has received several awards and prizes, including the 2010 IDFA Mediafonds Documentary Award, the 2008 Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize and the 2007 David Roëll Prize from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. Visser currently teaches at several art academies and design schools in the Netherlands. http://www.barbaravisser.net
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Cognitive Science Center, University of Amsterdam (CSCA)
Landelijk Kennisplatform Tijdelijkheid in Ontwikkeling
NAi Architecture of Consequence
NAi Studio for Unsolicited Architecture Sandberg Instituut