‘We don’t do buildings – We do space’.
The ArchitecturalDesign department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie trains students to become spatial designers/artists. At the Academie we embrace a broad interpretation of the profession. This means that the outcome of an assignment does not always have to be a building. It can also be an installation, an intervention in public space, a set designed for a dance performance or a garment. The whole realm of ArchitecturalDesign is discussed: furniture design, design for dance, theatre, exhibition and set design, interior architecture, installations, architecture and designing for public space, where there is regular collaboration with other artistic disciplines. After graduation you may use the title Bachelor of Design (BDes)
The vision and extensive information about Architectural Design, download the appendix
The starting point of a design at our department is always ‘the space’: the designing, reading and analysing of the space. We call this ‘the choreography of the space’. Characteristics of this ‘choreography’ are: the making of, the experimentation with, the perception and experience of the space.
An essential question we ask within our department is what the making process of tangible things teaches us about ourselves. Experimenting, making, experiencing and reflecting on this lead to answers. This process of change, consisting of a set of infinite unobserved changes, is different for each student.
The starting point is the student as maker, in which craftsmanship, sensory, material, technique, workshop, tools, production and experimentation with these, are key concepts.
The ‘making’ matures, it becomes ingrained through practice, its’ development takes time. Time offers the possibility of reflection and imagination. Not just telling but also showing.
We train students who are critical and inquisitive. Graduates (after graduation you may use the title Bachelor of Design (BDes) with their own opinions, who confront society and produce work that stands out. For this reason it offers graduates excellent opportunities to undertake further study at a Master’s program in the Netherlands or abroad.
The choreography of the space
The name of the department of spatial design has changed over the years. The Interior department thus became the ArchitecturalDesign department. The names reflect the different views on the subject. In forty years the general goal has remained unchanged: the training of spatial designers who can shape space, read and question it.
Theory has a very important place within the ArchitecturalDesign department. One session a week is spent on reading, writing, presenting and analysing texts. You will also learn how to write a good text yourself. Philosophy and conceptual thinking are important in this. The Studium Generale is also a standard part of the theory education in ourle department. The Studium Generale provides a general historical context concerning current themes in the contemporary international art world. The Studium Generale brings in prominent speakers from the Netherlands and abroad to give lectures. For more information, see Studium Generale
We want to educate autonomous spatial designers with an independent vision. We want students to learn to develop their own vision about the relationship between man and his surroundings. We want to encourage an independent and critical attitude, which will prepare them for the different situations in which they could find themselves after completing their studies. We encourage the students to examine the overlapping areas between spatial design and other creative disciplines and experiment within these. For this reasons the fine arts are a constant source of inspiration. A good technical base is learnt by paying attention to architectural elements, materials and construction. The spatial insight, the expressive capacity and conceptual thinking are constantly practiced and questioned. Sustainability in terms of material use and manufacturing process, as well as social sustainability, are important principles within the education.
Students 1st year
Students 2nd year
Students 3rd year