Design Academy Eindhoven
Published on December 14, 2016
Design Academy Eindhoven specializes in design. It offers a four-year Bachelor’s course and a two-year Master’s course. It has an impressive, international team of tutors at its disposal and the quality of the designers they educate is very high. The DNA of Design Academy Eindhoven can be described as conceptual, authentic, creative, flexible, free, passionate and curious.
The first thing that typifies Design Academy Eindhoven is the autonomous set-up of the teaching. The design departments, compass departments in the bachelor’s course, and the programs within the master’s course are all headed by people who are leading figures in their professions. Owing to their extensive networks, their enthusiasm, and their ability to help students in directing the content of their designs, the actual current profession is a day to day inspiration to our students. Secondly, the academy is firmly rooted in the professional field. Each tutor works as a professional designer for most of his/her time or is otherwise active in the current professional practice. This allows the Academy to respond rapidly and adequately to signals from the professional field and society.
The third theme is the Academy’s sensitive antenna for social phenomena as a motor for innovative design. The Academy has set up its educational model based on social phenomena with man as the focal point. Design is in the service of man and society and social developments are the most important mainsprings for innovative design.
Designers who graduate from the Academy are particularly gifted conceptualists. Wherever they end up, whatever they do, their main weapon is conceptual thinking. It allows them to ask critical questions about existing things and to introduce new approaches and to design from a bird’s eye view. Both with regard to design and research they know what they want and what they can do. They know their strengths and have charted their skills and their limitations. Autonomy and originality are their trade mark.
In the Academy’s own view, its excellence lies in the fact that it trains designers to be aware of the social implications of their designs. This is why the Academy chooses a more horizontal and integral approach to design over the more traditional vertical structure within each design discipline. The link between this integrative approach on the one hand and autonomy as a principle on the other is characteristic of the Academy as an organisation and as an educational institution.
Imagine receiving one of the following assignments:
“Design a new lay-out for the square in front of the Eindhoven train station”
“Find a way of shaping the new luxuriousness”
“Give someone the gift of time”
If this is the kind of challenge you dream of, and you are ready to work hard for it, then Design Academy Eindhoven is “the place to be”.
In your capacity as a designer you have a considerable impact on the way the world looks. After all, almost all the things surrounding us have been designed. Designers determine what it is we experience within and about a set of surroundings and how we might behave there. When you graduate you will be shaping people’s everyday lives. This may vary from jewelry, objects of everyday use, the interior of a home, to the way we organize care or how we feel in public space.
The world is a complex place. As a designer you will have to deal with a range of social, economic and cultural interests. Think, for instance, of the square in front of the train station in Eindhoven. One person may see it as a social space, a place to meet; another as a site that should be easy to reach by car, and a third may want to give it a cultural and economic function above all else. As a designer you will operate amid all of these forces and interests. Time and again you will have to consider the pros and cons. Because each design process will see you stumbling upon dilemmas in the fields of sustainability, aesthetics, user-friendliness, production costs.
You will find yourself facing ethical questions. How much energy will transportation cost? How do you feel about manufacturing in low-wage countries? Is your design healthy? Assessments for which no manual can be written. The situation will be different every time, and opinions on what is right and advisable will change with time. So as a future designer the main thing is that you have an immense interest in everything that moves people. Or as one of our tutors put it recently: “a designer should know a little bit about a lot of things”.
A creative Hub
Design Academy Eindhoven is the only University of Applied Science (HBO) in the Netherlands that is fully specialized in design. In its 65-year history the academy has developed into an internationally leading school for design. At the same time, the city of Eindhoven has become a magnet for the design world. Around 700 Design Academy students, with over 50 different nationalities, are a daily inspiration for one another at the WitteDame building, a disused Philips factory in the city centre. The academy exerts a considerable attraction on designers. Many of our alumni establish their businesses in Eindhoven; people like Piet Hein Eek, Ad van Berlo, Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk. And the Strijp district, another part of the former Philips factory grounds, has grown into a creative incubator space. The Graduation Show / Dutch Design Week has mushroomed into a formidable event and the region around Eindhoven has been declared World’s Intelligent Community 2011. In short, Eindhoven now has the ideal climate for the creative entrepreneur.
Enjoy the video on just another day at Design Academy Eindhoven by Dave Hakkens, Luc van Hoeckel and Pim van Baarsen.