designLAB focuses mainly on design research and design processes. From a collective exploration of relevant subjects you then learn to focus on your individual development. As such, designLAB presents itself as a leader in the field of educational reform in the Netherlands and abroad. Design skills and design-oriented thinking are developed in conjunction with each other, with a strong focus on experimentation, reflection and imagination. The crux of designLAB’s mission is to explore the possibilities of design in dialogue, always in relation to a specific context. After graduation you may use the title Bachelor of Design (BDes).
The personal supervision and the content-driven, non-medium-bound study programme make designLAB the ideal testing ground for innovative design processes. This also includes collaborative arrangements with other departments, such as Fine Arts, Textile, Fashion, Ceramics, Jewellery Design, Architecture and Graphic Design, as well as with external partners like Nokia and the Red Cross. During a study programme in the designLAB department, you will learn to design for users in a constantly changing context. designLAB is a research lab: you will study the implications and consequences of design and learn to question the current views on the aesthetics of design. During the study programme, there is a strong emphasis on building a good portfolio.
Design research, Technical research, Social research, Design critique, Visual communication, Material, Shape, (3D) Drawing, Editorial design.
First specialisation year
During the first specialisation year, you will carry out short assignments to become acquainted with the discipline and learn basic skills from conceptualisation to realisation. You will learn conceptual thinking and develop sensitivity to form. You will work largely on the basis of assignments and learn to realise ideas from A to Z.
Second specialisation year
The second specialisation year focuses on reflection and integration: you will be confronted with complex design assignments and learn to direct the design process independently. You will also learn to deal with the economic, social, cultural or ecological implications of your designs. You will delve deeper into the design process: from idea to development to form to model, ultimately creating a product. In the second specialisation year, you and your lecturers will regularly discuss the development of your portfolio. A two- to three-month work placement is a compulsory part of the study programme.
Third specialisation year
During the final examination year, you will work on a thesis and on two final projects: one self-selected project and one assigned project. The department works with assignments that illuminate certain aspects of the design discipline: the design process itself, research & experimentation, realisation & production, and communication & representation.
The designLAB department regularly presents itself both within and outside the academy. This year’s partners are Centerparcs, DAMn Magazine, KDDI Japan and the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. There are many other presentation opportunities throughout the study programme. During the final examination year, you will work towards the final examination exhibition.
In view of the research-oriented character of the study programme, theory is an important part of designLAB. designLAB has a permanent theory lecturer in design theory and design history. In addition, the Studium Generale is a standard part of the designLAB curriculum. The Studium Generale provides a general historical context concerning current themes in the world of contemporary art and design. The Studium Generale brings in prominent speakers from the Netherlands and abroad to give lectures. For more information, see Studium Generale
Work placement and exchange
A work placement is a compulsory part of the study programme. This takes place at the end of the second specialisation year. This work placement lasts a maximum of three months. It is also possible to participate in exchange programmes at academies in other countries, but this is not compulsory and may only be done in consultation with your lecturers.
Students 1st year
Students 2nd year
Students 3rd year