The Glass specialisation is unique in the Netherlands. It is an advanced, broad-based course, which offers students a lot of freedom to discover and develop their personal qualities and interests in an experimental manner. During your study, you will be encouraged to explore and go beyond the boundaries of this subject. Prior technical knowledge is not required. You will be individually encouraged to develop your own visual language within the scope of your chosen techniques and materials. Once you have successfully completed this specialisation, you can use the title Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).
The material glass is characterised by its far-reaching diversity. Glass is neither a discipline nor philosophy, but rather a very specific medium that can be applied in a multitude of shapes and form. Glass is as much at home in the visual arts as in (open) design and architecture.
In this context, the Glass department encourages you to develop your own individual style and to substantiate this theoretically, conceptually and technically during the course of your study programme. These three aspects therefore play a central role in the curriculum and will be extensively dealt with by the lecturers, guest lecturers and during the workshops.
You will learn how to analytically and critically converse with your lecturers and fellow students. Mutual assistance and exchange of knowledge and ideas are essential. Students are expected to have a high level of responsibility and independence in order to maintain the glass studio together with the other students and to develop practical skills while taking on the challenge of developing ideas and concepts.
art history, theory, concept development, drawing, working independently, hot and cold glass techniques (blowing, founding, cutting, sand blasting, mould making, etc.), guest lecturers, visits to studios and study tours
We are happy to announce the new Master course for glass:
Material Utopias (MFA)
A new and unique two year Master course is offered by the Sandberg Instituut, the Master program of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
The course aims to exploit the making process to the fullest and shed light on the future significance of materials in artworks. Experimentation with both new and traditional materials, and reflection on their characteristics and inherent meanings, will play a major role in the creative process.
Material Utopias has a close relationship with the bachelor departments Glass and Ceramics of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
Course director: Louise Schouwenberg Tutors: Jens Pfeifer and Bastienne Kramer (heads of the bachelor departments), Pascale Gatzen, Folkert de Jong, and others.
Find more information about Material Utopias at:
first specialisation year
The first year focuses on exploring and experimenting with the techniques in order to obtain a broad impression of the possibilities. You will work independently from the start and will be intensively supervised by the specialist instructors. You will work on drawing, theory and other activities together with senior year students. The assignment of projects will be determined on an individual basis.
Second specialisation year
Based on the experience and knowledge acquired in the first year, you will go into your own artist statement in more depth in the second year. You will be expected to conceive and execute projects independently and take a critical approach to your own work and that of others. You will also learn how to build a portfolio and you will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work. Foreign exchange programmes and work placement possibilities are available.
Third specialisation year
During the final year, you will focus on working on the final examination project, part of which includes presenting yourself to a wide audience during the final examination exhibition. This also involves a theoretical essay on a subject related to your work.
The Glass department often organises projects in which the department’s students participate, such as the international glass symposium in October 2009, the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague to mark the department’s 40th anniversary, and the Biennale Internationale du Verre in Strasbourg. Excursions in the Netherlands and abroad are also a standard part of the study programme, as well as the annual academy-wide exhibition Rietveld Uncut.
The department has a permanent theory lecturer who lectures on glass theory, art history and philosophy one morning or afternoon per week. In addition, the Studium Generale is a standard part of the Glass department’s curriculum. 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 Studium Generale
Work placement and exchange
In principle, students may take part in exchange programmes or undertake work placement during the second specialisation year, but this is not compulsory. Discuss this with your lecturers in time.
Guest teachers: Scott Benefield Mieke Groot Beth Lipman Klára Horáčková Pavel Karous Karin Arink