Design Academy Eindhoven

mission statement

Design Academy Eindhoven’s philosophy and methods formerly known as the Academy for Industrial Design Eindhoven (AIVE) we became Design Academy Eindhoven at the end of the 20th century, a change reflecting a number of important developments. The philosophy of the academy was changing, its focus shifting from products to people who actually use them. Reflecting on people and society lies at the core of design education in general and in ours in particular. Design Academy Eindhoven trains students who develop a similar freedom to that of visual-arts designers while at the same time taking account of the requirements imposed on them by society and the opportunities offered to them by the industry. Sometimes the emphasis lies with the power of an idea, sometimes with manufacturing feasibility, functionality and the usefulness a product may have for society. Of course, the finest accomplishments are those which unite all these different aspects! Large and small subjects are covered within the programme, such as the importance of material innovation and technology for new products, the question as to how trademarks can function, the responsibility of designers in terms of ecology and world poverty, concern for products which avoid the transience of the throwaway culture, conceptual design, the revival of traditional techniques in current design, combining trade and industry, daring future visions. In collaboration with (inter)national companies, projects are carried out annually where creativity and manufacturing feasibility produce captivating results. Other projects focus on small-scale non-profit organizations in the Third World. For some leaving the academy, the future lies in the prospect of a design studio, for others in a collaborative effort, for many in the commercial sector, while a few go on to a career in an institute. In short: Design Academy Eindhoven offers young people an excellent diploma for virtually all sectors of society.

international role

Design Academy Eindhoven has the policy to establish as much exchange possibilities for students as are needed to support their development and study. Therefore a wide range of international collaboration is set out for this goal. However there is only limited space for incoming students. This is why, although we are open to establishing bilateral agreements, we do have our own selection procedure. Also because our course has a slightly different approach in comparison to most design courses.

national role

Design Academy Eindhoven is a favourable partner in national, international and regional context. In collaboration with (inter)national companies, the so-called Friends of the academy, projects are carried out annually where creativity and manufacturing feasibility produce captivating results. The Design Academy is local partner in Brainport Eindhoven, an important regional development on Innovation and Knowledge Economy; Parties such as the Ministry of Economics and of Foreign Affairs consult the academy on the importance of design for the future development and innovation. Universities, such as TU/e, TU Delft, University of Wageningen and others seek collaboration having to do with our vision and the effects of this on the output of our students.

faculties and departments

One academy, with 8 Bachelor departments and 5 Master departments

bachelor level programs

Bachelor of Design: 4-year full-time programme (240 ECTS). 8 design departments (Activity, Communication, Food Non Food, Identity, Leisure, Motion, Public Private, Well Being) Joint foundation year.

master level programs

Master of Design: 2 year full-time programme (120 ECTS). 5 design departments (Conceptual Design, Social Design, Information design, The Critical Inquiry Lab, Geo-Design)

research activity and main areas

Strategic Creativity in Service Innovation. At the lectoraat (UK: Readership, US: Professorship) in Strategic Creativity we explore how design and creativity can play a strategic role in society and the economy in general, and in service innovation in particular. We do this with a 'thinking through making' approach where design and reflection go hand in hand.

Places and Traces. The Readership in Places and Traces focuses on design research into spatial, social, technological and sustainability issues in the urban environment. In particular, it pays attention to the role of design in understanding and transforming public and collective spaces, and flows of people, information and materials.

Challenges, concepts, representations, and materialisations: The Readership’s design research engages with current and future spatial, social, technological, and ecological design challenges; new representations (e.g. imaginaries, scenarios, stories, maps) of spaces, places, and connections, and (individual and collective) identities of people; and the development of innovative urban design concepts, methods and materialisations.

Relevant disciplines: The Readership takes an interdisciplinary approach. Its research projects are positioned at the crossroads of public space design; landscape design; architecture; spatial planning; transportation studies; human geography; urban sociology; ethnography; critical cartography; urban studies; cultural studies; media studies; and science and technology studies.

Thinking-through-making: Fitting with Design Academy Eindhoven’s overall conception of design research, the Readership’s central approach is so-called thinking-through-making. In addition to conducting design research projects, the Readership aims to further develop the field of design research in general, both within Design Academy Eindhoven and outside of it.

Collaboration: Within Design Academy Eindhoven the Readership Places and Traces collaborates with the readership Strategic Creativity. Both Readers also act as chairs of the academy’s Knowledge Circle. The Readership’s external network consists of art, design and design research schools; scientific and scholarly research institutes; government bodies; private enterprises; and social organisations. Currently, the Readership is a partner in the TRADERS program, the project Mycelium-based materials for product design, and Innovatieprogramma Mobiliteit en Ruimte.

Education: In addition to conducting design research projects and developing the design research field in general, the Readership contributes to Design Academy Eindhoven’s educational program. Design students are taught to both use research skills to improve the design process (research for design) and use design skills in research projects (research through design).

subject areas for exchange students

Students are offered a maximum of one semester for exchange. Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) has its own selection procedure based on an application form, the student’s portfolio and a motivation. DAE will look for the best match with our curriculum, but also looks at a variety in country and university where a student comes from.

application deadlines

Deadline for Fall semester (September – February) is May 1st. Deadline for Spring semester (February – July) is November 1st. Only after the deadline, the applications are reviewed. It is not possible to give any result until at least two weeks after the deadline.

teaching languages

Dutch and English

semester dates

Fall semester: September – mid-February. Spring semester: mid-February – mid-July

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