Our course is located in a spacious atelier building at Karel Doormanhof 45 in the city center of Rotterdam, shared with the Master Fine Art programme. As a student, you get a large shared studio with high speed Internet, 24h/7 days access and a key to the building. As you can see in the pictures, you can truly make the studio your own place.
Personal computers, servers, network
We are equipped with a range of machines running GNU/Linux and Mac OS as well as all the requirements for recording and editing images, video and sound. We run and professionally administer our own web servers, provide a full web development environment for you and can install required programming languages or content management systems for your projects if necessary. We also provide electronics boards (Arduino) for hardware projects. Students are expected to bring their own laptops as work machines (if they can afford them), but also have access to rental laptops and to servers for both experiment and publication. A high-speed internet connection is available in all rooms: wireless at 11mbps and wired Ethernet at 100mbps.
We provide network equipment, digital photo and video cameras, older computers and screens that can be used and repurposed for custom media work (including your own local servers and appliances), and projectors as rental items. Many of the work that you see on these pages and on the course wiki shows you that the strongest projects are often those that use simple or minimal technical means, or clever programming tricks rather than an overkill of equipment.
No labs, on purpose
As the Media Design & Communication course is not oriented towards imaging, 3D game development or professional audiovisual production, we do not provide labs or production studios. However, such facilities do exist at the Willem de Kooning Academy and may be used for particular projects. (Our philosophy is deliberately not ‘high tech’ in the sense of being oriented towards the latest and greatest hardware and software.)
The specialist equipment for the department includes:
- Petrol PDRB-4 Camera bag, containing:
– Sony HVR-Z7E HDV Camcorder
– Sony VCL-412BWH Carl Zeiss Lens
Focal Length 32mm-284mm
Maximum Aperature F1.6 – F2.0
– Sony NCFD16GP 16GB Compact Flash cards
– Sony NP-F970 Lithium Accu 6600mA
– Petrol PMW-EX1 Rain cover
- Sony VCL-308BWH Carl Zeiss Wide Angle Zoom lens with 1/3” bayonet mount
Focal Length 24mm – 192mm (16:9)
Maximum Aperture F1.6 – F2.4
- Chrosziel CMB-R20 Sunshade
- Røde NTG 2 shotgun microphone
- Marantz MD661 stereo SD-card field recorder
- Ianiro Redhead Kit 1 – Basic 800W
- Photoflex Constellation3 Kit Medium – Softbox
- Sachtler 0370 system FSB 4 Tripod
- Manfrotto Fig Rig Kit
(two sets are available of all the equipment listed above)
AV-recording studio (Image & Sound Station)
This studio offers full opportunities for professional camera work and for ever changing set ups of equipment. For the realisation of this project, WdKA closely collaborated with Sony. We want to be able to optimally prepare our students for professional practice. The studio uses Sony XDCAM EX3-cameras because of their genlock facility and because they can be used hand-held as well as in fixed positions. The studio facilitates interactive media projects: imagery, once recorded, may be directly published to formats such as the internet. The studio can also accommodate both small and larger audiences – therefore one of the studio’s walls is retractable, opening up the studio wall to access a small auditorium across almost a complete floor of the Willem de Kooning Academy Wijnhaven building.
The AV-recording studio is a multifunctional space, which can be used for:
- making recordings for a (small) audience
- interactive media projects
- teaching specific audiovisual techniques
The AV-recording studio has the following equipment available for students:
- two Sony EX3 HD camera’s
- light sealing with nine adjustable lights
- red head set (with three lights)
- Sennheiser richt microphone
- two Sennheiser wireless microphones
- AWS-G500HD Anycast live content producer HD
- ChromaFlex cloth (two by two metres) with light ring
- green screen cloth (three by six metres)
Photography studios (Image & Sound Station)
The photography workshop has several different spaces:
- photographic studios
- black and white dark rooms
- colour dark room
- space for scanning and editing
The six photography studios are all equipped with professional flash and recording facilities, and students are able to work with digital and analogue photography.
In the black and white dark rooms students can develop and print analogue black and white film material (size 4×5). In the colour dark room there is the possibility to print colour negative film to size 4×5. Besides this, students are able to scan transparent material.
The specialist equipment for the Photography studios includes:
- Digital SLRs:
– Nikon D300
– Nikon D70s
– Nikon D2Xs
– AF Nikkor 35-70mm 1:2,8 D
– AF Nikkor 18-35mm 1:3,5-4,5 D
– AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4,0-5,6 D
– AF Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2,8 D
– AF Micro Nikkor 60mm 1:2,8:
– AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm 1:3,5-5,6 G
– AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm 1:2,8 G ED
– AF Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2,8 D
- Analogue cameras:
– Hasselblad 503 CX , objectives of 50mm, 120mm, 250mm
– Sinar P 4×5″ Technical Camera, objectives of 90mm, 150mm, 210mm en 300mm
– Linhof Master Technika 4×5″ Field Camera, objectives of 90mm, 150mm en 210mm
- Broncolor studio flashequipment:
– Broncolor Graphite A2 1600 J flashsgenerators
– Broncolor Pulso G flash unit (on tripod)
– Broncolor Minipuls C200 (1500 J) Monoblocs
– Broncolor ringflash
– Standardreflectors (P70)
- Softboxes in various sizes (from 35×60cm to 150×150cm)
– Minolta F 4 lightmeters Gossen Digipro F.
– Minolta Spotmeter F.
- Wireless synchronousset or synchronouscable
- Tempex reflectionscreens 100×100cm of 100×200cm (one side white, one side black)
- Round foldable white/silver or white/gold reflectionscreens
- Shooting table with white perpex sheet
Besides this, all students have access to a wide variety of other workshops, stations and technical assistance of the Willem de Kooning Academy.
What is a Station?
Students, instructors and teachers work in and around the Stations: main central hubs which provide students with specific knowledge as well as the necessary high-quality tools and instruments. The opening hours of the academy are defined by those of the stations. Stations are not the exclusive ‘property’ of any specific major or practice: rather, they function as a crossroads, a hub, a meeting space for students and teachers from various disciplines and academic years. In the stations, students can find the expertise and facilities necessary for realising their work; expertise in the field of software, hardware, technique, equipment and machinery. Teachers, instructors and student-assistants are present all day (as well as in the evenings) in the Stations to help you.
The Stations are:
- Interaction Station
- Image & Sound Station
- Publication Station
- Material Station
- Fabric Station
- Drawing Station
- Business Station
- Research Station
What can you do in the Stations?
In your major specialisation as well as your practice, you will be discovering what you can do in the Stations and what they can mean for you. You will be taking classes and instructions in the Stations in the context of your regular quarter projects. Outside of these projects, you can also work independently in the Stations. It is also possible, at your own initiative, to choose from a broad selection of instructions and modules. This way you can become acquainted with specific technologies and equipment, and apply these in your own imaginative, ‘improper’, independent-minded and/or critical ways. During the course of your studies, you can use the stations to develop specific skills. Skills which you happen to find interesting, or which are related to the projects you wish to realise.
The Station as knowledge domain
The Station is also a place where research is conducted: research of new developments, as well as innovation in the field of technology, art and design, and ongoing exploration of new applications for technologies. Students become familiar with existing techniques and skills, while learning to make well-reasoned choices in the application of these techniques and skills. This is closely linked to the notion that the academy’s education programmes are focused on learning by doing, and then reflecting upon this process. The Stations provide an environment which stimulates and supports this process of making and doing (and of course thinking!). In the Stations, you will be working not only with fellow students and teachers from your own major specialisation, but also with students and teachers of various majors and academic years.
Creative professionals require a variety of entrepreneurial skills in order to successfully compete within a national and international market. Besides specific programmes and modules, the Business Station provides a wide variety of activities and events in the field of entrepreneurial skills. Of course you are welcome at the Business Station during, and even after, your studies for all your pressing questions.
In concrete terms, this means that students can find:
- Advice regarding projects in which marketing, sales, target audiences, etc. play an important role. See also: beardsandsuits.nl
- Advice for students who are already working as self-employed entrepreneurs.
- Advice in setting up your own business.
- Advice if you are thinking of setting up a business.
The Drawing Station is the place where students learn ‘the language of drawing’. Even in an age dominated by digital media, drawing remains a basic skill, a direct and elementary method of achieving a visualisation. The Drawing Station focuses on developing an idea into a visual (communicative) concept using various digital and analog drawing techniques.
Besides drawing tables and easels, the Station also features computers (Mac and PC) as well as Cintiq displays for digital drawing. The drawing and painting studios are suitable for observational drawing. Here you can control the lighting and partition the space; there is also a podium for setting up objects and for model drawing. Besides the drawing and painting studios, there is also an open studio with various computers (Mac and PC) for digital drawing. There are also other facilities such as scanners, projectors and printers which you can use while working in the Drawing Station.
Image & Sound Station
This Station provides facilities for ‘time-based storytelling’: image, time, narration, sound and light. Here students can acquire a variety of technical and other skills: familiarising themselves with various media, and learning to experiment with and apply these media. This station includes a number of studios (photography, animation and audio-visual media) with facilities for designing 2D and 4D narratives, where students can acquire and develop these skills.
The Station offers all the facilities necessary for realising professional multimedia productions. In the photo studios you can use high-quality digital cameras, an extensive flash installation, and various other devices. The AV studio is suitable for realising audio-visual productions, and features HD video cameras, a light ceiling, green screens for chroma keying, etc. There is also a sound studio for making audio recordings. The animation studio is suitable for analog as well as digital projects, featuring state-of-the-art Windows and Mac computers with specialised software such as Maya, TVpaint and Adobe After Effects. The studio also has light tables, peg bars and an A3-sized autofeed scanner.
The Interaction Station focuses on the design of ‘behaviour’, and more specifically on the design of interaction and interface. As we find ourselves increasingly surrounded by computers and digital networks, the design of interaction is growing increasingly more complex. You will focus on the development of software and hardware interfaces.
The Interaction Station includes all facilities for working on interactive installations, wearables, electronics and networked applications. Here you can solder or create 3D prints using the Ultimaker; there is a laser cutter and a variety of electronics equipment (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, MaKey MaKey, LEDs, LittleBits and various sensors). There is also a Microsoft Kinect and an Oculus Rift (virtual reality glasses) as well as video projectors. The Interaction Station also features a wide variety of computers, including its own dedicated computer network and server.
This Station focuses on working with wood, metal, ceramics and plastics, as well as 3D digital fabrication technologies and innovation in the use of materials. You will gain hands-on experience with various materials. The materials which can be processed and researched here are: wood, metal, plastics and ceramics. An important question is how ‘new’ digital fabrication techniques can be used in order to question, influence and innovate existing ‘crafts’.
In the Material Station you will find professional woodworking equipment, such as cutting tables, a milling machine and planing machines. In the metal workshop you will find equipment for welding, sawing, cutting, turning, forging and bending steel. In the ceramics & plastics studio you can work with clay, plaster and various moulding resins, as well as hard plastics (vacuum moulding). Ceramics products can be baked in ovens. The academy’s largest 3D printer is located in the Material Station, as well as several Ultimakers, a large laser cutter and a CNC milling machine.
The Fabric Station focuses on textile fabrics, fashion, and innovation in the use of materials. In this station, students gain hands-on experience with various materials and techniques for exploring and further developing fabrics and fashion. An important question is how ‘new’ technologies can be used in order to influence and bring innovation in the field of fabrics and fashion. The station features various analog devices and machines, as well as computer-controlled machines such as a digital embroidering and knitting machine. It is also possible to digitally create and alter patterns using Lectra software.
As a preview of the Station’s final configuration, you can soon find the following facilities: an embroidering machine, knitting machines, a drum carder, sewing machines for various materials and techniques, a pressing table, a spinning wheel, a transfer press, a weaving loom, and equipment for dyeing and felting fabrics. It is also possible to digitally create and alter patterns using Lectra software.
This Station focuses on reproduction, presentation and publication in print and digital media. The station offers the ‘traditional’ analog reproduction methods (printmaking, silkscreen printing and typesetting) as well as new digital methods of 2D reproduction (such as online publishing and e-publishing).
The Publication Station provides facilities for publishing projects in print or digitally. For print publication there is a laser cutter, a Riso stencil machine, several large-format printers, photocopiers and a flatbed printer. There is a typesetting workshop with two presses, as well as a small but professionally equipped silkscreen printing shop. There are also presses suitable for lithography, relief lithography and etching. A new addition is the gluing machine for easy adhesive binding of books. You can use the paper guillotine for cutting stacks of (printed) paper, for example to produce books in small print runs. There are also two computer instruction spaces where you will find all the software you might need while working in the Publication Station.
The Research Station sees it as its mission to provide all the skills, methods and tools necessary for supporting (artistic, theoretical) research. The Research Station focuses on connecting the practice of ‘making’ with in-depth theoretical knowledge, since both practices are considered as reflective forms of knowledge production. Basic principles include experimentation with various research methods and the application of theoretical perspectives in order to help define the student’s own positioning.
The knowledge, skills and methods provided are intimately connected to the education programmes: contributing to the curricula while also being defined by these same curricula. For example: writing skills, design research methods, or thematic lectures developed in the teaching programmes.
The Research Station also develops a programme (open courses, modules, knowledge database) based on the WdKA programme curriculum, the research programmes of the research centre Creating 010, the head tutors, and the media library.