All elements of the course are designed to support students that come from a wide variety of art and design backgrounds, experiences and cultures, nurturing their independent projects and providing skills that facilitate self-directed research.

The following principles are central to the course:

  • the placing of equal value on artistic forms including moving image production, data driven and network based art and cross-platform approaches such as transmedia narrative.
  • a strong emphasis on providing students with basic technological skills ranging from computer programming to the cinematography, synthesis and manipulation of digital imagery, from beginners to advanced levels.
  • a critical engagement with Open Source and Free Software development, especially in its implicit “hacker” attitude to opening up media for experimental purposes.
  • the integration of theoretical inquiry, critical analysis and studio based practice into research methodologies that can support artists practice and artistic research.

Our teaching plan is comprised of four main methods:

  • Thematic Seminars – are short, intensive modules that concentrate on exploring a particular topic through practice and theory, such as Art Factories, Chain Reactions and Sniff, Scrape, Crawl. For more information on Thematic Seminars see here
  • Technical Prototyping Sessions – these deliver specialist technical skills and overviews of the basic grammars of different media forms through guided practical projects and workshops.
  • Research Methodologies Seminars – give you the intellectual disciplines needed to conduct research, to analyse and to gain insights into the current media landscape.
  • Self-Directed Projects –  longer, independent projects closely supported by our staff and tutors.

The programme is organised into six study trimesters across a two-year, full-time course. Within the first three trimesters, in addition to your self-directed research projects, you are supported by thematic seminars, technical prototyping sessions, and research methodologies seminars. The last three trimesters focus on your individual graduation project with individually tailored tutorial support.

Our recently expanded department is part of a leading international centre for the study of art, design and media, housed in a dedicated building with its own studios, facilities and project spaces. Piet Zwart enjoys strong links with a range of arts organisations in Rotterdam, from established contemporary arts spaces like TENT and the Netherlands Photo Museum in Rotterdam, the Eye in Amsterdam to independent spaces like WORM and the V2 Institute for Unstable Media and a regular presence in the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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