When students arrive at the academy, they begin within a Major discipline such as Advertising & Beyond, Animation, Spatial Design, or Photography to name a few. The Major promotes discipline specific knowledge, (cross-media) skills, and attitudes relevant to a wide range of professional fields. On top of the Major specific courses, WdKA students also engage with interdisciplinary graduation profiles called Practices: Autonomous Practices, Commercial Practices, Social Practices and/or the Honours Programme.
There are new, urgent issues for studying and practicing arts and design today: limited resources & sustainable development, new ecologies & economies, new demographics & political struggles. These are not just themes to be addressed and reflected upon, but they redefine the very way artists, designers and educators work. Within each of the Practices students can choose from a wide range of contemporary subjects and issues to explore artistic research, creation, and design beyond the formal boundaries of their Major discipline.
The Practices’ projects are interdisciplinary in nature and work to introduce students to real life, practical assignments within the local environment while thinking of the international context. By exploring research and making in interdisciplinary groups with students from other Majors, the purpose is to widen contextual understanding and push students to strengthen their profiles as artists, designers, or educators in a changing world.
POSITION WDKA PRACTICES
Each Practice has it’s own themes, subjects, research methods, and critical lenses that students get to know as they build towards graduation. Students can fine-tune the direction of their study programme based on their own professional goals. Over the course of four years of study, students develop a deeper understanding of themselves and which of the Practices’ subjects best align with their creative interests, passions, and future goals. In the final phase of study, students graduate inside the Practice profile which best suits the next steps they want to pursue post-graduation.
To encourage students to explore, experiment, and gain foundational interdisciplinary skills that will benefit them throughout their years at the WdKA and in their chosen creative paths, the Practices are defined as:
At the core of the Autonomous Practices curriculum lies critical inquiry into and experimentation with what autonomy can mean today, how it relates to life praxis, and how autonomy can be (re)defined and practiced in various creative disciplines. Within the Autonomous Practices students are encouraged to radically experiment with what art and design can be, and to develop projects through critical self-organization that might not even be strictly identifiable as such.
Social Practices are critical practices and modes of inquiry (experiments) around collective care, equity, social justice as well as raising consciousness. In Social Practices, students commit to engaging with systemic change, collective action, and different relations to urgency by critically imagining other ways of being and doing. It is important that we foster the capacity to learn with uncertainty and for a world that doesn’t exist yet.
The Commercial Practices focus on design research in relation to the world as an ecosystem consisting of complex interrelationships. To gain a holistic understanding of the large and complex systems that we are part of in local ways, we look at the world through different lenses. By connecting how systems of meaning extend through material objects, social ideas, and human identities, creative output is positioned to explore alternative understandings of value, contest current realities, or make preferable futures more tangible.
The Honours Programme is a student-driven educational programme that focuses on research, non-normative narration and interdisciplinary knowledge creation. In the Honours Programme you collaboratively work on complex, self-formulated research questions under the supervision of your tutors, guest lecturers and guest editors.
In Year One students get introduced to all 3 practices, working in interdisciplinary teams in collaboration with a Station in terms 1.2. Then in term 1.3 students explore experimental forms of writing.
In Year Two students get the opportunity to work in 2 of the 3 practices in term 2.3.
In Year Three students further deepen their knowledge and skills on 1 of the practices and vraagstuk (subject) issue of their choice in term 3.1.
In Year Four students begin building towards graduation in the Practice and vraagstuk (subject) of their choice, made during Year three and further developed through a focused Practices Minor (term 4.1 ). This Practice is their graduation profile where they will receive graduation supervision in term 4.2 and do their final examination in term 4.3.