Spatial Design

Spatial design is a discipline that creatively combines cultural and artistic awareness, social engagement, economic responsibility and technical insight.

Cities, buildings, interiors: all of these have a huge impact on how we experience the world. In spatial design, we consider the urban environment as well as indoor and outdoor spaces on a small and large scale. It is a discipline that creatively combines cultural and artistic awareness, social engagement, economic responsibility and technical insight.

You will learn to deal with the complex tasks and situations facing contemporary society. You will learn to develop a personal vision and to concretely implement this vision within a design practice. The teaching method focuses on projects that address contemporary themes such as sustainability, identity and the repurposing of buildings. Projects in previous years included an ‘instant museum’, a flagship store for a new brand, a long-stay hotel in an industrial area of Rotterdam, a multicultural theatre in a church in Rotterdam’s Zuidwijk district, and creative use of empty spaces in the city centre of Rotterdam.

While working on design projects, you will also be taking practical classes, learning about analysis, the use of materials, architecture, model/mockup building techniques, drawing, software programs, light/colour/texture techniques and presentation techniques. You will also be taking classes on professional theory and history. Furthermore, you have the option of participating in an exchange programme with partner institutes in cities such as Barcelona, Glasgow or Helsinki. Graduates find work as interior designers, assistant architects, object designers (for interior and exterior spaces), exhibition designers or spatial designers.

Our students develop ‘21th century skills’: Creating, Critical thinking, Communication and Creation.
The professional spatial designer is able to bring together and integrate the following layers:

Form follows Feeling: spatial composition/drawing, a deep understanding of shape, colour and order in relation to light.
Form follows Function: human behaviour in relation to objects and space.
Form follows Flow: movement and circulation of people and goods through a space.
Form follows Force: designing and building objects using smart materials and appealing textures.
Form follows Fiction: visualising dreams in digital or analog 2D and 3D spatial images.
Form follows Finance: understanding the financial consequences of spatial ideas.

Cover project: Capsule by Laurens & Hendrik.

Knowledge & skills

  • ‘21th century skills’: critical thinking, communication and creation.
  • Understanding of spatial composition, shape, colour and order in relation to light
  • Understanding of human behaviour in relation to objects and space
  • Designing and building objects
  • Knowledge of materials and textures
  • Visualising concepts in digital or analogue 2D/3D spatial images
  • Translating spatial concept into budget
  • ...and more

Career opportunities

  • Spatial designer
  • Interior designer
  • Assistant architect
  • Object designer for interior and exterior spaces
  • Exhibition designer
  • Festival designer
  • ...and more

Next to 13 majors and three Practices WdKA offers its students high-tech meeting interdisciplinary spaces - Stations.

Stations are the place for creating prototypes, experimenting, remixing and improving your ideas. All of the Willem de Kooning Academy’s students and staff members are welcome to work in our Stations, regardless of their major specialisation, minor, elective module or study year. The Stations are where you can explore the viability of your ideas and find out how to turn them into fully-functioning creations.

Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

Apply now

Experience 4 years at WdKA

Spatial Design

Now or Never Again

Marieke Widlak
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Spatial Design

The Art of Wasted Time

Joey van der Maat
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Spatial Design

Becoming Part of a Whole

Angelien van der Snel
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