Transformation Design

We are now heading into a period of further transformations that will deeply impact our lives on a personal, social and economic level.

Do you believe the world around you matters? Do you like to take the initiative? Are you a changemaker, an activist and a creator with a feeling for interactive work?

Embrace the present & future with Transformation Design

In our fast-changing world, where the impacts of change touch every aspect of our lives, from food and transportation to energy and health, it's clear that we need a new approach to address the challenges we face. The call for transformation is undeniable, and it's an exciting time to be a changemaker. Are you ready to step up and be part of the solution?


Why study Transformation Design?

Transformation Design is all about reshaping how we live and interact with our planet, including humans, animals, and plants. It's a field that recognizes the power of bringing together science, technology, and art to create a dynamic fusion of knowledge and creativity.

In this study, you'll discover the transformative power of creativity, thinking outside the box, understanding complex systems, and mastering research methods. You'll also explore the impact of visual language, interactive technologies, and the essential social and communication skills needed to drive change.

The end goal of Transformation Design isn't just knowledge; it's about creating tangible products that change attitudes, daily routines, and entire systems. As a student of Transformation Design, you become part of a new generation of designers with the potential to make a profound difference in the world.


What to expect from the Transformation Design study?

In your first year, you'll dive into research methods, equipping yourself with the tools needed to tackle real-world problems. You'll learn to observe, interview, analyze data, create maps, tell visionary stories, think like a designer, and contextualize your work. Additionally, a solid foundation in philosophy, ethnology, social psychology, critical thinking, and entrepreneurship will strengthen your ability to effect change.

To bring about transformation, your work must effectively communicate and engage with your intended audience. Mastery of visual language is paramount. You'll harness photography, audiovisual media, and product design skills to construct and visualize your ideas, prototypes, or blueprints. The digital realm will also be at your disposal to connect and interact with your audience, and our experienced teachers will guide you in these areas.


Why is Transformation Design relevant?

Our current systems are outdated and in dire need of reevaluation. The projects you'll engage in will focus on crucial areas like social issues, ecology, health, politics, and economics. Collaborating with professionals, partners, and fellow students from diverse backgrounds will place you at the forefront of current affairs and pressing global concerns. The wealth of knowledge and experiences shared by experts in these fields will enrich your learning journey.


Is Transformation Design right for you?

Are you someone who prefers to convey messages visually and interactively rather than through text alone? Are you a positive activist at heart, brimming with curiosity and initiative? Do you have a desire to inspire and persuade others to change their behavior? If you see yourself in these descriptions, then Transformation Design might be your perfect fit.


Your role after graduation

Upon completing the Transformation Design course, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the evolving professional landscape. With a deep understanding of systems, problem complexity, collaborative approaches, critical thinking, and the central role of creativity, you'll be equipped for a variety of roles:

- In the creative sector, you could be a curator, art director, activistic artist, or designer, driving positive change through your creative endeavors.

- In the social sector, opportunities abound as a social designer or creative strategist, working with institutions, municipalities, or NGOs to address pressing societal issues.

- In the commercial sector, you might excel as a product and market innovator, concept developer/designer, or creative visual communication specialist, shaping the future of businesses and brands.

Transformation Design opens doors to a world where your skills and passion for change can make a real impact. So, are you ready to embark on this exciting journey of transformation and creativity? Sign up today and be part of the change!


Open Days & Recruitment activities

Want to know more about life at the Willem de Kooning Academy?

Check out our extended programme, full of (online) activities and interaction with student ambassadors and tutors via this link.


Career opportunities

  • Curator
  • Product and market innovator
  • Concept developer/designer
  • Creative strategist
  • Trend initiator and visualiser
  • Trend expert
  • Creative visual communication specialist
  • Forecaster
  • Changemaker
  • ...and more

Students’ Work


By Saskia Verleg, Lucca Kroot, Lois Simon and Nikki Giesen

Sun radiation has increased significantly in recent years. Its warmth comes with a higher risk of skin burns and increasing numbers of skin diseases. We protect ourselves with sunscreen while most of them contain microplastics, which is very harmful to marine life. Therefore we developed a sustainable and biodegradable UV purifier inspired by biomimicry.

Using algae as our main ingredient, to be precise the Haematococcus Pluvialis. This algae creates a natural UV protector, Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is an important pigment that also protects animals such as salmon, flamingos and shrimps against UV radiation.

In order to determine ones high burning risk areas, an additional facial scan measures which specific UV purifier is most recommend for your skin. The UV purifier can be used for 28 days, the average skin cycle. After the purifier outlived its purpose of protecting, it can be thrown into the sea as nutrition for marine life.

For more information about the project and the designers, please visit Saskia’s, Lucca’s, Lois’ and Nikki’s website.


By Daphne Kusters and Sam Oazzouz

Nettle is a project that researches the cleaning qualities of the nettle and materialises everything that the nettle has to offer. The goal is to not only make a renewable material to put back into the industry but, also use the cleaning qualities of the nettle to clean the grounds from their high levels of nitrogen.

Research has shown that the Netherlands is producing too much nitrogen and is therefore in a nitrogen crisis. Nitrogen oxides are emitted by industry, traffic and agriculture. There are plant species that grow better from the high nitrogen levels than others. These plants overgrow the ones that don’t. Stinging nettles, for example, overgrow orchids and grasses are increasingly seen in places where the heath used to bloom. This also effects the habitat of animals and leads to loss of biodiversity and nature therefore ultimately consists of fewer species.

Through researching and testing we have discovered that with these parts of the nettle you can make water based glue, compress the fibers, use the fibers to make fabric, make poly lactic acid and use the chlorophyll for colouring.



  • Barbara Schrammeijer
  • Danitsja de Nooijer
  • Dion Hertog
  • Alyce Bijsterbosch


For more information about the project, please visit Daphne’s website.

De MiddenKamer

By Anouk Wismans, Hannah Kersten, Eva Bifet Tomas and Maud Pelmelay

According to many, polarisation is becoming a problem. The public debate in the Netherlands is dominated by the people who are screaming from opposite sides, claiming that their interest is not taken into account. However, the actual ‘unheard’ is a group that is situated in the middle. The group that doesn’t immediately says yes or no. To direct the discourse into a situation where this middle group doesn’t feel pressured to pick a side, we present De MiddenKamer (the MiddleChamber).

De MiddenKamer is a monthly online event, each time revolving around a different topic in the public debate, that takes place in a virtual building.

In this animated house, three guests will share an experience that is related to the topic. This triptych is an attempt to shift the focus from sharing an opinion towards developing an opinion. After having listened to these different perspectives, the audience will be placed in break-out rooms in duo’s. In this break-out room, you will listen to each other’s thoughts on the topic and stories. The focus is put on how to listen properly to people with other views and representing the doubt and nuances of the grey middle.


For more information about the project and the designers, please visit Anouk’s, and Maud’s website.

Moreganism (cover project)

 By Clara Harmssen

We are dependent on plants, but they are not dependent on us!   

We don’t act as if we are dependent on them. We take parts from nature and therefore also take them from us. We need to feel an urgency of dependency again.

'Moreganism' is a mutualistic relationship between a plant and a human. A plant that grows on and with the human body. Both are mutually dependent on each other.

—A speculative design approach to reconnecting humans with nature.

We are dependent on the plant and the plant is dependent on us! 


For more information about the project, please visit Clara’s website.


Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

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Experience 4 years at WdKA

Student Work

Graduation Series: Carlota Villa-Lobos Yglesias Carvalhaes Garcia

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Alumni Work: Giovanni Maisto Ferreira

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Alumni Work: Lieve Eek

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