Drempelprijzen (The Threshold Awards) have been awarded annually since 1962 by the Municipality of Rotterdam to one or more graduates of the Willem de Kooning Academy. Originally, the prize was awarded only to fine art graduates; since 1968 applied arts graduates have also been eligible. The prize is an incentive award, consisting of a work commission by the Rotterdamse Kunststichting (RKS) and a nice sum of money.
Since 2014, the three Threshold Awards of 5,000 euros each are awarded to students within the three graduation profiles: Autonomous, Social and Commercial Practices. Three juries of professional specialists will evaluate a long list of nominees from each of the three graduation profiles at a specific moment during the final examination event (Finals). The long list of nominees will be selected by the education programme. The jury selects one winner for each practice.
Nominations by the education programme – criteria and procedure
The nominations are linked to the three different Practices (Autonomous, Social, Commercial).The department tutors nominate one student from each major specialisation for each practice. Thus there can be no more than three nominations for each major specialisation. If no student could be nominated within a given practice (there is no student within that practice, or no outstanding work was produced) then in this case nomination should not take place. The Threshold Awards are awarded to the most promising graduates within each of the academy’s three Practices (graduation profiles). Outstanding graduation work is understood as:
- The student has approached and resolved a specific problem statement in an innovative way.
- The student's graduation project serves as an inspiring example of the WdKA’s vision for that particular practice.
- The student's graduation project has created opportunities for the student’s further career. The project has the potential for further long-term development.
- The graduation project meets high standards of quality, on a theoretical level (research) as well as in terms of relevance, design and implementation of the project.
- The graduation project must have been evaluated by the education programme with a mark of at least 8.
- The student must have completed or must be completing his/her study in June or July of the given year.
The names for the longlist is submitted by the department tutors to the practice coordinator for approval. The practice coordinator may, if necessary, also add additional names to this long list. This way, there will be a long list of approximately 12 nominees for each practice.
Nominations and selection of the winner by the professional jury – criteria and procedure
Three juries of professional specialists evaluate a long list of nominees from each of the three Practices (Autonomous, Social and Commercial) at a specific moment during the final examination event (Finals 2016). The long list of nominees is selected by the education programme based on the criteria specified above. Nominated students are given the opportunity to briefly present their work and to answer any questions. Ultimately the jury selects one winner from each practice.
Overview winners from 2000 till now
Fine Art: Amie Dicke
Design: Yves Raphaël
Fine Art: Julia Hamilton
Design: Hamid Ed-Dakhissi
Art Education: André Roll
Fine Art: Bibine Smink & Maurice Meeuwisse
Design: Pieter Bas Lugthart & Aart Muis
Art Education: Bertien Gravesteijn
Fine Art: Marina Crnomarkovic
Design: Danny Stolker
Art Education: Anja Schakel
Fine Art: Boris Barišić
Design: Myrthe Veeneman & Marjolein Vermeulen
Art Education: Christina Linke
Fine Art: Willem Besselink, Eddy van Mourik
Design: Marcos Leonardo Castro Beltran
Art Education: Marguérite Meijer
Fine Art: Jan Brandt
Design: Stephan Korczak
Art Education: Maiky Silos
Fine Art: Sae Inukai
Design: Joost van der Wiel
Art Education: Alinde Yntema en Ellen Leijse