Art, Communication and Design
- Start moment(s)
- 1 semester, 16 weeks
- Contact hours
- 10-15 per week
- Program specifics Fall
- Program specifics Spring
- How to apply
Enjoy Art, Communication and Design
The Department of Visual Arts, Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts offers two different possibilities to study: ‘Fine Arts Teachers Training’ and ‘Art Communication and Design’.
The main focus of the ArtCoDe Department (Art, Communication and Design), is to teach and research the area of ‘Experience Design’. Students are trained in designing experiences in a public context; through translating social and personal topics into designs the public can experience and interact with. During their study, our students develop: Skills, Research & Working Methods, Conceptualization, Storytelling & Aesthetics, Experience & Audience & Interaction and Ethics & Engagement & Positioning. Skills, Research & Working Methods are the basis of every design process. Mastering and being aware of all three facets ensures that a designer can go through a design process strategically and independently. Conceptualization, Storytelling & Aesthetics means our students use storytelling and aesthetics to arrive at an authentic concept. Through Conceptualization, Storytelling & Aesthetics our students become aware of the role of the audience or users and can build a bridge of purposeful interaction whereby his own experience and that of the audience plays a specific role. In Ethics & Engagement & Positioning our students develop a critical, involved and authentic attitude with regard to their own identity and position in the field of design. Their Ethics & Engagement & Positioning are expressed through their designs.
Our students work multisensory and multidisciplinary, analogue as well as digital. The designs of our students are shaped by their research in skills and concepts. Our projects for example comprise of moving visuals in theatre settings, interactive clothing and material research while focusing on innovation and/or interactive installations regarding urgent contemporary topics. ArtCoDe promotes the development of an artistic vision and the transfer to assessments, the development of conceptual thinking across multiple media, rather than the mere development of specialized skills.
You can find projects of our graduates at Digital Stage.
We offer a broad range of studios (a dynamic practical curriculum) in the field of Experience Design. Every year our students select their own studios for their personal research trajectories. During our studios, developed concepts are constantly worked out, tested and discussed with tutors and peers. For guest students we offer some of the design studios in our 2nd and 3rd year that focus on material research, contextual research and presentation. You can select your own research trajectory based on our offer. Working in our studios also means that theory and practical research will be integrated.
Additionally, you will also join a custom-made program with a focus on cross-cultural exchange.
Target Audience & Entry Level
The program is accessible for third year (Level 2) students and/or fourth year (graduating) students, hailing from academies and/or faculties abroad that focus on design. Predominantly, teaching will be conducted in Dutch, but you will be able to communicate with tutors and peers in English. The complementary theory class in your program will be conducted in English. You will be expected to have a good command of English, whereby you will be able to make yourself understood and to follow instructions in English.
You can enter for Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 when:
- You are currently in your third or fourth year of study,
- Your university nominates you and both our universities are partner universities in the Erasmus program.
- The quality and work in your portfolio proves diversity in skills as well as ability for conceptual and critical thinking.
- You have a good command of English, whereby you are able to make yourself understood and follow instructions in English. For this we will set up a video call after we have received your nomination.
Program Format Fall
This semester is divided into studios of period 1 and 2.
You can choose one of the two second years studio’s in each period, named studio 2.1. and 2.2, which explore different design-research strategies, or you can choose our third years studio 3.1 in period 1 and combine this studio with one of optional 2.2. studio's in period 2.
Week 36 – 44 (9 ECT)
Studio 2.1. Design & Research; play, experiment, analyse and design.
A) Material Research: (Tjap Tjoi Division) or
B) Research & Play: (Homo Ludens)
Studio 3.1. A) Studio Dutch Design Week.
In this third years studio students will develop and exhibit a spatial experience during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven
Week 46 – 05 (9 ECT)
Studio 2.2. Design & Context
You can choose one of these two second years studio’s exploring different contextual settings.
A) Material research in local and global contexts (Reclaiming the sheep) or
B) Identity, Interaction and Sexuality (Sexperience)
Theoryclass 3 (2 ECT) integrated in studio 3.1, 2.1 and/or 2.2.
Software Skills 2 (2 ECT) integrated in studio 3.1, 2.1 and/or 2.2
Module Weeks 1 (1 ECT) optional
Cross-Cultural Exploration 1 (10 ECT)
Note: ECT's can change and adapt.
In the Spring semester it’s only possible to enter a studio of the 2nd year. You can enlist for one of the two studio's of period 3 exploring different design research strategies in specific contexts. Week 10 – 21 (11 ECT)Studio 2.3. Design & Exhibit.
A) Design for the public domain (Public Take Over) or
B) Technology & Human interaction (Body Space and Information)
Theoryclass 3 (4 ECT) integrated in studio 2.3.
Software Skills 2 (2 ECT) integrate in studio 2.3
Module Weeks 2 (1 ECT)
Art Meets Art week (1 ECT) Optional
Cross-Cultural Exploration 1 (10 ECT)
Note: ECT's can change and adapt.
Example studio 2.1 Homo Ludens
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct...” Carl Gustav Jung. “The most successful design thinkers are the ones who embrace the notion of play” Dana Mitroff Silvers from design thinking for museums.
The idea of Homo Ludens (Latin for "playing man") is an image of man in which man is first and foremost a playing being. The oldest known mention of the term is the title of the book Homo Ludens, a cultural scientific work from 1938 by the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga. For Huizinga it was clear that man is a playing person. The basic thesis is that everything we humans call 'culture' originates from play, and develops further as play. If the opportunity to play comes under pressure, the whole culture is at stake. During Studio 2.1. Homo Ludens, we are investigating play as a design method and design while playing. We will play and research with a focus on material, form, color, time and space, both analog and digital. In this studio, the process (the game) is central, not the final product. How do you play the design game? It is important that a parallel process arises between thinking and doing, between theoretical and visual processes. Ultimately, the outcomes are both physically and digitally.
Example studio 2.2 Tjap Tjoi Division
Tjaptjoi is a Chinese dish of mixed vegetables. The name tjaptjoi comes from two Cantonese words: tjap, which means 'mixed', and tjoi, which means 'vegetable'. However, in Hokkien tjap means 'ten' and tjoi also means vegetable, so in this language it means 'ten vegetables'. In Flanders they call this chop choy, in the United States, France and Germany they also call this dish chop suey. Assignment description: Exploring from the Tjaptjoi court, every student chooses one type of vegetable of their choice and wil present, every following week, a new research that focuses on this vegetable. For the theoretical research, the student starts with the following questions: Where does your vegetables come from? Did it always grow there? If not, where did it originally come from? Etc. For the practical research, the student starts with the following questions: What does it cost in energy? (cultivation, transport) What energy does it provide? (taste, calories, information, vitality, health) How can we see, hear, feel, build and shape with it? Etc. In the last week, students present all designs together in an integrated presentation, symbolizing the dish Tjap Tjoi.
Example studio 2.2 Reclaiming the sheep
More than 10.000 sheep live on the grasslands in our area. The annual wool yield per sheep is on average three kilos. This yield is a loss for our local shepherds. Most of the wool from the local sheep is of B quality; worldwide there is so much supply of A quality wool that there is no interest in B. Shepherd Bart Ekkendonk is left with his local produced wool. He loses money because of the shavingcosts. How can Bart re-use his wool and make local wool profitable again? What application, function or design is possible for our raw wool? How can we make this sustainable raw material culturally and economically relevant again? Within studio 2.2. Reclaiming the sheep, students research and design new contemporary functions for the locally obtained wool. What are economic, ecological and social consequences of using wool?
Wool is a natural raw material with specific properties. During workshops students will learn techniques to process the wool. Think of washing, carding, spinning, felting, weaving, knitting, dyeing. By means of field research students will also map out how wool is currently used. What did wool mean in our Dutch culture? What does it mean nowadays? What does wool mean in other cultures? How is wool processed in other cultures and how are these processes linked to local customs and habits? After various material, theoretical and field studies, each student chooses an inspiring aspect of wool and translates this into a design reïntroducing the material into the lives of local citizen.
Example studio 3.1 Dutch Design Week
Dutch Design Week is a studio designed for third year students. Technology is central in the studio and aims on exploring technology in terms of theme and skills. The studio deals with technology in all facets: from social media to virtual reality and from prosthetics to designer babies. Studio 3.1. works from the concepts develloped by students earliers in studio 2.3 Body Space and Info. During studio 3.1. students explore how technology changes our social lives. Students will exhibit a spatial experience during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, and therefore pay a lot of attention in adapting the installation in the context of this event.
During the studio an urgent contemporary topic will be explored. The studio will pay a lot of attention on the further development of concepts, deepening relevant concepts and organizing the work through inspiring workshops. Concepts will be worked out in small groups and presented to the public during the Dutch Design Week. In this studio students will elaborate on what resources to use in space, how to direct a large and diverse audience, how to collaborate, etc. Throughout the studio subject experts and designers with relevant work experience will support the courses with lecturers and workshops The studio is passed when students produce a sufficiently completed (and working) installation at the Dutch Design Week as well as a fully individual process document. In addition, the substantive quality of your work will be assessed.
In the second year program Softwareskills classes will increase your knowledge of the designers-software field. Softwareskills will be taught integrated with your studio practice. Through research the guest student will discover what specific software is relevant regarding his/her studio and topic. The Softwareskills tutor and guest student will determine what software skill the guest student needs to learn and receive feedback on. Before starting the course the guest student and tutor also determine what will be assessed. In previous years our students developed 3D environments in Unreal or 3D modeling with Cinema4D for a 3D print, photo-realistic render, graphic design or animation in the second year of the study.
In our second year theory program, guest students will develop a better understanding of current Western European views in one of the areas of Art, communication & Design. In Art theory the various functions of art and the position of art in contemporary society will be explored. In Communication theory our lessons focus on learning to write and speak about designprojects. Students learn to perform at a communicative level in the professional field. In Design theory lessons the function, design, social importance, sustainability and history of design in general are researched. Depending on the studio you choose, one of the theory class will be offered. The complementary theory class in your program will be conducted in English.
During the module weeks, a student will select it's own selection of workshops from a range of workshops and lessons which Art Communication & Design preselected for you on various topics. The workshops are called modules. The content of the modules will be communicated 4 weeks prior to the module weeks. .
Cross Cultural Exploration
After an introduction into the facilities of Art Communication & Design we guide our guest students to reflect on their experiences as a visitor of the Netherlands and more specifically of the Dutch cultural scene, also providing deeper insights into historical and current phenomena shaping the Netherlands. Guest students are challenged to reflect on similarities and differences in phenomena and how they manifest in their home counties. In the course of Cross Cultural Exchange the guest students’ reflections become vocal by communicating these reflections at the campus of FHK in form of a show / exhibition.
Example studio 2.3 Body Space and Information
Technology is central in this studio. We explore how technology is changing and additionally will change our social lives. We deal with technology in all facets: from social media to virtual reality and from prosthetics to designer babies. In 2020-2021 ArtCoDe payed attention to the relevant theme of loneliness and technology. In 2022-2023 students will, once again, investigate a relevant current topic. This studio in the second year is about devising, developing and elaborating an spatial experience. We pay attention to coming up with concepts, deepening the concepts and organizing your work. Every week students research theme, concepts, materials and technology, and every week students report on their research. Every two weeks students present their work to the lecturers and their fellow students. All ideas, inspiration and sources are shared and can be copied from each other. During the studio the student designs a prototype for a spatial experience.
Example studio 2.3 Public Take Over
In contribution to talent development and education, clients or organizations invite students of Fontys ArtCoDe to realize a work in the public domain. The client believes in the brainpower, creativity and ingenuity of our students and therefore offers them a challenging and inspiring assignment. The assignment is determined every academic year together with clients, collaborating organizations and Kunstloc Brabant. Characteristic of this studio are commissioned work in the public domain and conceptualizing and realizing a work, with the accompanying pitch to the client and setting up a budget.
Example studio 2.3 Sexperience
The sex industry is known to be at the forefront when it comes to technological developments. Robots, Virtual Reality, new technologies, etc. are often the first to be encountered in this industry. It is also an industry in which material- and imageresearch are central; what materials are comfortable, durable and suitable for their function and what does it look like? After all, every person has different associations, desires and boundaries. In addition to the qualitative side, working with a combination of sexual and commercial elements entails various moral dilemmas. Examples of dilemmas include exploitation, mutilation, abstinence and perversity. The sex industry is a versatile industry that is extremely relevant for the experience designer. During the studio, theoretical research, form- and material research are carried out. In the theoretical research, existing sexual designs are critically examined. Students take a personal position on the basis of questions. The form research takes material as a starting point and will lead to new designs and/or improvements/changes of existing products/services. Students design an experience; a new (sexual) object or installation with a critical statement about sexuality, morality or the industry.
In the second year program Softwareskills classes will increase your knowledge of the designers-software field. Softwareskills will be taught integrated with your studio practice. Through research the guest student will discover what specific software is relevant regarding his/her studio and topic. The Softwareskills tutor and guest student will determine what software-skill the guest student needs to learn and receive feedback on. Before starting the course the guest student and tutor also determine what will be assessed. In previous years our students developed 3D environments in Unreal or 3d modeling with Cinema4D for a 3D print, photo-realistic render, graphic design or animation in the second year of the study.
In our second year theory program guest students will develop a better understanding of current Western European views in one of the areas of Art, communication & Design. In Art theory the various functions of art and the position of art in contemporary society will be explored. In Communication theory our lessons focus on learning to write and speak about our projects, so students learn to perform at a communicative level in the professional field. In Design theory lessons the function, design, social importance, sustainability and history of design in general will be researched. Depending on the studio you choose, one of the theory class will be offered. The complementary theory class in your program will be conducted in English.
During the module weeks, you will select your own package of workshops, based on their own preferences, from a range of workshops and lessons which Art Communication & Design preselected for you on various topics. The workshops are called modules. The content of the modules will be communicated 4 weeks prior to the module weeks.
Cross Cultural Exploration
After an introduction into the facilities of Art Communication & Design we guide guest students to reflect on their experiences as a visitor of the Netherlands and more specifically of the Dutch cultural scene, also providing deeper insights into historical and current phenomena shaping the Netherlands. Guest students are challenged to reflect on similarities and differences in phenomena and how they manifest in their home counties. In the course of Cross Cultural Exchange the guest students’ reflections become vocal by communicating these reflections at the campus of FHK in form of a show / exhibition.
How will your course programme be recognised by your home university?
Fontys will provide you with a so-called ‘Transcript of Records’, which will clarify the results that you have achieved. Depending on your results, you will receive a maximum of 30 ECTS credits. ECTS credits are recognised throughout Europe. The agreement between your home university and Fontys University of Applied Sciences will usually include a condition whereby the credits that you obtain will be recognised and transferred into the records kept by your home university.
How to apply short term programmes Arts
Before you apply for an Exchange programme in one of the Arts, please contact us first, as depending on the Art programme you wish to study, either a portfolio or a link to a site is required. Furthermore we need some personal details like your name and address, a CV and a motivation letter, your current year of study and study results. Applications for ArtCoDe should be sent to Mariska van Zutven, international officer at Art, Communication & Design and always be approved by your International Exchange (or Erasmus) Officer at the home university.
Specific deadline for Arts programmes to send in portfolio:
15 February to 15 April
Spring semester 2023:
30 August to 15 September
Once the school has reviewed your portfolio, and considered it positive, you will receive the outcomes within 2 weeks.
Fontys will send you a link to an online application form. The online application system is called Mobility Online.
Academic dates study semesters
Fall semester 2023-2024:
4 September 2023 to 9 February 2024*
Spring semester 2023-2024:
19 February to 26 July 2024*
*For more information concerning the start date, please get in touch with the contact person of the study department of the concerned exchange programme.
Contact person for information about the programme Art,Communication and Design:
Mariska van Zutven
Visiting address: Zwijsenplein 1, Tilburg
Post address: P.O. Box 90907, 5000 GJ Tilburg, The Netherlands