Design Academy Eindhoven Foundation Year

Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) is introducing a  preparatory course for Dutch school-leavers who want to prepare for admission to the DAE

Who is this foundation course aimed at?
The foundation year is intended for Dutch school-leavers (17-18 years) who are interested in a career in the creative industries, but who feel they lack the skills and materials to put together an effective portfolio. Are you attempting to identify your talents and want confirmation that you have chosen the correct course of study? Or do you just want to invest in developing your creativity? Many Dutch school-leavers who apply to the Design Academy do not measure up to foreign students who already have a solid basis in one of the creative disciplines. The curriculum in Dutch secondary schools barely touches on the creative skills that are essential for further education at the DAE. 

The foundation course takes place on thirty Saturdays from 26 September 2020 at the DAE itself so that participants get to know the DAE’s working methods, its workshops and teaching staff. The course has a hands-on approach, providing students with a knowledge of different research methods, which they then translate into creative solutions independently and in project teams. This allows participants to develop a portfolio that can be the basis for their application for a degree course at the DAE. The foundation course incorporates an assessment procedure. Completion of the course does not guarantee admission but certainly increase participants’ chances. Application is open to all.

What does the course cover? 
You will have hands-on access to all the workshops and discover that you can quickly learn to make something and build confidence in your creative abilities.

Your own vision, interests and senses are paramount. You will experiment and conduct research and develop your sense of design. You will learn new techniques and discover how to invest ‘making’ with meaning and how to analyse and give concrete form to design assignments. At the end of the course, you will be able to create a solid portfolio that showcases your qualities and insights, and you will have a better idea of your possible future options in the design field. The course demands considerable effort and initiative from all participants. All lecturers are professional designers with their own practice.  At the end of the course, your development will be evaluated and you will receive advice about your future options. 

The course covers the following topics:

  • form studies, 
  • colour studies, 
  • materials research, 
  • techniques and media, 
  • experimentation and prototyping (making things yourself), 
  • (visual) research (film and photography)
  • documenting your work, 
  • introduction to professional terminology 
  • portfolio as an archiving process
  • social orientation 
  • visits to studios of professional designers
  • museum visits
  • and many other skills.


Completion of the course gives you:

  • a certificate of participation
  • an admission assessment for a degree course at the DAE
  • excellent preparation for a degree course at the DAE

If you are unsure whether this foundation course is right for you, request an interview so that we can determine together what is best for you.

Location: Design Academy Eindhoven
Times: Saturdays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm 
Number of weeks: 30 (3 blocks of 10 weeks)
Cost: 1600 euros

To apply: fill out the application form  


  1. Participants in the foundation year are not formally enrolled as students and do not receive student finance, but they do receive a student card (for zBar payments) and an electronic key for access to the DAE building.
  2. Cancellation is possible only in writing up to one week before the start of a course; in case of later cancellation, or cancellation during the course, the full course fee remains payable.
  3. The Academy reserves the right to cancel a course if there are insufficient registrations. In that case, the course fees already paid will be refunded as quickly as possible.
  4. No claim can be made for a refund if no use is made of one or more parts offered during the course.
  5. Receipt of payment counts as definitive confirmation of registration, whereupon places can be assigned and it can be determined whether the course can take place.
  6. In principle, the materials required for the course will be provided during the lessons and are included in the course fee. This excludes special materials required by participants and printing costs, which must be covered by the student himself.
  1. Completion of the course does not automatically lead to admission and does not bestow any rights. Completion of the course does increase your chances of admission. An admission assessment is included in the course.
  2. Participant in the course must have a valid civil liability insurance