Giving shape to your passion

Imagine receiving one of the following assignments:

“Design a new lay-out for the square in front of the Eindhoven train station”,
“Find a way of shaping the new luxuriousness”,
“Give someone the gift of time”

If this is the kind of challenge you dream of, and you are ready to work hard for it, then Design Academy Eindhoven is “the place to be”.

In your capacity as a designer you have a considerable impact on the way the world looks. After all, almost all the things surrounding us have been designed. Designers determine what it is we experience within and about a set of surroundings and how we might behave there. When you graduate you will be shaping people’s everyday lives. This may vary from jewellery, objects of everyday use, the interior of a home, to the way we organize care or how we feel in public space.

The world is a complex place.
As a designer you will have to deal with a range of social, economic and cultural interests.
Think, for instance, of the square in front of the train station in Eindhoven.

One person may see it as a social space, a place to meet; another as a site that should be easy to reach by car, and a third may want to give it a cultural and economic function above all else. As a designer you will operate amid all of these forces and interests. Time and again you will have to consider the pros and cons. Because each design process will see you stumbling upon dilemmas in the fields of sustainability, aesthetics, user-friendliness, production costs.

You will find yourself facing ethical questions. How much energy will transportation cost? How do you feel about manufacturing in low-wage countries? Is your design healthy? Assessments for which no manual can be written. The situation will be different every time, and opinions on what is right and advisable will change with time. So as a future designer the main thing is that you have an immense interest in everything that moves people. Or as one of our tutors put it recently: “a designer should know a little bit about a lot of things”.

a “normal” academy

As an academy we are pleased with the special position we have acquired, but we would like to stress that we are a “normal” academy (HBO), which means students are eligible for Studiefinanciering (the Dutch student grants and loans system) and that we are open to students with a certificate for Dutch HAVO / VWO / MBO-4 or a foreign equivalent. If you have some previous experience or a budding passion for design and the school appeals to you, then grab your chance to gain a place at this unique school and apply for admission.

Talent-driven education


Admission to our first year is based on your personal talent. During this first year you will be experimenting with all kinds of things. The first year acts as a sort of sanctuary, which will also allow you to discover some unsuspected talents. And you will gain an understanding of which kind of approach suits you best. Are you a person who thinks with his hands? Do you prefer to observe things from a certain distance? Do you enjoy working with others? Or do you like to make sure you have an overview before you start? We have seen students who like to act and to create, others who prefer to make observations, and students who develop into team players, thinkers or inventors.

The propaedeutic year will reveal your personal merits. These will form the guiding principle on your specific learning pathway in the years to follow. It is a pathway which we will be developing with you, which will include an internship that fits in with your development here. And all of this will lead you to the graduation project that will form the start-up of your future professional career.


Continuing your studies

After the Bachelors’ course, DAE also offers a number of Masters’ courses to follow up: Contextual Design, Information Design and Social Design. Of course our Bachelors’ course is also an excellent preparation for other international Masters’ courses such as those at the Royal College of Art in London or Parsons New School of Design in New York.

Learning by Doing

“Thinking with your hands” is an expression you will often hear as you walk the halls of the academy. Acquiring knowledge, conducting research, testing the possibilities; these things often happen on the go. Many of our course units are experience-oriented. This is why the academy has a number of great facilities at its disposal for its students. There are workshops, for instance, where you can work with wood, metal, plastics, screen printing, textile, ceramics, digital technology, and there are a photo studio and a library. We have also set up some fruitful partnerships, for instance with the Textile museum in Tilburg, the EKWC (the European ceramic Work Centre) in Den Bosch and Bruns (a model making company) in Bergeijk.


The only way you can make a difference, is by being yourself. This is our belief. And it is why we will join you in your search to find the thing that makes you authentic. It means we will be digging deep and penetrating your inner self. Designing a new world starts with you yourself. Who are you? What is your attitude to the world? What do you think is important? What are your fascinations? What are your peeves? Can things be done better or differently in your view?

Ever since you were young you have been taught to behave, to keep your promises, and to see the world in a way that is familiar to you. Your view has, as it were, been conditioned and coloured by your experiences. One important aspect of studying at Design Academy Eindhoven is that we call into question these kinds of automatisms and learn to let go of the assumptions that have been instilled in us. This kind of self-searching is necessary for approaching design assignments with an open and unbiased attitude. Only then will you be able to give the world something original. The Dutch term for designing, vormgeven, which literally translates as ‘giving shape’, is an apt term to emphasize this.

Our take on education

There are 150 different designers, experts, artists and professionals working as teachers, or as we call them, tutors at our academy. For one day a week they are DAE tutors, and alongside this they remain firmly rooted in the realities of their professional practice. This allows students to experience the realities of the profession first-hand.

You witness the way your tutors approach their work, which can be very inspiring. Do not expect them to show you or tell you how things are done. They will challenge you to find your own approach and will guide you instead in developing your personal design method. You will develop your own style while you work, which will set you apart from other designers.

Practical experience takes centre stage at DAE. This is reflected not only in our department heads’ and tutors’ professional lives, but also in our students’ working on real projects through the ‘Friends of the Academy’ programme, which includes Nike, Volks­wagen, NS and Forbo Flooring. This allows you as students to explore the realities of working as designers on a regular basis. And the assignments you will be given during your time here will be derived from everyday realities.