“There is no such thing as social design!” As a designer you are obliged working with the social aspect. You ask yourself continuously: why do I design, what impact will my design have, whom will it affect and what do I achieve with my body of work. This critical attitude is what defines our department as Social Design.

The research programme of Social Design develops new models, strategies and products that can play a decisive role in the development and transformation of society. The economical, governmental and democratic systems are in crisis. Powers are shifting and we have to develop new relations and values between people, people as consumers, producers and distributors. We will respond to these changes and formulate scenarios, models and products that will be embedded and tested within the context for which they are intended. 

Through the act of creating, making and testing we will reflect upon your interests and fascinations, and these will direct your design. We expect a self-critical, reflective and constructive attitude of our designers towards the world in flux. You will develop a personal methodology and definition of social design, which you need in order to perform as a designer in our fast-changing society.

Head of department: Jan Boelen
Coordinator: Celeste Goncalves


The Social Design department promotes the usage of an iterative design cycle that informs each student’s process, constantly seeking answers to the questions of “what,” “how,” “why,” “where,” and “for whom.” Study years are structured in trimesters, with midterm and final evaluations. First year students are encouraged to define and create their own toolset to analyze the world around them, and to then synthesize their research into a meaningful research question which will inform their thesis work. Conversely, second year students follow a path from positioning and analysis towards tools and materialization, developing their thesis project from conception to a finalized graduation project.


Team of Mentors, Workshop Mentors and Guest Lecturers

Mentors 2018-2019
Jan Boelen (artistic director of Z33, designer and head of department), Dick van Hoff (designer) , Brecht Duijf/Buro Belén (designer), Henriette Waal (artist/designer), Stéphane Barbier-Bouvet (designer), Eric Klarenbeek (designer), Michael Kaethler (sociologist/design researcher), Tamar Shafrir (design writer & editor), Fabrizia Vecchione (communication strategist), Jesse Howard (designer & researcher), Thibault Brevet (web developer and creative technologist) , Angela Rui (curator and editor), Maartje Dros (designer),Tine Holvoet (senior researcher), Claudia Chwalisz (democratic innovator), Nadine Botha (artist), Anastasia Kubrak (designer/researcher).

Workshop Mentors and Guest Lecturers 2018-2019
Jeroen Koolhaas (artist/architect), Adrea Anner (graphic designer), Paul Cournet (architect), Victor Diaz (interaction designer), Mickey van Olst (interaction designer), Lucas Maassen (designer), Roel Roskam Abbing (artist & researcher).