Spatial design is a discipline that creatively combines cultural and artistic awareness, social engagement, economic responsibility and technical insight.

Cities, buildings, interiors: all of these have a huge impact on how we experience the world. In spatial design, we consider the urban environment as well as indoor and outdoor spaces on a small and large scale. It is a discipline that creatively combines cultural and artistic awareness, social engagement, economic responsibility and technical insight.

You will learn to deal with the complex tasks and situations facing contemporary society. You will learn to develop a personal vision and to concretely implement this vision within a design practice. The teaching method focuses on projects that address contemporary themes such as sustainability, identity and the repurposing of buildings. Projects in previous years included an ‘instant museum’, a flagship store for a new brand, a long-stay hotel in an industrial area of Rotterdam, a multicultural theatre in a church in Rotterdam’s Zuidwijk district, and creative use of empty spaces in the city centre of Rotterdam.

While working on design projects, you will also be taking practical classes, learning about analysis, the use of materials, architecture, model/mockup building techniques, drawing, software programs, light/colour/texture techniques and presentation techniques. You will also be taking classes on professional theory and history. Furthermore, you have the option of participating in an exchange programme with partner institutes in cities such as Barcelona, Glasgow or Helsinki. Graduates find work as interior designers, assistant architects, object designers (for interior and exterior spaces), exhibition designers or spatial designers.

Our students develop ‘21th century skills’: Creating, Critical thinking, Communication and Creation. The professional spatial designer is able to bring together and integrate the following layers:

  • Form follows Feeling: spatial composition/drawing, a deep understanding of shape, colour and order in relation to light.
  • Form follows Function: human behaviour in relation to objects and space.
  • Form follows Flow: movement and circulation of people and goods through a space.
  • Form follows Force: designing and building objects using smart materials and appealing textures.
  • Form follows Fiction: visualising dreams in digital or analog 2D and 3D spatial images.
  • Form follows Finance: understanding the financial consequences of spatial ideas.

You could also further specialise to gain a Master Interior Architecture & Retail Design at WdKA’s Piet Zwart Institute, or at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.


Career Opportunities

  • Spatial designer
  • Interior designer
  • Assistant architect
  • Object designer for interior and exterior spaces
  • Exhibition designer
  • Festival designer

Creating Pioneers

Our successful Spatial Design alumni include: Tom van Odijk & David Baars (TomDavid Architecten); Dennis Vedder; Edwin van de Velde; the duo Daniëlle Linscheer & Joyce Brouwer (known from Hostel/Atelier Ani & Haakien); and Ashley Govers (From Form, founder and partner).

Portfolio checklist

Are you …

  • talented in visual arts?
  • independent and responsible?
  • dedicated and motivated?
  • entrepreneurial?

Then visit one of our Open Days or Open Evenings – and bring your portfolio! – and apply for admission.


A selection of 10-15 works which were preceded by a creative process

For example: designs, objects, photos, films, games, animations, fashion (accessories), furniture, models, drawings, posters, campaigns, paintings, usable artifacts and sculptures. You can publish and present all of this in a neat traditional portfolio folder, but you can also use different methods: 3D work can be brought in a (cardboard) box, digital work can be presented on a laptop or tablet.

Please note: apart from these works, please show us some other things you created. Make a careful selection between the two. That way, we can assess to what extent you have an insight in your own qualities and your own work.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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