Go to the main content Arrow right icon
Home Course
Menu Design Art Technology

Course

Course

The Design Art Technology course builds you as a designer with your own signature who shapes the relationship between humankind and digital culture. This will help you find your own place in the international field of interaction design and media arts.  

The course pays constant attention to it: 

  • the autonomous (are you able to express your own fascination in a research assignment, and are you capable of reflection?)
  • the applied (the reality of your field: where do you end up, can you work with a client and can you initiate that yourself?)  

Our students – about 45 in total – come from all over the world. Because of the small scale there is an atmosphere of great mutual involvement and you learn from each other. At the same time, the international team of teachers, the projects with external partners, working with students from other courses and an internship abroad ensure that you adopt an outward outlook.

Structure of the course

  • In the first year you build a basis of knowledge and skills. That is hard work: you will be at the academy from Monday to Friday. You learn to program and look at shape/colour/composition. You design an object that produces electronically driven music. You learn to design with algorithms and with software programs such as Unity. In addition to practical lessons, you study theory subjects such as art history and design methods, and you immerse yourself in basic ideas about interaction.  

    In the first year you can also apply for the Honours Programme, to supplement the theoretical programme of your own bachelor course.

  • The second year is all about the question of: What can I do with everything I learned in the first year and how do I relate to it? Through assignments that invite research and experimentation, you push back the boundaries of human-computer interaction and the ways people communicate with each other. For example, you design podcasts and immerse yourself in interactive storytelling and games. In addition, as in the first year, you will take classroom lessons, such as the subject of critical engineering, in which you will investigate the intricacies of the Internet and how you can ensure that the computer works for you by writing scripts.  
    In an individual project with a student from another art discipline (Dance or Creative Writing), you seek partnerships and learn from each other’s disciplines.

  • From the third year on, you will be looking more and more emphatically for your own signature. What interests me? What do I want? What are my skills? What is my position there? You will be taught subjects such as Media Archaeology, Information Spaces and Digital Art and Design with Machines (where you learn to apply machine learning and concepts of Artificial Intelligence). In addition, you will have plenty of room to immerse yourself in a subject and direction of your choice, be it in the technical field or about socio-political issues or popular visual culture. In the Transition project, you practise your multidisciplinary approach to problems that are difficult to solve and work on your communication skills.  

  • In the fourth year you specialise in a direction of your choice. This individual profile is reflected in your thesis, research assignment and practical assignment. A three-month internship is part of your specialisation.  

    All students of the Bachelor of Design Art Technology show their work at the ArtEZ finals in Arnhem. A visit to these final exam exhibitions is highly recommended if you are considering the course. 

What do you learn in the Design Art Technology course? 

The Bachelor of Design Art Technology has originated from the discipline of interaction design. But where interaction design focuses on designing for and through computers, Design Art Technology also teaches you to think critically about what you design. You learn to question the systems underlying the technology. Because it is not only about the design itself, but also about how you use it in society, in relation to the environment.  

Consider the thousand-year-old Asian board game Go. This game was long considered unbeatable by computers. Nevertheless, a team of computer scientists eventually defeated the Go champion. One of these scientists then realised that they might have put an end to a very ancient culture. What is the interaction between technology and society? That question is central to the study. 

  

Students of Design Art Technology are enormously self-initiating and come up with very original work. 

NXP SEMICONDUCTORS, CLIENT 

 

Practice 

Of course you do not learn to think critically only. Design and making are a key component of the course. The work you design ranges from print media to experimental software programs. Technology, concept and design are recurring elements in every creation assignment and every artistic research project. We teach you all the necessary skills, such as programming, image and sound editing, and digital design. In order to learn to apply these skills and develop an entrepreneurial attitude, you do practical assignments and an internship, and take part in various projects. You will be given every opportunity to develop your own profile and signature based on your own interests and skills.  

Theory 

Not until you understand the underlying principles of interaction and data visualisation and have a historical awareness of your field of expertise will you see the possibilities to toy with this in design processes. That is why we also offer you a solid theoretical foundation during the course through subjects such as media archaeology, media theory, art and cultural history, network culture and digital aesthetics.   

Multidisciplinary 

The Design Art Technology course at ArtEZ in Arnhem is one of a large number of other art courses in the field of Art & Design, Theatre & Dance and Music, offering excellent opportunities for cooperation and enrichment. In the third year, for example, there is a project together with the Product Design course and you can easily collaborate with academy of music students in the field of sound design. Moreover, you will also work with all kinds of other disciplines in external projects at companies and during the fourth-year internship.  

Projects, internships and study trips

Projects 

  • Hackathon 
    Every year we organise a two-day Hackathon. After an introduction to working with microelectronics, you repurpose a recycled electronic device in this project. The project is based on the principle “if you can’t open it, you don’t own it”. The Hackathon is overseen by artists such as experimental designer Frank Kolkman, creative coder/tech artist Rob Bothof and Ralf Becker of BECKER CREATIVE. 



  • Transition
    Transition is a collaborative project in the first semester of the third year with Product Design students. In the project our students learn to work better with physical media, while the Product Design students are challenged to think more experimentally and not shy away from the exotic.  
  • Solidarity 
    In the Solidarity course you investigate the social effects of technology under the leadership of Juha van ‘t Zelfde. How can the internet be used and seen as a political and creative space? Cooperation and the development of solidarity and collectivism are central to this. In this project you work together on a topical theme, such as loneliness.  
     
  • Behind The Net 
    The underlying culture and principles of the internet are central to the Behind The Net project month. Together we go to places where that is apparent; places that show you how people store data, stories and culture, and how they used to do this in the past.  
     
  • External projects  
    In the second part of the study you participate in projects with external partners, such as study trips, Philips Design and NXP (producer of microchips). Here you learn to convey your ideas and test them against reality.   

Internships 


The field of digital design and media art is an international discipline. As such, you will spend three months abroad as an intern at a design agency, artist or an institute such as Glithero, United Visual Artists or Clever°Franke. This is part of the fourth year. This internship abroad is not only valuable from a professional point of view, but also forms you and is a first step in the network you want to enter. Prior to the internship you compile a portfolio and write a motivation letter.  
Afterwards you share your experiences during a return afternoon with the students from the entire course. On this afternoon alumni also talk about their professional practice.  

Study trips 


We organise several study trips, as part of the project Behind The Net but also otherwise. For example, in 2019 our students attended a workshop week at the Kyoto Design Lab in Japan, together with Product Design students, and went on study trips to places including Berlin, London, Helsinki, Tallin and New York – places where art and technology are both fundamentally rooted.  

Designer or autonomous artist 

In the third and fourth year, you work actively on developing an entrepreneurial attitude – partly by following various courses about it, partly in practice. For example, during a collaborative project in the third year you become acquainted with a design agency or commercial company. And in the fourth year, during your internship and a practical assignment for an external party, you immerse yourself in everything a business entails.  

Course supervision 

Throughout your studies, you receive individual guidance from a mentor and an academic career advisor. This guidance is focused on your learning process and on discovering in which direction you want to develop.  

Practical matters concerning the study are discussed in monthly meetings between the class representatives of years 1 to 4 and the course administrator.   

Facilities 

Our course has its own software and hardware lab, which is unique in the Netherlands. In this workshop you work with microelectronics under supervision.   

Studying in Arnhem 

  • You can find more information about studying in Arnhem here