Sandberg Insituut

Notes to Future Students — Student Ladipo Famodu & Tutor Anja Groten in conversation with Public Sandberg



The Design Department is a two-year Master’s programme that provides a collaborative environment for students to develop their projects and practices.

As the design discipline is increasingly hard to define, the Design Department reserves space and time for critical reflection on how to relate and contribute to—as well as problematize—contemporary design discourse.

The open structure of the curriculum allows the tutors and students to reflect on, and respond to, urgent topics and current discourses. Considering design as a practice of “making things public,” we attend to the politics inherent in design, through actively opening up, sharing, and reviewing design in progress. Modes of expression range from print work, digital interfaces, films and videos, network infrastructures, games, performances, writing, educational platforms, audio tours, and more.

Studying at the Design Department

We are looking for students from a variety of backgrounds such as visual and performing arts, spatial design and architecture, philosophy, and computer programming. More important than prior education is a curious and self-determined research attitude and an openness to transgress predetermined disciplinary boundaries and collaborate. The Design Department furthermore welcomes students that are underrepresented in the field of design, art, education, and beyond. Students of the Design Department apply to the programme with a project proposal, which might become the starting point for a deeper investigation of a subject matter or method. However, as students are expected to critically reflect on their own positions and assumptions, they often find themselves challenging and reformulating the very foundation of their practice. The department sees its role in stimulating and nurturing this process, supporting students in tackling their challenges and in opening up toward new discoveries. With some exceptions, regular classes are scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays are usually kept open for students to work independently and further develop their projects.

Next to individual guidance and collective meetings with tutors, the writing trajectory for both the first and the second year students accompanies the ongoing research and making process. The practice of writing helps students to work through obstacles, gain new insights, develop their own voices, and learn how to articulate their work. We furthermore plan a manifold of extracurricular activities throughout the year, such as field trips, visits to exhibitions, festivals, and conferences. Specifically invited artists, designers, and researchers contribute to the programme with their expertise by means of lectures, seminars, and workshops.