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Graduation project 'Coexist' | Nynke Koster, Interior Architecture & Furniture Design 2013, Winner Department Award

Image: Graduation project 'Coexist' | Nynke Koster, Interior Architecture & Furniture Design 2013, Winner Department Award

Learning by Doing: Empirical Creative Education and Training


The underlying educational emphasis is on experimentation and research. The core educational goal is to discover possibilities and personal potential. Central to the KABK Bachelor programme in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design is striking the right balance between empirical and conceptual education.: abstract thought versus the pragmatic process in which it is embedded. The programme encourages students to develop an inquisitive, autonomous design attitude that generates unexpected, surprising results and visions, making the seemingly impossible possible.


Learning by doing. The programme’s strong focus on personal, individual positioning and the identity of its designers is of central importance from a professional perspective. Considerable importance is attached to both the working process and the student’s individual approach. Designers with the degree of Bachelor of Design will be able to effortlessly handle any project using their own unique approach, keeping in touch with the rapidly transforming living environment of the 21st century.


Characteristic for the curriculum is the tension between the development of the student’s design personality (learning to design on an individual basis), preparing students to meet professional requirements, as specified by the discipline and the profession, and their contribution to social design projects within contemporary reality and the cultural context.

The new Bachelor curriculum centres on the motto ‘Learning by Doing: Empirical-Creative Education and Training’, understood as an integrative activity. Courses are offered in an integrated, supportive and supplementary way, in line with developments in the core subject matter of the curriculum.

Dialogue and interaction are keywords in the educational approach. Students work in small teams. The workshop context encourages students to exchange, as well as supplement and confront each other. Social interaction and collaboration are of central importance.

Development of students’ empathetic capacity is an important point of attention: this refers to empathy in relation to users, target groups, society and contemporary issues. Students are also required to reflect on their attitudes, personal responsibilities and independent functioning within the departmental team. Students progress not just by completing assignments in a satisfactory manner and meeting the expectations of their tutors; they must also create a flow in which they are able to develop themselves.

Each exercise demands a specific approach and must be related to specific issues. This makes the curriculum versatile and adaptable to the unpredictable dynamics of contemporary reality.

Interior versus Furniture

In the second year, students choose either the specialisation in Interior Architecture or the track in Furniture Design. The courses within the domain of design are subject-specific and tailored to the selected discipline. The remaining curriculum is aimed at students of both Interior Architecture and Furniture Design.

Final qualifications Interior Architecture and Furniture Design

Graduates of Interior Architecture or Furniture Design are well-rounded designers, each with a unique, personal approach and attitude towards design. They are empathetic designers and good observers, with strong conceptual and empirical foundations. They are designers who can approach any conceivable spatial project with an open mind. In order to participate in the final examination, students must meet the following final qualifications:

  • Students are able to develop and elaborate an innovative concept into a distinctive image, product, means of communication or spatial design that can be used in a meaningful way within a given context (creative capacity)
  • Students are able to consider, analyse, explain and assess their own work and that of others, and are capable of thinking through the outcomes for the benefit of their work (capacity for critical reflection)
  • Students are able to further broaden and deepen their vision, work and working methods in a process of continuous inquiry, thereby contributing to their discipline and to society (capacity for growth and communication) 
  • Students are able to establish an inspiring and functional working situation, in addition to organising their research, work and practice (entrepreneurial and organisational capacity) 
  • Students are able to present their vision, research and work in a convincing manner, and engage in dialogue about it with clients and other stakeholders (communicative capacity) 
  • Students are able to relate their identity as a designer to the artistic and social context (environmental orientation) 
  • Students are capable of making an independent contribution to a joint product or process (capacity for collaboration) You can find a complete overview of the competencies for each programme year and of the final qualifications of the IAFD design programmes at the end of this chapter.


Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Interior Architecture or Furniture Design.

Post-graduate studies

After receiving their Bachelor’s degree, graduates can enrol in a master's programme or another post-graduate programme at an art academy, such as an Academy of Architecture.

At the Royal Academy of Art, graduates can choose to continue their studies at the Master Interior Architecture INSIDE. For more information on the admission procedure please visit:

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Last updated: 2017-03-28

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