Textile Design, academic bachelor degree in Visual Arts

Photo: Tom De Visscher
Emely Van Impe

Textiles as a crossover between art and design

Do textiles fascinate you? Are you driven to create, and do you want to make the visual language of textiles your own? The Textile Design specialisation offers you a challenging environment for exploring the fascinating versatility of this medium. In your quest for experimentation, innovation and developing your own language, the artistic process always takes centre place.

The visual language of textiles

In this atelier, you will approach textiles from a broad perspective, providing space for crossovers between art and design. You will learn about the quality of textiles in order to create unique designs, images and products, in both two and three dimensions. The role of textile as a conveyor of cultural values and meanings is explored. In the context of future needs and challenges, we explore the constantly changing role of the designer and artist. In the bachelor course, you lay the foundations for developing into a unique, innovative designer and/or artist with your own voice.

During the first two years, you will gain insights into applied and autonomous textile design. Through assignments, you will explore the materials and ways in which you can visualise your ideas. Via research and experimentation you will discover a diversity of techniques, materials and their expressive qualities. You will develop your skills not only in traditional techniques (including weaving, knitting, screen printing and embroidery) but also in the latest techniques. You will learn how to develop concepts and achieve coherence between ideas, materials, form and content. In a playful manner, you will learn how to leave the beaten track and go in search of innovative frontiers.

In the third year, your own research path is central and your own interests form the guiding thread. You will use and deepen the knowledge and skills acquired in previous years in your artistic process. You will also complete an internship linked to your research. You will develop a personal vision and visual language in complete freedom and this will help you to decide which direction you want to take, in your master degree and in the future.

Dialogue and reflection

An open, critical outlook, in which doing and thinking influence each other, are essential. You will reflect on your work process and during working meetings, you will discuss your own work and that of others. A permanent dialogue about the language of textiles in all its forms is therefore an integral part of the working atmosphere of the atelier. 

Artistic melting pot

Insight is essential for developing an individual artistic identity and vision. That’s why your critical mind is sharpened in a series of theoretical subjects. In courses such as Visual Research, Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, Philosophy, Contemporary Design… you will understand the work of others and learn how to situate your own work in the context of the art world, past and present. Moreover, by working in close proximity with visual artists, graphic designers, illustrators, you will also gain insights into other art disciplines.

Major-minor

As of the second training phase, the major-minor system offers students the opportunity to define their own specific artistic practice. They can either continue their studies in a mono-disciplinary manner (major and minor in the same atelier) or choose a multidisciplinary route (major and minor in different ateliers).

Those choosing to stay within the same atelier for deep specialisation can choose from a wide range of atelier-related courses. Those choosing to broaden their practice by combining two different ateliers can follow a series of essential courses relating to each atelier. The major determines the whole bachelor training but in the third training phase students can, if relevant to their individual practice, combine their major with a new minor of their choice. Tutors always advise students on their study choices. 

Good ties with the professional field

To ensure our students are well prepared for life after their studies, we actively involve the profession in our curriculum. We undertake company visits and study trips, plus during the third year, our students follow an internship. Alongside this, our students regularly participate in real projects. In the past, these included designing an eye-catching exhibition stand for Bekaert Textiles Group, developing samples for Tasibel and in 2010, taking part in TEXTILES at the M KHA, Antwerp. Our students are currently working on a project with Fibertex. Frequent extracurricular presentations are also a regular fixture on the programme.

Experiment in TextielLab

Each year, third year students spend one week working in the TextielLab at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, the Netherlands. This is a unique opportunity for students to work with state-of-the-art computerised textile machines and learn how to prepare their designs for industrial production. Participating in the European Textile Trainee Project at the TextielMuseum also offers our students a unique opportunity to work in an environment of experimentation and innovation. In addition, they get to know other European textile students and enjoy an internship at a renowned textile company in Como, Italy.

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