Crossmedia Design
English stream

The English stream Crossmedia Design is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary study, amalgamating the developments in digital media and communications.

  • The Graphic Design field has exploded in recent decades. Today’s designers use all forms of media and combinations of media; the boundaries between design disciplines are blurring, creating a need for designers who are familiar with the entire media landscape and want to blaze a trail through it. That is the basic premise behind the Crossmedia Design programme.
  • Crossmedia Design exposes you to all ways of creating images: photography, illustration, film, animation. And you will learn to combine image and typography for any platform – be it a book, an app or a channel, from a poster to an object or public space.
  • In the course of your studies, you will get an overall picture of all of the facets of design and work with your instructors to find your position in the professional field. The emphasis might be on interaction, photography, moving image, editing, 3D or any other focus you choose.
  • Throughout the programme, your personal growth and individual choices are the main priority, but always in the context of the design world as a whole.
  • And this approach works! We are constantly receiving glowing reviews from the studios where our students have done work placements: ‘These are the people we need.’ (Saatchi & Saatchi Germany) With comprehensive knowledge and skills, but also their own vision of the world.

Crossmedia Design programme is in Enschede. We are looking for discerning, communicative design students with analytical powers and artistic intuition.

Crossmedia Design is a four-year programme. The Fine Art, Moving Image and Crossmedia Design programmes are separated from the beginning, but at AKI the separation between art and design is not considered absolute. You can decide how autonomous or applied your work is; you have the option at any point during your studies to make crossovers of the disciplines—of art and design, 2D and 3D, or craft and concept.

In the second and third semesters, you will be introduced to all of the media, assimilating all the facets of design and forms of expression in a series of short, intensive exercises. The duration of your projects will increase in the third and fourth year of the programme, and you will increasingly be expected to determine, motivate and perform your own role: what do I want and how can I accomplish that? The school’s lectures and assignments are designed so that students can work from their own perspective.

The emphasis is on individual supervision, even in the class-based lessons. Starting in the second year, each student is assigned a personal mentor from among the instructors to guide his/her personal development in the best possible way.

All of our instructors are working professionals who teach at the academy once or twice a week, allowing for a continual interplay between theory and practice. The Crossmedia Design programme was launched in its present form in 2008 and is constantly being adapted to ongoing developments in the profession.

The AKI is part of the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, but also greatly values its autonomy as a small academy: Education has to be created on the work floor and stem from the initiative taken by instructors and students and be dictated as little as possible by established educational systems. The AKI is small but comprehensive, with workshops for metal, plastics, silk-screening, printing, ceramics, and woodworking. It has large format plotters, laser cutters, 3D printers, a fully equipped video, and photo studio and even an old-school darkroom. There are also artist studios and exhibition galleries. It is nearly perfect, but if a student still needs something else, we are happy to try and find a solution.

We expect all students to aspire to their own form of excellence and we encourage this by giving them a great deal of freedom, while at the same time preventing a lack of commitment; we expect passion and purposefulness from every student. The academy is a school, but it’s also a way of life. See also: This is the AKI.

The AKI is in the city of Enschede, far removed from the urban conurbation that is the Randstad. We think it’s a perfect location, well away from hectic city life, providing ample space for concentrating on your work. Plato described the academy as a walled garden, where you can hear the noise from outside but students and teachers can still focus on their work. Nestled in that garden, you are surrounded by possibilities, insights, and cultures – but only to the extent useful, since you have work to do.

An added benefit of Enschede is that the cost of living is cheaper here, which can easily save you 150 euros per month compared to other college towns. What’s more, Enschede has been generally considered the best college town for many years. Students also have the option of working together with students at the University of Technology, Saxion University and the Conservatory. See also: Enschede Innovates

We welcome students coming from most levels of secondary education to take an entrance exam. What we look at most is your motivation, individuality, and baggage. In certain cases, students may be enrolled in the second year of college. See also our Crossmedia Design Admission Procedure

Profile. Crossmedia Design is a programme closely attuned to developments in the designer profession (and preferably one step ahead of them). Because the boundaries between design disciplines continue to shift and blur, Crossmedia Design is a broad-based programme, in which you assimilate all facets of design, forms of expression and media. You will be challenged to master this quickly growing spectrum of possibilities in order to position yourself in the field. This requires knowledge, skill, and expertise, along with a professional attitude and a distinctive style.

Knowledge. Students in Crossmedia Design leave with a well-equipped tool kit: from typography to interaction design, from generating images (photography/film and illustration/animation) to editing, from concept development to software expertise, from print to social media. Theory and practice are presented as an integrated whole as much as possible, with the underlying theory being addressed as students are working on their projects. The products they make in the process include:

  • 2D (print): books, posters, folders…
  • 3D (spatial): exhibitions, signposting, public space…
  • 4D (time-based): films, animation, websites, apps…
  • 2-3-4D combinations: identity, ad campaigns, events, product development, games…

The underlying principle is that all media use the same (visual) elements: surface, form, colour, perspective, proportion, relation, context. This basic knowledge plays a prominent role in the first part of the programme and is applied in a wide range of media and manifestations.

Attitude. Independence and individuality are a critical part of the Crossmedia Design programme because anyone working in the tumultuous design world must be able to position themselves strongly. Students are challenged to envision, with the help of their instructors, what their focus in the professional field might be. Each student is assigned one of the instructors as their mentor. These mentors meet with the students once a month to discuss their personal progress and focus: what do you want and how can you accomplish that?

All instructors and mentors are working professionals who teach at the academy once or twice a week. The faculty is highly diverse, in terms of both their work domain (photography, typography, interaction, architecture, illustration, film, screenwriting, etc.) and their vision of the discipline and education in general. This is deliberate because we want to expose you to a broad spectrum of possibilities and visions.

First and foremost, the academy in Enschede is a community of designers, artists, professionals, and students. It has an open atmosphere, where everybody can learn from one another, not only within the Crossmedia Design programme but also in collaboration with Fine Art students and instructors. The academy is much more than a school; it’s a way of life. The curriculum is tailored to provide students with a solid foundation for making tough decisions about which profession to follow and the profession itself. Accordingly, it is broad but not generalized, offering a great degree of freedom, without allowing complacency. And it is always based on the students’ own initiative.

  • Design methods
  • Graphic Design / Typography
  • Photography / Film
  • Illustration / Animation / Motion Graphics
  • Spatial Design / Public Space
  • Interactive Media / Scenario
  • Art Theory

The programme comprises four years of study with specifically designed course loads, during which the above-listed subjects recur at different levels. Each academic year consists of two semesters, with an evaluation at the end of each. Read more