KABK’s first Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme was a success

During the first week of October, students from the Bachelor Interior Architecture and Furniture Design had the pleasure of hosting KABK’s very first Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme: Water Trilogy- FLOOD. Students from three partner universities were able to meet up both online and physically to work together on the theme of water.

We welcomed both students and staff members from Berlin University of the Arts, and Iceland University of the Arts. Blended Intensive Programmes are new short, intensive programmes funded by the new Erasmus+ programme that use innovative ways of learning and teaching, including the use of online cooperation. At the end of the project, students get a grade for their assignment and receive EC’s.

The main topic during this week of exchange is the Netherlands’ relationship with water, specifically with the North Sea. How do we produce meaning about/on/with the sea? What is the sea? Where is it? Is it idyllic, dangerous, profitable, romantic? Imaginations and relationships about and with the sea are and have been dominated by a human-centered perspective. How could the sea challenge our thinking, our perspective? What do you share with the sea, how are we part of the sea? What would it mean to take the perspective of a specific element, plant, animal that is an inhabitant of the sea, how could it change our relationship with the sea.

Nienke Sybrandy and Maarten Kolk (Tutors IA & FD) created an inspiring educational programme for the week. The programme kicked off with an online meeting a couple of weeks before the physical week. During that meeting, mixed groups were made and students from each group got to know each other. The main assignments were discussed and students were briefed about the activities that would take place during the physical week here in The Hague.

Nienke says: “We believe that each of the three cities that take part in this exchange programme has its own way of connecting to natural waters, due to the geographical location and cultural DNA. The way we interact, use and deal with water is reflected in our landscape. What influence does the natural water have on the way we design our natural and urban landscape? What joy does it give us and which problems is it causing. What are the differences and similarities in that between Reykjavik, Berlin and the Hague? Do we have a durable relationship with our natural waters? If not how can we improve it? Can we learn from each other’s way of dealing with water? And how can we as designers contribute to this topic?”

The students experienced the week as a real highlight, as indicated by the positive responses after returning home. Below a few testimonies from some of the exchange students:

“It was great to learn and experience other ways of approaching an assignment during group work. It definitely added new perspectives for me as a designer on the relationship towards ‘nature’ “.

“It was great to work with a diverse group. These projects show that you can do a learn a lot in a short period of time and that our relationship to the sea is very different and in many places everything is manmade and the nature far away.”

The organisation of this project was done in cooperation between IA & FD and the International Affairs office.

Want to know more about Blended Intensive Programmes? Contact Iggy (International Affairs office) at exchange@kabk.nl