BACHELOR JEWELLERY DESIGN
The Jewellery Design Department of St Lucas University College of Art and Design Antwerp approaches jewellery from the perspective of the relation between the individual and the object. Jewels are not only worn for their decorative qualities, but also express how people give shape to their lives. A jewel can function as a social symbol, as an expression of human vanity, as a repository of personal memories, or as an artistic means for the maker.
The department pays close attention to jewellery’s underlying purposes and explores their characteristics. By explicitly relating the discipline to social sciences like sociology, theology, material anthropology or ‘design cultures’, students learn how to establish connections between jewellery and current trends in science, economics, culture and society.
A complex and fast-changing world needs people that can handle creative processes. To be able to meet this complexity, it is necessary to be independent, to formulate your own positions and remain true to yourself. The department is well aware of this reality and that is why it focuses heavily on the development of the students’ identity.
We not only pass on an attitude of responsibility and an inquiring mentality to students, but we also teach them to trust their instincts. The department believes it is important
to stimulate concentration and creativity by means of physical exercises. Movement sharpens the individual’s attention and awareness and as a result, new, unexpected images can almost literally be ‘experienced’. Both the force of intuition and the conscious mobilization of our bodily energy make it possible to open up other, deeper layers of the imagination. The introduction of body and meditation exercises is not only new for the department, but is also exceptional within visual arts education.
For students to be able to respond appropriately to the issues of our times, the department will confront them with the various facets of the discipline in its entirety.
The curriculum is intentionally thematic: a team of permanent lecturers determines the content and organization of the curriculum. Several visiting lecturers are also involved in each project, whether practitioners or theorists. Through discussion and dialogue, these lecturers stimulate the students’ learning process; they teach them how to connect theory and practice, thanks to which students literally acquire the theory ‘in their fingers’.
Each project starts out from a specific context. That can be a target group or a social phenomenon, a collaboration with companies or interaction with other disciplines, or it can proceed from the functional or inherent aspects of jewels. Acquiring new techniques and handling different materials are also part of a project. Technique and material are indissolubly linked to image and content. Making becomes thinking. In this way students also explore technical aspects from the perspective of content, and learn in a short time how to generate ideas and how to realize them.
Students carefully document important stages in the work process by making use of various media such as photography and film. The presentation and restoration of works are developed at length in the conclusion of the project.
Thanks to this thematic methodology, students very naturally link their own design process to different work methods and research strategies. It ultimately involves a ‘total experience’ composed of both reflection and intuition. The training imparts different frameworks, but the student is free to choose. An academic training implies that students find their own criteria and can work independently. This helps develop an open attitude thanks to which graduates can work with others and find their own way in the world.
Head of the Jewellery Design Department
"Classes in the Jewellery Design Department are very free and open, and you can try out anything that crosses your mind. There really are no limits. You just have to make things and that can be anything. They teach you how to take a broader view on the material and form and content, and especially that content is very important."
Jelissa Alfaro Ponce — BA3 — Jewellery Design