The Glassdepartment offers a material-based study in the fine-arts, which encourages the students to experiment and to explore the limits of materiality. Our main focus is the individual artistic position of the student and the understanding of the required practical and theoretical expertise of being an artist.

We have a strong and unique position in the conceptual approach of glass as a sculptural material in contemporary art. Defying the traditions of Studio Glass, our students are not glass-artists, but identify with the processes of Fine Art.

We encourage our students to be explorative and innovative and to challenge the material by moving beyond the borders of this specific field. Besides sculpture and drawing, (combinations with) performance, video and installational work are frequent forms of expression. Technique is a tool, not a goal. Yet, basic skills are taught throughout the study, supporting the students to specialize in one or more techniques or media, if desired.

As the material glass is characterised by its far-reaching diversity, it is neither a discipline nor philosophy, but rather a very specific medium that can be applied in a multitude of shapes and form, in fine arts, design and architecture.

Students learn how to analytically and critically converse with their lecturers and fellow students. Mutual assistance and exchange of knowledge and ideas are essential.

The students work independently on individual projects. They are accompanied by their regular teachers and a changing group of guest lecturers. Students have classes in 'Reading and Writing’, philosophy and the basic techniques of glass-making.

A high degree of responsibility and autonomy is required to jointly maintain the studio, improve technical skills and at the same time meet the challenge of developing ideas and concepts.

Prior technical knowledge is not required.

Students who complete the programme can use the title of Bachelor of Art and Design (BA).

Courses offered

Autonomous individual work, art theory, concept, drawing. Hot and cold glass techniques (blowing, casting, grinding, sandblasting, mouldmaking, etc.), guest lecturers, studio visits, study tours.

The Glass Department emphasises is on the development of a personal artistic position, which will be articulated in a personal statement.

Students have their own studio space where they work independently. They meet with their mentors for talks every week. Occasionally students participate in projects like workshops, exhibitions, conferences etc.
Workshops with external artists or specialists are a significant part of the curriculum.
Due to an exclusive number of students, we have the benefit of a flexible approach to the requirements of the students and can offer personalized choices of guest teachers.


In addition to the Academy’s public presentations like Uncut, organized by the Rietveld, the Glassdepartment regularly organizes or participates in exhibitions in the Netherlands or abroad.
Individual projects involving a presentation or exhibition are explicitly supported.

The department tries to go on a studytrip every year. Usually this is accompanied by a workshop or another project on location or combined with major events such as the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Bienial or the Documenta in Kassel.

Study structure

first specialisation year

The first year focuses on exploring and experimenting with the techniques in order to obtain a broad impression of the possibilities. You will work independently from the start and will be intensively supervised by the specialist instructors. You will work on drawing, theory and other activities together with senior students. The assignment of projects will be determined on an individual basis.

Second specialisation year

Based on the experience and knowledge acquired in the first year, you are required to gain more depth in your work in the second year. You will be expected to conceive and execute projects independently and take a critical approach to your own work and that of others. You will also learn how to build a portfolio and you will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work. Foreign exchange programmes and internships are possible.

Third specialisation year

During the final year, you will focus on working on the final examination projects, part of which includes presenting yourself to a wide audience during the final examination exhibition. This also involves a written thesis on a subject related to your work.

Sunday March 20: Café Chercher at the Rietveld Academie's glass workshop
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Graduates Glass 2012 in Nationaal Glasmuseum
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In addition to the regular ‘reading and writing’ classes offered by the Glassdepartment, the Studium Generale is a standard part of our curriculum. The Studium Generale provides a general historical context concerning current themes in the contemporary international art world. The Studium Generale brings in prominent speakers from the Netherlands and abroad to give lectures. For more information, see Studium Generale

Work placement and exchange

In principle, students may take part in exchange programmes or undertake work placement during the second specialisation year, but this is not compulsory. Discuss this with your lecturers in time.

Milena Naef - Glass Department
2016-10-13 10:28:37
Gerrit Rietveld Academie Award

Weight Of Four Generations …

Sasha Herman

Xandra Bremers – Glas 2010
Laura Puska – Glas 2016

Myungsu Seo – Glas 2012

Students 1st year

Aleksi Marjamaa
Erno Takala

Students 2nd year

Katrien Van Liefferinge
Mirre Seur
Rasmus Leseberg
Selma Hamstra

Students 3rd year

Anton Sigurdsson
Judith Roux
Nathan Favot

Alumni 2015

Alumni 2013