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Virginie Braud-Kaczorowski – Bachelor course leader: Foundation Year

Virginie Braud-Kaczorowski – Bachelor course leader: Foundation Year
Virginie Braud-Kaczorowski

What’s on the curriculum of the foundation year at L’École de design?

The first year at L’École de design is a standard program for all students wishing to access a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s degree course in design. The year focuses on acquiring basic design skills and learning to carry out design projects.

The one-year course helps develop students’ general knowledge (written and oral expression, English, art history, philosophy, film, photography, etc.) as well as teaching them to use visualization tools (using color and volume in drawing, visual art, graphic composition). The students are also introduced to the various design fields (Spatial, Product, Interaction, Pack and Graphic Design). In this first year, it’s important for them to master the basic concepts necessary to understand these different design professions and then to put them into practice in a wide range of design workshops which vary depending on the requirements of each module.

What are the school’s strengths?

There are several! Firstly, the students are supervised by a group of enthusiastic and fascinating staff. Many of them are design professionals.
There is also great cultural diversity: we welcome many students from all over the world which obviously encourages communication, open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity. Finally, the school promotes a project-based learning methodology. This is an innovative plus point for our students.

What are the differences between high school and the school’s methods?

At L’École de design, while the students are closely supervized by the teaching staff, they are also expected to work independently, as illustrated for example in their personal project. In this task, students are required to analyze and produce a piece of work on a theme of their choice. They keep a research notebook over the year illustrating the analyses carried out. At the end of the year, the student has to produce a personal piece of work (using whatever techniques they like: text, painting, drawing, video, performance, etc.) The aim here is to apply all the knowledge acquired during their year of study. The students are therefore at the center of their project. It’s up to them to make their own choices and be able to defend them.

Focus on the organization of project-led work, creative practice, etc.

To be a student at L’École de design, it is essential to be inquisitive, open-minded and creative. Whether it’s in visual art or in the more “traditional” subjects, first year students are exceptionally creative and have endless ideas. It’s not unusual to wander down a corridor surrounded by works of art each more weird and wonderful than the next. In this respect, their creativity knows no limits…

How is the year organized?

The first year consists of 25 weeks of lessons and 10 weeks of consolidation and synthesis. This period of synthesis is essential as it allows students to work on their individual project. It is also an opportunity for them to go to the cinema (we have a partnership with Le Cinématographe in Nantes and recommend students a selection of films on a given theme which constitutes a leitmotiv for their work) and to visit some of the iconic places in the City of Nantes (Le Corbusier’s La maison radieuse, the courts, etc.) We also organize visits to all kinds of exhibitions, depending on the cultural agenda.