Facade Design Master's programme lays a broad foundation
‘The involvement of industry is crucial’
“It is not possible today to design a façade without having a good idea of the climate and the construction,” according to Tillmann Klein, who is responsible, along with Arie Bergsma, for the education programme. “Students of façade design will have to deal with these two other important aspects one way or another. That is why the International Façade Design Master’s Degree programme will see some changes starting next semester. The independent study programme will fall under the Construction studies and now shares some overlaps with the Climate Design and Structural Design Master’s programmes. That makes sense, because, in practice, those three aspects are closely related to one another,” he says.
As the three Master’s programmes come closer together, Klein wants to create more interest. “We see students from all around the world. The educational programmes in countries like Greece, China, Mexico and South Korea are often less technical in nature. Foreign students want to delve into the technology more. The Dutch students are still in the minority. After they have obtained their Bachelor’s degrees, they want to specialise. With a broader basis, they increase their chances in the job market,” Klein says. Between fifteen and twenty students choose the façade design Master’s degree programme every year. The other two Master’s programmes attract the same number, but combined. “So far, all of the students have been able to find jobs. Some of them start working with the large international consultancies, such as Arup in the United Kingdom. Others go to work for architects or for façade companies, for example. Employees who have completed an architecture degree know how to talk to designers.”
The international character and the intensive collaboration with the business sector are key in the programme. In addition to financial contributions, it is the link with the practice that is most important. “We propose the contents of the programme to industry and they give us feedback based on practical relevance and other aspects. The business partners also teach as guest lecturers. Those lectures can include subjects such as detailing façades, fire safety and the construction process. Along with them, we also organise excursions inside the Netherlands and abroad to striking buildings.” In addition to sector organisation VMRG and the Façade Construction Centre of Expertise (KCG), façade producer Scheldebouw/ Permasteelisa and Rollecate are also involved, as are system supplier Alcoa, DGMR consulting, and glass supplier Vetrotech Saint-Gobain. “The collaboration with universities in Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom also gets high priority. We organise conferences together and participate in exchange programmes.”