Imagining the Art School of the Future

Call for real or utopian prospects for tomorrow’s school of art

Deadline: 16 April 2012

On the occasion of its 300th anniversary, the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Art organises an international competition for art schools in and out of Europe under the auspices of ELIA.
Higher arts education is under pressure. Threatened by the current economic crisis and faced with a shifting institutional landscape, it has to live up to the challenge of new media and new technologies, and meet standards that are partly imposed upon it from a political level and the market, in an increasingly globalised context.

In recent years, the future of higher arts education has been hotly debated in publications, conferences and reflections. Art schools are changing, pedagogies are being reconsidered, the dominant models and ideals of higher arts education are subject to fundamental critique. This current crisis (if it is a crisis) creates a real or utopian space for new teaching standards, new ways of teaching art, new forms of belonging to a context, alternative institutional relationships, experimental projects, research, and new definitions of artistic success.

What does the art school of the future look like? How will it fit into the society as a teaching place, a place of artistic dynamics and of interaction with the environment and the history to which it belongs?

Each school of art embodies a heritage which it rebels against, in a constant re-invention of this heritage. This paradox is inherent in the exchange between generations and the education of tomorrow’s artistic talent. What, then, is a present-day artist? What could he/she become? According to which standards will the artist be educated and trained as an artist? How will the diversity of the profile and the mission of a school of Art which developed between pedagogy, ethic, research, manual and technological training and marketing evolve? Which interactions will take place with the environment surrounding the school? How to protect the school from the urge of consumer society towards mass production and merchandising if necessary? How can the quality demand be fulfilled while paying attention to the quantity demand and at the same time changing and breaking the rules?


Open to all higher education institutes linked to artistic creation in all disciplines: visual art, cinema, architecture, design, dance, music, theatre, and so on. Teachers and students as well as young graduates can take part individually and research teams can take part as a group. The project can be linked to any subject, be interdisciplinary and be put forward by one or more institutions.

Schools must apply as a group. No individual application will be accepted. Any school can apply even if not part of ELIA.

To Apply

Proposals should be sent to before
16 April 2012. See the instructions for submitting and submission guidelines. The submission guidelines are also available on the sidebar as a downloadable .pdf.

The selection will be made on 15 May.
Deadline for the submission of final projects is 1 October.

From these final projects, selected projects will be included in an exhibition and publication in Brussels, February 2013.

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