Programme
1
Overview

The curriculum is structured to support participants in creating and cultivating an autonomous* practice that they will go on to sustain well beyond the two-year duration of the programme. The curriculum seeks to support the development of this practice through a combination of individual and collective experiences, both within the programme and through engagement with external partners, emphasizing a values-based understanding of the world. The programme takes shape as a learning community where each participant contributes their own research objectives and integrated fashion practice. Mentors, facilitators and participants exchange knowledge, skills, competencies and mutual support. We learn by doing and are inspired by others through collective dialogue and reflection.

The programme is rooted in Arnhem and is connected to partners nationally and internationally. A dedicated team of mentors supports participants in creating a sequence of Immersive Learning Experiences in diverse localities, communities and fields of practice. Compassionate Communication is offered as the foundational practice within the curriculum.

The values that the programme actively upholds are care, trust, learning, growth, participation, autonomy, communication, mutuality and community.

The programme is committed to developing the following research areas:

  • Ecosystems – With an awareness of our interdependence, how do we create our actions and activities to be of benefit to others?
  • Self-Expression – How do we engage the lived experience of our identity formation as a powerful tool to question and lighten our cultural, social and economic conditioning?
  • Community – Can we activate our skills and competencies to contribute to the well-being and joy of others and ourselves?
  • Beauty – How do we, through material practices, individually and collectively ritualize and give expression to a sensuous and intuitive experience of the world?
2
Course

The course is distributed over four semesters during a two-year period.

Participants spend their first semester in Arnhem refining their research proposal, clarifying their learning objectives and acquiring practical tools in support of manifesting their practice. In this period participants prepare for their Immersive Learning Experiences and engage in a collaborative learning approach to Compassionate Communication and Community Engagement.

In the first semester, the programme hosts a series of public lectures and workshops curated to provide an overview of contemporary thought and practices concerning our collective condition. The lecture series and the Reading Group stimulate reflection and dialogue, generating perspectives for the development of more conscientious and joyful practices.

In subsequent semesters participants engage in 10 to 12-week Immersive Learning Experiences. Six weeks of the semester are dedicated to classes and mentoring in Arnhem, in support of integrating experiences and facilitating further growth. Each semester closes with a 10-day period in which participants present their research and practice to internal and external audiences in the Netherlands.

2.1
Compassionate Communication — Value Based Learning

Compassionate Communication is a required core practice in the programme. Awareness of our basic human needs and the values that we share will assist us by providing a holistic perspective through which we learn to direct and develop our life activities and our creative practice.

Compassionate Communication begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies–whether verbal or physical–are learned behaviours both taught and supported by the prevailing culture. Compassionate Communication assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs and that each of our actions forms a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. Through a series of intensives and practice groups, participants will gain first-hand experience practising and developing skills that will enable greater joy, self-connection and connection with others in their day-to-day life and their creative practice.

2.2
Fashion Practice

The participant’s creative practice is central to the programme. A dedicated team of mentors supports participants in creating and cultivating an autonomous practice that they will go on to sustain well beyond the two-year duration of the programme. In weekly meetings with their mentors and peers, participants explore methodological approaches for developing their practice and intuitive and authentic strategies to meet their learning objectives. Participants are challenged to learn by doing and are encouraged to take a systems thinking approach to their practice. This asks participants to consider every aspect of their practice with great creativity. Their research process, their tools and materials, their engagement with others and the further outcomes of their practice become an expression of the values that they want to see manifested in the world. An important aspect of Fashion Practice is the Immersive Learning Experience.

2.3
Immersive Learning Experience

The programme embraces an immersive and holistic approach to learning. Working with mentors, participants curate a series of short and long-term Immersive Learning Experiences with external partners to support their research. Through this, participants explore practices, acquire skills and knowledge, form partnerships and grow supportive and mutually beneficial communities.

2.4
Practice Plan

How do I manifest the needs and the values that I want to support in my life?

The Practice Plan course directly supports the creative practice of the participant by offering practical and hands-on tools from a holistic perspective. By connecting to their needs and values, the participant will develop effective strategies for time management, budgeting and identifying and attracting resources. They will learn how to create joyful and meaningful collaborations and how to master their process in such a way that it supports self-care, self-connection, well-being and happiness. The participant will practice their observation and self-reflection skills and will learn to identify and address obstacles while embracing unexpected insights and opportunities that emerge from the practice of becoming aware.

2.5
Community Engagement

Since being is always ‘being with’, in whatever situation we find ourselves in we engage with ‘others’. Sometimes ‘others’ are our best friends and our family members. Sometimes ‘others’ have entirely different value systems and cultural backgrounds to our own. We are a community of others.

Participants take part in a series of intensive workshops and classes focusing on community engagement, to grow awareness around how we engage with others and to encourage a reflective approach to immersive learning. We will learn in playful ways about accessing and exiting communities, power dynamics, conflict resolution, consensus decision making and non-verbal communication techniques. How can we skilfully create an environment of care, trust, respect and mutuality in any situation?

2.6
Reading Group

The Reading Group meets once a week for three hours. Participants decide on the text(s) that the group will read. They also create their own structure, guidelines and agreements for the group. These are set by week two of the semester and may concern the reading list, the way the reading list is chosen, the outcomes of the work together, the type of facilitation and the participants’ participation, amongst other things. The Reading Group operates on consensus: everyone in the group abides by its agreements. The agreements are evaluated on a regular basis and can only be adjusted when the group is unanimous. The facilitator supports the group in this process, but by no means intervenes.

2.7
Community Participation

Participants are free to choose how they fulfil the Community Participation requirement. Activities might include taking elective classes in other programmes, initiating classes to teach, contributing time to assisting the programme and or volunteer work in local communities.

3
Year 1
3.1
Semester 1
  • Self-Connection and Creating Common Ground

 

  • Fashion Practice – individual practice + weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Practice Plan I – weekly class + bi-weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Mutual Mentoring Group – weekly meeting
  • Compassionate Communication I – weekly class
  • Reading Group – weekly meeting
  • Community Engagement I – 5-day workshop intensive
  • Community Engagement II – 5-day workshop intensive
  • Community Participation – elective space

 

  • Public Lecture and Workshop – over the course of the semester four guest practitioners are invited to give an evening lecture and a one-day workshop.
  • Book Sprint – a two-week collaborative writing process.
3.2
Semester 2
  • Immersive Learning Experience I

 

The first six weeks of the semester are spent in Arnhem. Participants then go on to engage in a 10 to 12-week Immersive Learning Experience(s) of their choice. The semester closes with a 10-day period in which participants present their research and practice to internal and external audiences in the Netherlands.

 

Weeks 1-6

  • Fashion Practice – individual practice + weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Practice Plan II – weekly class + bi-weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Mutual Mentoring Group – weekly meeting
  • Compassionate Communication II – weekly class
  • Reading Group – weekly meeting
  • Community Engagement III – weekly class
  • Community Participation – elective space

 

During the 10-week Immersive Learning Experience, participants have a weekly exchange with their Fashion Practice mentor and a bi-weekly meeting with their Practice Plan mentor.

The Community Participation elective can be fulfilled at any time during the semester.

4
Year 2
4.1
Semester 3
  • Immersive Learning Experience II

 

Participants spend seven consecutive weeks in Arnhem following their second Immersive Learning Experience and before commencing their third.

 

Week 7-13

  • Fashion Practice – individual practice + weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Practice Plan III – weekly class + bi-weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Mutual Mentoring Group – weekly meeting
  • Compassionate Communication III – weekly class
  • Reading Group – weekly meeting
  • Community Engagement IV – weekly class
  • Community Participation – elective space

 

During the Immersive Learning Experience, the participants have a weekly exchange with their Fashion Practice mentor and a bi-weekly meeting with their Practice Plan mentor.

The Community Participation elective can be fulfilled at any time during the semester.

4.2
Semester 4
  • Immersive Learning Experience III

 

Participants spend seven consecutive weeks in Arnhem following their third Immersive Learning Experience. The semester closes with a two-week period in which participants present their research and practice to internal and external audiences in the Netherlands.

 

Week 7-13

  • Fashion Practice – individual practice + weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Practice Plan IV – weekly class + bi-weekly one-on-one mentoring
  • Mutual Mentoring Group – weekly meeting
  • Compassionate Communication IV – weekly class
  • Reading Group – weekly meeting
  • Community Engagement V – weekly class
  • Community Participation – elective space

 

During the Immersive Learning Experience(s) the participants have weekly exchanges with their Fashion Practice mentor and a bi-weekly meeting with their Practice Plan mentor.

The Community Participation elective can be fulfilled at any time during the semester.