La Cambre Ecole National Des Arts Visuels
La Cambre is one of Belgium’s leading schools of art and design. La Cambre was founded in 1927 by the architect and designer Henry van de Velde, the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuelsof La Cambre (ENSAV) has some 700 students spread across 17 departments: ceramics, animation, drawing, urban design, engraving and the printed image, painting, photography, sculpture, and an art restoration department. Its design departments include industrial and textile design, book and paper design (bookbinding), interior design, set design, fashion design, as well as two graphic sections – graphic and visual communication and typography.
Students attend several cross-disciplinary courses, either optional or compulsory, including digital art, live model, colour, video, body arts and performance, book art and illustration. As well as art training, they are taught theory and technical skills, both general and specialised, and are encouraged to go on work experience by taking part in the Erasmus student exchange programme, as artists’ assistants, and at arts centres, creative studios or with companies.
Courses are spread over five years and divided into two cycles: Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. The school also offers a post-graduate Agrégation – for students who want to embark on a teaching career – and prepares students for a PhD in arts co-organised with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). An extra-curricular “propaedeutic class” is on offer for students in their last year of secondary school who wish to embark on graduate studies of the arts.
La Cambre is a graduate and post-graduate school for the arts organised by the Brussels Wallonia Federation. The school is part of the Brussels “Academic pole” –the cluster of graduate study institutions by region– and the cross-disciplinary ARTes platform, which also includes the Brussels Royal Conservatory (music and theatre) and INSAS (cinema, theatre). It regularly engages in national and international partnerships - institutional, educational, artistic, socio-cultural, industrial or commercial.
The school occupies the historic site of the abbey of La Cambre in a pleasant area in the south of Brussels. In the 1980s, its premises expanded to two more sites nearby. The school has an outstanding library and a major archive collection that includes the graphic and photographic work of its founder Henry van de Velde. La Cambre also builds on its collection of work by students and teachers. The school also organises numerous public events (lectures and study days, exhibitions, fashion shows…) and publishes books and essays.
An unusual panoply of associations contribute to La Cambre’s dynamism and cultural vibrancy. They include Les Amis de La Cambre, the Atelier de production de La Cambre, La Cambre-Mode(s) and the Fonds Henry van de Velde. Since 2014, the Fonds des Amis de La Cambre pour l’international has been offering scholarships for students engaged in international projects.