ESSEN
TIAL
INFO

GENERAL

The Vakalo College is the first school of Applied Arts in Greece to offer programmes of study at tertiary level. Founded in 1958, with a history of 60 successful years, it has established a reputation as the foremost design education institution in Greece, and among the top colleges internationally.


MISSION

Our mission is to provide a thorough education to form designers with a high level of understanding, creativity and technical skill, capable of distinguishing themselves in the field of their chosen career.
The Vakalo College has always fostered a spirit of design education imbued with humanist values as well as the creative possibilities of current digital technology. All of our staff is committed to striving hard to counter adverse economic conditions by developing programmes that offer not only good employment prospects but also, and more importantly, a solid learning background for a sustained edge in the market.


History

The Vakalo College has consistently held a top position in the field of design education in Greece throughout its almost 60 years of operation, and enjoys a good name both at home and abroad.
It takes pride in being the school that first introduced design programmes of study in this country at tertiary level education, in 1958, based on both the local and international experience of its founders, and in successfully maintaining its status as a leader in art and design education. Its long line of alumni, with distinguished careers both in Greece and overseas, bears testimony to the school’s contribution to contemporary design culture.


STRATEGY 2017-20

The Vakalo College is committed to closely follow developments in technology, market tendencies, and education methods and techniques in further planning its programmes, and to uphold its good name built over six decades, by continuing to provide high quality teaching, facilities, resources and support to students.
It will seek to broaden its portfolio to expand its outreach to potential international audiences through courses taught in English exploring art and design in the context of Greek culture, ancient and modern, as well that of current debates such as ecology and sustainability, addressed to students of art and design schools abroad.
You can view a short presentation and see Vakalo’s strategy for 2017-20 here.


Courses
Offered

The Vakalo College currently offers undergraduate courses in Graphic Design, Interior Design and Digital Design, as well post-graduate courses in Visual Communication and Architectural Design. The main language of instruction is Greek (students not fluent in Greek may submit written in English, while tutorials in such cases may also be provided in English). The Vakalo also offers, in Greek language, shorts courses in the context of Lifelong Learning Schemes in Visual Arts, Stage Design, Photography, Digital Design, and Comics.

Undergraduate studies:
> BA (Hons) Design (Graphic Design)
> BA (Hons) Design (Interior Design)
> BA (Hons) Design (Digital Design)

The duration of the programme is three years and full-time attendance is expected over the 30-hour per week programme, including lectures and studio work. During the first year all students pursue a common curriculum comprising five interwoven modules of Graphic Design, Interior Design, Fine Arts, Digital Design and Cultural Studies subjects. In the second year each student selects a specialised curriculum of either Graphic, Interior or Digital Design, which is followed through to the end of the course. 

The programme has been validated by the University of Derby (UK), since 1996. You can read the BA (Hons) Design Programme Specification, here.

Postgraduate studies:
> MA Architectural Design (Interior Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Landscape Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Spatial Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Theatre Design)
> MA Architectural Design Studies
> MA Visual Communication (Graphic Design)
> MA Visual Communication (Illustration & Book Design)
> MA Visual Communication (Typography)
> MA Visual Communication (Web Design)
> MA Visual Communication Studies

Following the award of the BA (Hons.) degree students may pursue further studies at post-graduate level abroad, or enrol in one of the one-year (full-time) or two years (part-time) MA programmes offered by the Vakalo College in the areas of Visual Communication and Architectural Design. Applications by graduates of other institutions are also welcome.

The programmes are delivered as two separate courses that share the same philosophy and structure. More specifically the core elements of the programme, including generic content and learning outcomes, teaching and learning strategies, levels of achievement and assessment methods are identical. The difference is only in the topics treated relevant to each specialisation course.

The programme has been validated by the University of Derby (UK), since 2000. 
You can read the MA Visual Communication Programme Specification, here and the MA Architectural Design Programme Specification, here.

 


Faci-
lities

The College operates in its privately owned facilities in the area of Lycabettus hill in central Athens (26 L. Katsoni Street) comprising (i) a main specially designed six-storey building, which houses studios, computer labs, lecture rooms, auditorium,  library, reading room, cinema, administration offices, exhibition gallery, cafeteria and a small atrium; (ii) specially equipped facilities including a printing and engraving studio with an adjacent workshop supporting three-dimensional constructions and architectural scale modelling, and (iii) computer labs. 
The main annex has been included to the Open House Athens guided tour since 2015, as one of the 90 buildings in Athens which have architectural value.


The
BA (Hons)
Course

The named awards for each specialisation are BA (Hons) Design (Graphic Design), BA (Hons) Design (Interior Design) and BA (Hons) Design (Digital Design).

STAGE 1 / FIRST YEAR / HE LEVEL 4
COMMON CURRICULUM
In the first year all students follow a common curriculum.
The first year comprises four single modules of 20 credits each, and one double module of 40 credits, as follows:
> Art I (40 credits)
> Theory I (20 credits)
> Graphic Design I (20 credits)
> Interior Design I (20 credits)
> Digital Design I (20 credits)

Each module contains a set of interlinked objectives to enable students to gain knowledge, understanding and a thorough grounding in a range of skills, while preparing them for their specialisation in Stages 2 and 3.
The First Year includes the following modules and areas of studies:

Art I (40 credits)

> Free Hand Drawing
Model and memory drawing. Studies on proportions, forms and volumes. Distribution of light and shade. Analysis and stylisation of forms into simple geometric figures.
> Basic Course in Art and Design (Elements of Visual Perception)
Elements of Visual Perception and Communication. Analysis and composition of three-dimensional elements into surfaces and volumes. Colour Theory and Practice.
> Experimental Drawing
Various techniques of picture rendering. Figure and colour variations. Image transformations. Lino-cut prints. Creative visual composition experiments.

Theory I (20 credits)
> History of Art I
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 1: from Palaeolithic art to Roman times.
> Cultural History I
Overview of traditional and major non-European cultures. Introduction to the concepts of development and evolution. Theory of Visual Perception. Elements and meaning of visual language.

Graphic Design I (20 credits)
> Elements of Graphic Design
Investigation of with the basic graphic design concepts and the field of graphic design tasks. Methods of drawing and synthetic approach to basic lettering types. Introductory seminars to elements of Photography.

Interior Design I (20 credits)
> Elements of Architecture (Architectural and retail design)
Structure of Space. Geometry, functional and morphological parameters, structural elements, methods, construction concepts. Methodology for the investigation of Architectural questions. Architectural Drawing.

Digital Design I (20 credits)
>Introduction to the use of digital equipment. Office applications and Adobe Photoshop image processing.
>Introduction to digital environment. Contextual/theoretical issues on digital culture.

STAGE 2 AND 3/ SECOND AND THIRD YEAR / HE LEVELS 5 AND 6
In the second year of studies, students elect a specialisation pathway of either Graphic, Interior or Digital Design, which they follow through the third year.


Graphic
Design
(BA)

SECOND YEAR
The Second Year, or Stage 2, on the Graphic Design Pathway comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Art II (20 credits)
> Theory II (20 credits)
> Graphic Applications I (40 credits)
> Graphic Design II (20 credits)
> Digital Design I (20 credits)

Art II (20 credits)
> Visual Arts
Model and memory drawing. Basic elements of synthesis and function of colour. Sketching and outdoor colour studies. Life-classes: sketches and studies in nude and body movement.
>Sculptural Construction
Stereometric elements; Work on space and volume; Three-dimensional construction; Micro-sculpture.

Theory II (20 credits)
> History of Art II
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 2: From medieval art to the 18th century.
> Cultural History II
Current issues. Debates on social and historical contexts. History of design-related cultural topics.
> History & Theory of Design I
Development and evolution of writing systems. The history of the Greek and Roman alphabets. Cartography. Signs and emblems (heraldry). Introduction to semiology and linguistics. Contemporary visual language.
> Design Thinking 
Introduction to the concept of user experience. Methods and tools to resolve design problems. Concept development, planning and use of feedback. Current and developing trends in the fields of information technology and digital screen-based design. Creative and Art Direction. 

Graphic Design II (20 credits)
> Communication Design
Study and design of printed pages and booklets. Magazine design. Illustration and typographical composition. Minor applications. Painting techniques. Graphic Technology: Typography-Printing-Reproduction: Graphic composition, typographic applications and production techniques. Methods of realisation and presentation of proposals.

Graphic Applications I (40 credits)
> Typography, Poster and Packaging.
Analysing design and use of letters in a variety of contexts. Typeface (font) design. Type as a component of graphic design composition. Elements of packaging design. Theme and image plane selection. Creative portfolios. 

Digital Design (20 credits)
Use and creative application of Computer Software: Photoshop, Illustrator and Pre-press. Research in contextual issues of digital culture. Experimentation through use of new digital media.

THIRD YEAR
The third year of studies, or Stage 3, on the Graphic Design specialisation pathway, comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Theory III (20 credits)
> Graphic Applications II (20 credits)
> Graphic Design III (20 credits)
> Digital Design III (20 credits)
> Independent Study (40 Credits)

Theory III (20 credits)
> History of Art III
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 3: From Impressionism to the present.
> History & Theory of Design II
Graphic Communication messages through the ages. The Graphic Arts in the industrial era. Design styles of the 19th and 20th centuries. Issues of post-industrial society and the challenges of technological progress.

Graphic Design III (20 credits)
> Advertising 
Magazine colour advertisement. Illustration and Photographic techniques. Studio Photographic applications. Fliers and information brochures. Reproduction and Printing techniques. Poster Design: Posters; Banners; Display Cards; Calendars.
> Social Design
The Social Design component of the programme seeks to enable students to act as designer-authors in developing concepts, proposals and campaigns in the areas of sustainability, inclusion, equality, as well as in investigating more personal aspects of design as an activity that focuses on an individual’s realization of their interest in the world.
> Corporate Identity (Branding)
Visual identity-image. Basic implementation of symbols and logotypes (letterhead, business card, envelope, folder etc.). Corporate Identity. Further implementation in vehicle identification and building signage. Study and design of carry-bags, wrapping paper, calendars etc.

Graphic Applications II (20 credits)
> Illustration 
Illustration techniques. Concepts of typography. Magazine lay-out design. Illustration and typographic book design on a given title.
> Packaging
Study and design of product packaging (cartons, boxes, labels, wrapping paper etc.) Record/CD-sleeve design.

Digital Design III (20 credits)
>New Media and Computer Software
Use and creative application of a broad range of software programmes in projects set to professional specifications. Contextual issues related to the development and expansion of digital global networks. Creative proposals for innovative artistic projects through use of new digital media.

Independent Study (40 credits)
The last eight weeks of the programme are exclusively devoted to the development of a major project on a specialised topic elected by the student.

 


Interior
Design
(BA)

SECOND YEAR
The Second Year, or Stage 2, on the Interior Design Pathway comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Art II (20 credits)
> Theory II (20 credits)
> Interior Applications I (40 credits)
> Interior Design II (20 credits)
> Digital Design II (20 credits)

Art II (20 credits)
> Visual Arts
Model and memory drawing. Basic elements of synthesis and function of colour. Sketching and outdoor colour studies. Life-classes: sketches and studies in nude and body movement.
Sculptural Construction
Stereometric elements; Work on space and volume; Three-dimensional construction; Micro-sculpture.

Theory II (20 credits)
> History of Art II
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 2: From medieval art to the 18th century.
> Cultural History II
Current issues. Debates on social and historical contexts. History of design-related cultural topics.
> History of Architecture I
The evolution of architectural form approached through the comparative method. Architectural landmarks and styles since antiquity.
> Design Thinking 
Introduction to the concept of user experience. Methods and tools to resolve design problems. Concept development, planning and use of feedback. Current and developing trends in the fields of information technology and digital screen-based design. Creative and Art Direction. 

Interior Design II (20 credits)
> Architectural Composition and Interior Design
Lay-out and synthetic approach to projects of minor scale. Drawing methods and introduction to the properties and uses of construction materials.
> Construction Theory I
Perspective drawing. Elements of structural theory. Construction methods, materials and drawings. Introduction to building regulations and interfaces with other professional specialties.

Interior Applications I (40 credits)
> Furniture, Product Design I, Lighting I.
Space arrangement incorporating furniture and fixtures. Design of original fixed and movable furniture pieces. Drawing methods and introduction to properties and use of specific materials. Introduction to Product design. Introduction to lighting. 

Digital Design (20 credits)
Training in and creative use of Autocad I (2D) software. Research in contextual issues of digital culture. Experimentation through use of new digital media.

THIRD YEAR
The third year of studies, or Stage 3, on the Interior Design pathway, comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Theory III (20 credits)
> Interior Applications II (20 credits)
> Interior Design III (20 credits)
> Digital Design III (20 credits)
> Independent Study (40 credits)

Theory III (20 credits)
> History of Art III
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations.
> History of Architecture II
The evolution of architectural form approached through the comparative method. Issues of modern and contemporary architecture.

Interior Design III (20 credits)
> Hotel and Residential Spaces Design 
Lay-out and synthetic organisation of interior spaces (living and recreation areas, hotels). Form and function related to construction. Study of the relationship between exterior and interior spaces. Landscaping and design of relevant features.
> Renovation of Commercial Spaces
Lay-out and synthetic organisation of work spaces (shops, offices). Form and function related to construction. Methods of drawing with reference to building materials.

Interior Applications II (20 credits)
> Product Design II / Lighting II
Synthetic approach to form and function. Development of original proposals for furniture and objects to be produced in series. Construction drawings.
> Light Constructions / Construction Theory II
Investigation and development of proposals for function-specific spaces and light structures (e.g. kitchens, libraries, beach cabins etc.). Construction theory. Materials, construction methods and processes, construction and detailed design drawings.
> Theatre Design
Landmarks of the history of the theatre and stage design. Study of two to three plays. Development of stage design proposals, including 3-D models and drawings of costumes.

Digital Design (20 credits)
Use and creative application of software programmes currently used in architectural design [Professional-level applications using Autocad II (3D)] software. Contextual issues related to the development and expansion of digital global networks. Creative proposals for innovative artistic projects through use of new digital media.

Independent Study (40 credits)
The last eight weeks of the programme are exclusively devoted to the development of a major project on a specialised topic elected by the student.


Digital
Design
(BA)

SECOND YEAR
The Second Year, or Stage 2, on the Digital Design Pathway comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Art II (20 credits)
> Theory II (20 credits)
> Digital Applications I (20 credits)
> Digital Design II (20 credits)
> Programming (40 credits)

Art II (20 credits)
> Visual Arts
Model and memory drawing. Basic elements of synthesis and function of colour. Sketching and outdoor colour studies. Life-classes: sketches and studies in nude and body movement. Collage and use of mixed media. Contemporary artistic trends investigated in personal student projects.
> Sculptural Construction
Stereometric elements; Work on space and volume; Three-dimensional construction; Micro-sculpture.

Theory II (20 credits)
> History of Art II
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 2: From medieval art to the 18th century.
> Cultural History II
Current issues. Debates on social and historical contexts. History of design-related cultural topics.
> History & Theory of Design/Digital I
Development and evolution of visual language (writing systems, symbols, typography). Introduction to semiotics and linguistics. Contemporary visual language. Communication in digital environments. Contemporary debates in digital cultures. Social impact of global digital networks and technological developments.

Digital Applications I (20 credits)
> Software Programmes
Use and creative application of current software programmes covering the areas of digital imaging, digital illustration, layout, and interactive design
>Digital Design Process
Critical approaches related to the use of digital technology; introduction to the requirements of professional practice; presentation skills; Team Dynamics (team building, effective professional communication skills, time management).

Digital Design II (20 credits)
>Design Thinking
Introduction to the concept of user experience. Methods and tools to resolve design problems. Concept development, planning and use of feedback. Current and developing trends in the fields of information technology and digital screen-based design. Creative and Art Direction.
>Graphic Applications I 
Typography. Analysing design and use of letters in a variety of contexts. Typeface (font) design. Type as a component of graphic design composition. Theme and image plane selection. Creative portfolios. 

Programming (40 credits)
>HTML/CSS/JavaScript
Articulate content and concepts using the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), describe that content’s visual representation using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). read, manipulate, and write basic JavaScript code,
>Motion Graphics I
Develop personal narratives and experimentation

THIRD YEAR
The third year of studies, or Stage 3, on the Graphic Design specialisation pathway, comprises the following modules and areas of studies:
> Theory III (20 credits)
> Digital Applications II (20 credits)
> Digital Design III (20 credits)
> Programming (20 credits)
> Independent Study (40 Credits)

Theory III (20 credits)
> History of Art III
Historical evolution of forms in the context of successive civilisations. Part 3: From Impressionism to the present.
> History & Theory of Design / Digital II
Contemporary digital culture issues, global networks and theories of communication; debates on current technological trends, and the impact of digital design in current social contexts and audiences.

Digital Applications II (20 credits)
> Mobile Apps
Design of Information Architecture for mobiles and tablets; Introduction to the basic guidelines for both mobile apps and wearable. Comprehend and assess problem-solving procedures in the UX and UI contexts.

Digital Design III (20 credits)
>Application of Games Design Elements
“Digital design” approach to game design, to apply game design elements in various non-game contexts. Introduction to metagame strategies, utilising social mediums and sporadic game mechanics,
>Motion Graphics
Fundamental techniques of pre-production, post-production, cameras, and lighting. Create short stop-motion narratives using current editing software. Integrate material between software programmes. Become familiar with web-based, non-expert Content Management Systems (CMS).

Market Best Practices (20 credits)
>Business
Proposal evaluation through different viewpoints to ensure viability and sustainability. Skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the startup environment and the steps necessary to launch Intellectual Property (IP). Marketing, lean UX, lean startup models, and agile practices. Business Ethics. Different models of dealing with the business of design including freelancing versus studio environment, managing clients, subcontracting work. Professional practices and ethical issues.
>Branding
Understanding brands and their impact on our lives. Launching personal brands. Market oneself after graduation. Research, plan, and create new brands, based on the digital aspects of the design proposal.

Independent Study (40 credits)
>Personal Student Project
The last ten weeks of the programme are exclusively devoted to the development of a major project on a specialised topic elected by the student.


The
MA
Course

POST-GRADUATE STUDIES
Students enrol in each programme and follow a common Architectural Design or Visual Communication curriculum during the First Semester. At the end of the First Semester they select a specialisation pathway which they pursue in Semesters Two and Three. According to the programme and pathway followed the degree title bears the following designation:
a) Architectural Design
> MA Architectural Design (Interior Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Landscape Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Spatial Design)
> MA Architectural Design (Theatre Design)
> MA Architectural design Studies
b) Visual Communication
> MA Visual Communication (Graphic Design)
> MA Visual Communication (Illustration and Book Design)
> MA Visual Communication (Typography)
> MA Visual Communication (Web Design)
> MA Visual Communication Studies

SEMESTER 1
> Studio Research and Practice (Double Module)
This is a double module of practical project-work exploring the students’ strengths and interests within their practice to identify the pathway of their Individual Specialisation Project (Final Major project). [40 credits]
> Theory and Contexts (Double Module)
This is a seminar-based enquiry into contemporary and historical theories and debates in the subject. The module will also introduce Master’s level research skills and scholarly practice as well as considerations of ethics in relation to the students’ practice. [20 credits]

SEMESTER 2
> Individual Specialisation Project Phase 1 (Double Module)
This is a double module of practical experimentation and exploration of students’ practice themes to select, test and explore their practice based major project. [40 credits]
> Theory: Project Dissertation 1 (Single Module)
This dissertation module runs alongside the practice modules exploring the accompanying theories and arguments that inform the students’ practice. Dissertation 1 will involve gathering, analyzing and responding to research relating to the students’ practice topic. [20 credits]

SEMESTER 3
> Final Project Phase 2 (Triple Module)
This is a triple module of practical/creative work developing and completing the student’s personal specialisation project, building on the previous semester’s work (including the project dissertation). [60 credits]


Admissions

Applications to all programmes should be submitted by the end of September.

Qualifications Required for BA programmes

Applications for admission to the undergraduate courses are invited by those seeking to pursue a higher education course of study in art and design.
All applicants must have a high-school (Lyceum) Diploma or foreign equivalent, and must be over the age of 18. 

Qualifications Required for MA programmes

Applications for admittance to the postgraduate courses are invited by persons who have successfully completed a relevant undergraduate course (BA Hons. or equivalent). Applications may also be considered in exceptional cases based on academic credit and on extensive professional experience, where the above qualifications may be waived. 


Selection
Process

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES
Once eligibility for admission is established candidates are invited to participate in an interview and a drawing test to determine their ability to follow a design programme of study.

POSTGRADUATE COURSES
Candidates who possess the required qualifications are invited for an interview and presentation of a portfolio of work.


VAKALO LIFE

STUDENT EXPERIENCE
The student experience, as attested by student statements on various occasions and frequently on social media is a most positive one. They are offered opportunities to investigate a wide range of design areas and are supported to develop their creative skills and intellectual capabilities.
The Vakalo provides a well equipped and friendly environment that fosters a sense of belonging to a special kind of team. Visits to Galleries, Museums, Archaeological sites are regularly organised. Trips within Greece and abroad combining pleasure and learning also strengthen the ‘Vakalo spirit’. Recent visits abroad include trips to New York and Berlin.
Live projects are frequently conducted with firms, NGOs, social welfare societies, charities etc. bringing students into direct contact with the market and social issues.

STAFF
Since its founding the Vakalo has employed prominent artists, designers and theorists to teach and manage its programmes of study. The College always employs highly qualified and experienced staff who form a closely-knit team of dedicated teachers, selected on the basis of shared values, principles and aims. 
A wide range of education backgrounds (Greece, UK, France, Germany, Italy, USA, Holland) contributes to an open-minded and cosmopolitan outlook. 
A large number of current staff are UK/US higher education alumni, and are qualified to teach in English as well as in Greek. Staff members have been awarded prizes and distinctions, both national and international, and all are practicing professionals with distinguished careers. All members of staff are accredited lecturers of the University of Derby and hence qualified to teach HE programmes in English as well.

ALUMNI
Vakalo graduates have continued with PG studies at numerous prestigious institutions abroad in several countries, including Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA, at prominent institutions such as the RCA London, UAL, Goldsmiths and UCA (UK), Sandberg Academy  and Eindhoven (Netherlands), Madrid Politecnica (Spain), Grenoble École des Beaux Arts (France), and the Pratt Institute (USA).

EMPLOYABILITY
The employment prospects for Vakalo graduates are as good as they can get in the current difficult climate in Greece. The good name of the College, as well as the good work provided by our graduates in employment, attract employers who seek job candidates directly from the Vakalo.
Ove 150 advertisements for job opportunities received, against a figure of 120 graduates during the last 2 years. Good prospects of employment abroad based on strong portfolios and college reputation, strenghtend by the work of our alumni overseas.
Vakalo alumni besides Greece are currently employed in the UK, Spain, USA, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Emirates and South Africa.

DISTINCTIONS / COLLABORATIONS
National and international competition prizes have been frequently won by Vakalo students, including several world-class awards (such as Mobius 2005, Montreux 2012), while a series of cultural institutions, non-profit agencies and commercial firms have sought collaboration with the Vakalo for various promotion, publicity and cultural projects, including the British Council, the Institut Français d’ Athènes, the Goethe Institut, Type Directors’ Club NY, Benakis Museum , the National Committee for Road Safety, the Athens Planetarium, the Central Athens Book Gallery, Open House (Architectural Showcasing),Art Critics Association (AICA Hellas), and several prominent commercial firms, such as IKEA, LG, Cocomat. Joint projects have been pursued with other European Universities such Montpellier and Venice (in the context of an Erasmus IP), London College of Communication, Anglia Ruskin, Aarhus and Kassel. Further, the Vakalo has recently hosted design workshops for students from Shenyang Normal University, China (2015) and HTX Køge College, Denmark (2017).


CONTACT
DETAILS

Vakalo Art & Design College
26 Lamprou Katsoni Str.
Lycabettus, Athens, 11471, Greece
Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m – 9:00 p.m (local time)

T: +302106442514, +302106425185
F: +302106444840
E: info@vakalo.gr