Presentation / Overview

Founded in 1927 by the architect and designer Henry van de Velde, the École nationale supérieure des arts visuels of La Cambre (ENSAV) has nearly 700 students in 18 different 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 design and bookbinding, interior design, set design, fashion and accessories design, as well as graphic and visual communication and typography. Since the fall of 2016, the school also offers a contemporary creative writing workshop (a continuous 2 cycle program, taught in the evenings and on Saturdays, 30 study credits.)

Students attend several cross-disciplinary courses, both optional and compulsory, including the digital arts, life drawing, color, video, physical practice and performance, book art and illustration. Along with their artistic studies, students study both theory and technique, general and specialized, and are encouraged to attend outside courses, including the Erasmus student exchange program, assisting working artists, and studying at arts centers, agencies and a number of commercial companies.

Courses are spread over five years and divided into two cycles: Bachelor’s (180 credits) and Master’s (120 credits) levels. The school also offers a post-graduate degree – for those interested in a teaching career – and offers students PhD preparation in Arts and Art Sciences, co-organized with the University. Outside the regular cursus, the school offers a preparatory class during the school year as well as a summer school class, both of which are for students in their senior year of high school/ secondary school, who are interested in studying the arts at an institution of higher learning.

La Cambre is a graduate and post-graduate school for the arts (ESA) organised by the Brussels Wallonia Federation. The school is part of the Brussels Academic pole – the cluster of institutions of higher learning in the region – as well as the cross-disciplinary ARTes platform, including the Brussels Royal Conservatory and INSAS (film, music, theatre). It has developed a solid partnership with the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in terms of research and certain classes. La Cambre participates regularly in national and international partnerships, institutional, educational, artistic, socio-cultural, industrial and commercial, each of which feeds into and becomes part of the structuring of its teaching.

The school is located on the historic eponymous site of the Abbey of La Cambre. In the 1980s, it expanded to two nearby sites. The school has an outstanding library and a major archive collection which includes the graphic and photographic work of its founder, Henry van de Velde. La Cambre also builds on its collection of student and teacher work, organizes many public events (lectures, exhibitions, fashion shows …) and regularly publishes books and essays.

A number of associations contribute to La Cambre’s dynamism and outreach, including Les Amis de La Cambre, the Atelier de production de La Cambre, La Cambre-Mode(s) and the Fonds Henry van de Velde.