Enschede Academy of Art and Industry

Enschede Academy of Art and Industry (Academie voor Kunst en Industrie Enschede, AKI). This academy was founded in 1949 in order to catch up on the backlog in Twente in terms of art, culture and higher education and to provide designers for the regional textile industry. Willem Sandberg compiled a list of designers among which Aldo van Eyck and Joop Hardy were appointed as teachers. Dirk de Leeuw, from the Institute for Applied Arts Education (IvKNO), was the first director. In addition to a base year there were departments of publicity, pattern design, fashion, interior design, sculpting, monuments, and painting. There was also an evening programme from 1951 onwards. During the 1960s, there were conflicts about the director A. Middelhoek, who still made students do lines. He was succeeded by Joop Hardy (1968-1981), who transformed it into a working community where students were able to have their say and had more freedom. In the early 1970s, there were programmes called environment, communication and emotion. Students’ self-development was a key aspect. Hardy opposed the regulations of the government, but his policies were also characterised by internal conflicts. He was succeeded by Sipke Huismans in 1981.
During the 1970s, the AKI was an artistic haven where there was also much attention for multimedia, film and theatre. Students collaborated and set up initiatives such as the graphic centre De Ark and the Enschede School, in part because of the school’s isolation. The textile industry of Twente disappeared. The academy came under pressure during the eighties due to the government’s minimum requirement of 600 students. Eventually it merged with the schools of Arnhem and Zwolle into ArtEZ, located at the Twente University campus.

The Dutch version of this biography is taken from the book Visies op vormgeving, het Nederlandse ontwerpen in teksten deel 2: 1940-2000 (2008) by Frederike Huygen. The following sources have been used for this biography:
– Beenker, E., Ringenier, D., Voskamp, G. ‘AKI, academie voor beeldende kunst en vormgeving, Enschede. Vijftig jaar kunstonderwijs’, Rotterdam 2002.