The preparatory year is integrated into the different CAD sections.

This first year has several objectives:

  1. Prepare the students to continue their studies at the CAD in INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN, ADVERTISING & DIGITAL DESIGN or 3D DESIGN. For this, the students must pass both their courses throughout the year and their final jury in June.
  2.  Allow students who wish to prepare their entrance examinations into other major art colleges located in Belgium, France and throughout Europe.

For students who have completed a PREPARATORY year or a BTS, a second-year admission may be considered depending on the quality of the admission file, the personal work and the interview.

The Philosophy of this Preparatory Year

The CAD is one of the few art colleges in Belgium and France to provide an Anglo-Saxon type of education, that is to say, practice-based teaching with little theoretical courses (see the particulars of the CAD in the OUR COLLEGE section).

Drawing is of great importance, but the CAD does not want to limit its 1st year program to only learning different drawing techniques.

Our goal is to help the student to develop his creative spirit. The next step, therefore, is to assist in the presentation of each student’s projects.

The CAD attaches great importance to culture; therefore, students in their PREPARATORY year visit many museums, exhibitions, art galleries, etc. in addition to going to the movies, theater and live music. Also, a large study tour is organized every year in either New York, Chicago, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Milan, Turin or another destination with high artistic potential.

The courses also allow students to understand other forms of visual expression: photography, typography exercises, creating objects (3D), color studies, spatial creation, etc.

All of these various, practical courses allow students to more forcefully address their future studies in the CAD or elsewhere.

The Classes given during this Preparatory Year

Practical classes are taught in French and English during 3 Quarters. The program was developed to not only enhance creativity but also the renderings and presentations.

    • Drawing – Painting
    • Observational Drawing: learning to draw with the right brain technique (Betty Edwards). The progress generated by this technique is enormous.
    • Study of Forms: composition exercises, study of proportions in 2D and 3D with a series of exercises, models and objects.
    • Creation: Sources and Resources: find and gather concepts to prepare presentations.
    • Photography: sharpen the look, make a practical exercise per week: report, portrait, nature, movement, night, light, etc.
    • Artistic Culture: many visits to exhibitions (see below)
    • Analysis and Synthesis: how to behave in front of a creative problem. Look for ideas and learn how to present them.
    • Creative Techniques: there is no recipe for creating, but there are techniques, which are taught through various exercises.
    • Graphic Communication: addressing the layout, typography, poster creation, etc.
    • Digital Native: the world of “on line”
    • Digital Art: computer illustrations of creations
Art History: trips to museums, exhibitions, art galleries, cities, etc.

Various Multidisciplinary Workshops

Preparation for Entrance Exams in European Schools

The CAD’s 1st year program is an excellent preparation for entrance examinations into other major art colleges located in Belgium, France and throughout Europe.
 It is important not to format the students but rather to help them express their own personalities and strengths through the portfolios they must present.

The Spirit and Culture of Openness

The CAD attaches great importance to openness and development of general culture, specifically of the artistic culture of its students; this is one of the highlights of the CAD.

 This is why the college organizes many visits, travels, meetings, workshops and conferences.

 Indeed, we believe it is impossible to become a great creator if you do not know the history of art, and we at the CAD are not only interested in contemporary art but also architecture, design, cinema, music, photography, the “street art,” high fashion, etc, in short, all forms of current and former expression. To achieve this goal, the CAD organizes one or more cultural visits every Friday during the Preparatory Year.
 Some Examples:

– Day in Paris: Georges Braque at the Grand Palais, Roy Lichtenstein Beaubourg and Ron Mueck at the Fondation Cartier.

– Day in Germany: Folkwang Museum in Essen (extension signed by the great British architect David Chipperfield) design of the school building in Essen directed by SANAA office (Louvre Lens), the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop, and the installation of Christo in a gasometer in Oberhausen.

– Day in the North of France: the Tri Postal in Lille, the LaM in Villeneuve d’Ascq, and the Henri Matisse Foundation in Le Cateau.

– Visits to museums and art galleries in Belgium: the Magritte Museum of Modern Art, etc. (Brussels), Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, etc. (Antwerp and Mons), Giuseppe Penone, Tony Oursler, Jean-François D ‘Or, etc. (the Grand Hornu)

– Organization of an annual study trip around Easter-time: alternately one year in the USA (New York or Chicago) and a year in Europe (Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Northern Italy, etc.).

Finally, students work at the CAD amid contemporary art exhibited in various places throughout the school.