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Areas of Study

Tove Möller BA 2018–2019. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Four Main Subject-Areas

At the Royal Institute of Art, the subjects are divided into four areas, each with a different inclination. The two-dimensional (2D) subject-area contains painting and print-making. The three-dimensional (3D) subject-area includes sculpture and 3D-design. Mindepartementet is the name of the platform where we have gathered together moving-images, photography, sound and performance. In the field of architecture and critical studies, we carry out teaching in art theory, art history and literary composition, with a focus on lifelong learning. Each subject-area is managed by an area manager.

Explore Several Subject-Areas

Our students move freely between the different fields of study, and choose what they want to immerse themselves in based on the rich palette of courses and materials on offer. There are no restrictions here, but we encourage everyone who wants to explore several different fields to acquire a broad knowledge of the expressions and materials found within that artistic discipline. Our cross-disciplinary work takes place not only through exchanges and dialogues between our own different areas of study, but also in our external collaborations with related areas within culture, science and the community.


Adele Weiss MA 2017–2018. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Moving Images, Photography, Sound and Performance

Mindepartementet is the Royal Institute of Art’s platform for moving images, photography, sound and performance. Here, our workshop-related training interacts with design- and theory-based approaches. The combined knowledge from different artistic processes gives our students, teachers, artists and researchers the opportunity to move across a wide artistic field.

Mindepartementet’s 500 square metres provides access to, a digital darkroom, a photo studio, and video-editing, as well as places for meeting, such as project- and seminar-rooms. The shared kitchen also plays an important social function for the exchange of informal knowledge and new thoughts.

Common Work

Here, students can use both digital and analogue tools. Professors, lecturers and adjuncts work together from the starting point of their respective fields. Artistic expressions are discussed and subjected to experimentation through critiques, joint-investigations, seminars, workshops, film screenings and exhibitions.

Area Manager: Petra Bauer

Two-Dimensional Design

Rene Jensen MA 2017–2018. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

The 2D subject-area includes painting and print-making. It is a wide area bordering on most visual arts. Here, questions are posed about representation, context, design, and interpretation. Critical focus is central, but the students also develop material- and technical knowledge.


The print-making subject-area covers several different techniques, where the Royal Institute of Art has long had a prominent educational role.

Today, we do not have access to the same premises as before, as the result of a fire which destroyed the workshops in 2016. That is why we have developed new, external collaborations with other educational institutions, so that we may continue to offer instruction in most print-making techniques. Today, there is a vibrant and well-adapted screen-printing workshop up and running.


Painting is not only about making art—since art also creates a context for discussion, and a place for experimentation. Because painting is an ongoing process, a work can both be considered as it is and as it contributes to shifting boundaries.

We instruct in art history, art criticism, and art theory. Students formulate questions about representation, context and the content of ideas that are an important part of both the artist’s design-work and in how others interpret the finished product. Teaching theory aims to increase awareness and reflection of one’s own work, and on the importance of art in society. We also train students to use various materials, methods and techniques—such as colour, light, texture and thickness—which allow our students to develop their artistic abilities.

The Material Institute

Materialinstitutet (‘The Material Institute’) conducts teaching and practical work in materials and methods of painting.

Here, students can prepare their canvases, produce their own artistic materials such as oil paints, watercolour paints, inks, wax-based crayons and paint-media. They can also make their own pigments with natural materials. The Material Institute has a small colour-plant nursery, which mainly consists of woad (Isatis tinctoria), which produces the blue colour indigo—but experiments are also underway with plants of other colours.

The Material Institute has a unique collection of older pigments and binders. The oldest samples are from the 1850s-90s, and come from the artist Nils Månsson Mandelgren’s paint box. Subsequently, the collection has been expanded with additional pigments, binders and chemicals. Overall, it holds about 1,500 samples. The collection is a historical artifact, and part of the history both of the subject-area and the Royal Institute of Art.

Area Manager: Nadia Hebson

Three-Dimensional Design

Ossian Söderqvist BA 2018–2019. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Sculpture and Three-Dimensional Design

The 3D subject-area includes teaching in all forms of three-dimensional design, providing a number of opportunities to experiment with different materials and techniques linked to the sculptural process. Students have access to workshops in digital 3D, mechatronics, wood, metal, sculpture, glass and bronze, among others.

Both Analogue and Digital

In the various workshops, the students work with different materials and ideas. Results include both sculptural- and installation-work, as well as productions of various types, such as video- or photo-projects.

Our 3D lab offers the opportunity to work with modelling, scanning and printing. There is also equipment available for work using artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).

Area Manager: Lars Hammarström

Architecture and Critical Studies

Vida Lavén MA 2018–2019. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Critical Studies

In critical studies, a subject-area’s history, theory, and discourse are examined. Here, important concerns include meaning and representation, as well as the influence of different ideologies and power-structures on the subject-area.

Critical studies are a foundational part of the education at the Royal Institute of Art. Students will gain knowledge of art theory, art history, the science of art, and literary composition.

Architecture and Art

Our freestanding courses at the advanced level contain components in both architecture and public art. Recurring courses include Architectural Conservation, Decolonizing Architecture, and Of Public Interest.

An important basis for experimentation and innovation to take place at the advanced-level of education is for teachers and students who have managed to reach different lengths in their professional lives and artistic careers to share their knowledge with one another.

Lifelong Learning

Our freestanding courses at the advanced level provide a center for lifelong learning and constant development of skills, all of which contributes to the development of the entire field of Swedish art and architecture.

Here, students from different disciplines meet to develop ideas and discover new approaches. Together, they explore how the city and its environment, architecture, and history can best be utilized in the future. Field trips and exchanges with other cultural environments are an important part of the courses. The students’ projects often live on and become new, independent developments outside the purview of the Royal Institute of Art.

Area Manager: Cecilia Sagrén