UTVrijhof CultureAbout Vrijhof Culture


The Vrijhof building is the cultural heart of the University of Twente, equipped with, among other things, sound studios, an audio room with good acoustics, and two stage-halls used for concerts and theatre performances.


VRIJHOF CULTURE presents activities related to arts and culture. This includes performances, concerts, exhibitions, and 18 very active cultural student associations. Not only in the Vrijhof, but also in other buildings and sometimes even outside: the Campus as a stage!

The staff can advise you about everything concerning culture and events, including the fine art of theatrical technique.

Creative curriculum

The creative curriculum is part of the bachelor's programmes.

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    When the university’s campus was first designed, the plans included a well-equipped theatre with several large spaces – rooms where students could engage in cultural and creative activities and student activism. This was done for a reason – i.e., the belief that culture and creative expression constitute an essential part of academic training. At the time, students had plenty of time to engage in cultural and creative activities in addition to studying for their degrees. Recent developments such as progress-related grants and the TOM-model have resulted in students having rather less disposable time. Today’s calculating students may be tempted to study nothing but the subjects on their curriculum, thus causing them to miss out on the cultural and creative components of academic training. The Creative Curriculum is our attempt to bring back these academic skills – not as an extracurricular activity, but rather as an integral part of the curriculum. Please note that we do not just aim to teach a profession (painting, acting, wood-working) but the underlying academic skills, as well: the ability to think freely and make associations; creativity; serendipity. These are skills that will allow students to find new connections between things, approach problems from various angles and not be afraid to make mistakes. In addition, students will learn that skills can be mastered through practice as well as through understanding, which is an important learning experience.

    Since the Creative Curriculum teaches academic skills that are important to everyone, the programme was designed as a wide-ranging subject for all students taking a particular educational programme, which will allow it to become an integral part of a programme’s curriculum. In order to make the subject suit the individual prior knowledge and skills of the students, an intake interview will take place where each student’s individual learning objectives are determined. Please note that the curriculum is not intended to serve as a remedial teaching course for students who lack a particular skill. 

    For more information, please contact Joke Sanchez Calvo.



    Lecturer: Louis van Aarle

    The Drawing and Painting course taught as part of the Creative Curriculum mainly deals with observation and its uses. What do you see? Why is this what you see? What are you paying attention to at the moment? Are there any other ways in which to look at the object? While painting, the student’s observations will change continually, which will help him or her learn to consciously anticipate events. Students will respond to the way their observations keep changing and to the way in which the image on their canvas is developing. 


    Lecturers: Mareen Hoek, Bart Peters Weem

    The Theatre Skills course will focus on presentation skills. Four underlying basic skills will be taught:

    • Focus (concentrating on yourself and your surroundings)
    • Expression (showing emotion, gesticulating and using your voice)
    • Timing (talking speed, breaks)
    • Interaction (responding to others) 


    Lecturer: Alina Pahl

    Everyone knows how to take digital photos these days, but do you actually understand the details of what you are doing? What do all these buttons and camera settings mean, and how do they affect the resulting image? This course is all about looking at the world around you and making the right decisions. It will tell you more about the philosophy of photography, camera and lighting techniques and basic Photoshop skills.


    Lecturer: Anika Franke

    This course will teach you how to visualize things – how to illustrate facts, ideas or thoughts so as to convey them more quickly and more effectively. The use of images rather than just a bunch of words reduces language barriers, improves collaborative efforts, encourages people to observe and renders the invisible more visible. The artistic quality of the image is of lesser importance.


    Lecturer: Henk Maassen

    Welding is a complex and irreversible technique. It involves learning how materials respond when they are subjected to extreme heat and how to make the most of these responses as a designer, both in your designs of the various components and in the order in which you weld them together. This takes thorough preparation, because unlike mistakes made on computers, welding mistakes are nearly impossible to fix. In the end, you will create an object with more properties than the original design sketch: texture, weight and hardness.


    Going to a theatre means leaving your day-to-day worries behind you for a few hours and immersing yourself in another person’s story instead, only to emerge from the experience with some new insights. Or alternatively, it may mean having a great time at a stand-up comedian’s show, followed by a discussion of the various attendees’ thoughts on the experience. Theatre’s strength lies in its unfiltered directness. In a theatre, unlike a cinema, there is no screen between the actors and the audience. As a result, sensitive emotions such as shame and jealousy will come at you unfiltered, which may determine how you will deal with such emotions in the future. In this way they will nourish your conscience and sharpen your values and beliefs. With many performances, you will be able to exchange thoughts with the directors afterwards.


    Looking at visual art, you will be challenged to arrive at an opinion on it, because visual art is meant to cause friction, chafe and rile you up... It will get you to contemplate, associate and analyze. You will try to detect what the artist is trying to say, how s/he experiences the world, and how s/he feels about the times in which s/he is living or about current developments in society. In addition, looking at art may serve an extrinsic motivation. After all, as an academic you are expected to be able to discuss a great many things. Visiting exhibitions and discussing them with the audience or with the artist may help you formulate a mature position on cultural expressions.