Foundation year – Introduction to Space course

Do you run a refresher course in the applied arts?

The term MANAA refers only to preparatory courses for admission to the Education Nationale’s superior schools of art: ENSAAMA-Olivier de Serres, Duperré, Estienne, Boulle, ESAAT at Roubaix and the Lycée La Martinière Terreau at Lyon.

Do you run a foundation course or an equivalent of a refresher course?

A “preparatory course for superior schools of art or applied art” is often taken to mean a year of artistic training whose main aim is the acquisition of basic artistic skills, particularly drawing. Several workshops provide this type of tuition in Paris and a list can be provided on request.
Within this type of artistic training, the Introduction to Space course, created in 2002, has two specificities: it caters for a dual clientele and training is partially based on a thematic approach exploring a multiplicity of scales from space to object, rather than an exclusively disciplinary approach.
The course caters for :
• students preparing admission to a school of art, applied art or architecture and wishing to strengthen their understanding of a specialisation in more depth beforehand. Admission to these public or private schools depends on passing a competitive entrance examination or selection process and presupposes a certain maturity, the ability to assert one’s personality and specific skills, demonstrated particularly by a personal work portfolio. The Introduction to Space course, focussed on space and the object, enables the acquisition of these different competencies.
• People wishing to enlarge their field of competencies via complementary training in the field of creation. People in employment can attend the course as in-house professional training.

The Introduction to Space course is usually attended for the whole year. Depending on places available, it can also be attended during a 10-week period devoted to a study theme. The annual 720 hours of courses run from early September to late May. Each week comprises up to 24 hours of classes.

What does the Introduction to Space course curriculum include?

The course enables experimentation and acquisition of knowledge and skills via several pedagogical means:
• The drawing classes, the indispensable tool for representing and developing an idea: graphic techniques, materials and formats, etc.
• courses in the history of the decorative arts based on selected iconography and commentaries,
• thematic workshops providing frameworks for cultural discovery and formal experimentation: colour, volume, models, representation, photography, etc.
• a ’free’ workshop, in which students can pursue and develop a personal interest of their choice,
• an end-of-year module focussing on the preparation of a work portfolio and its oral presentation.
• interventions by specialists and visits related to the thematic workshop in progress.

Three study themes
Thematic workshops explore multidisciplinary approaches to experimentation with space and the object in all their complexity and richness. The fine and applied arts, literature, film, theatre and music all play their part in our understanding of our sensibility and the development of the imagination.

Theme 1/ Personal Space: the body, sensation, perception, movement.
Our discovery of our environment is based on our perceptive awareness. The different ways of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and feeling shape our idea of the world.

Theme 2/ Daily Practices: space and life at home.
Our gestures, objects and rituals measure and determine our domestic environment, from our ’intimate’ to our ’social’ body, from room to house, to street and district.

Theme 3/ Urban Environment: strata and transversalities.
The urban environment is the result of a gradual, stratified maturation. Throughout the world, it is the field of intervention and experience for diverse professions with convergent skills (architects, geographers, landscape designers, engineers, artists, filmmakers, poets) using their specific techniques, tools and vocabularies.

How is one admitted to the Introduction to Space course?

The procedure comprises two phases:
• An admission test: on two recto-verso A4 sheets, candidates express as they wish (writings, drawings, photos, etc.), the personal reasons for their interest in the fine and applied arts and send this to the Ecole Camondo between 2 January and 1 June.
• Then, within a month the candidate receives a reply to this initial selection process and, if this is positive, is invited to an admission interview.

How many students attend the Introduction to Space course?

In 2008/2009, 36 students attended this course. In 2009/2010, it is likely that the number of places will be increased for up to 72 students.

Do Introduction to Space course students benefit from French national health coverage and student grants?

The Introduction to Space course is recognised as a university course and entitles one to student status (access to the CROUS university services), but does not provide eligibility to state scholarships and grants (which the 5-year degree course does).

What can one obtain after the Introduction to Space course year?

Successful completion of the Introduction to Space results neither in a diploma nor university equivalency but all students go on to pursue further studies.

Do Introduction to Space course students take the competitive entrance examination for the Ecole Camondo degree course?

Yes, the Introduction to Space course is a training course completely independent to the degree course, and prepares students for study in other fields.

What can one do after the Introduction to Space course year?

Around one third of students go on to attend schools of interior design or product design. Others pursue studies in other fields such as architecture, window dressing, textiles, fashion, graphic design, fine art, strip cartoons, etc.

Does one have to have the baccalauréat or equivalent to attend the Introduction to Space course?

Only upper sixth form or twelfth grade level is required. However, subsequent admission to degree courses will in most cases require the baccalauréat - to architecture school and the Ecole Camondo degree course, for example.

Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
tél. : +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50