Students’ Stories: Debra Knoop

Written by Debra Knoop

debra 1
This is me, talking with designer Tejo Remy during the opening of the exhibition ‘Do it like Droog!’ at museum Kranenburgh

Hello everyone!

My name is Debra and last year I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Media, Art, Design and Architecture at the VU. I have chosen a specialization in design for its wide spectrum and its interfaces with many other disciplines. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies, because it provided me with an interdisciplinary background in the cultural field. During my minor period, I chose to expand my knowledge by enrolling in a Gender and Sexualities minor at the University of Amsterdam. For me it was very interesting to approach design from a gender perspective. For example, for my Bachelor thesis I researched the use of posters from the feminist action group Dolle Mina. Since my studies I became interested in pursuing a career in a museum, more specifically in becoming a curator. Therefore I am currently applying for the Master’s program Curating Art and Cultures at the VU. However, I did not feel that I had enough experience in the work field. After my graduation, I chose to gain more practical experience through an internship in a gap year before starting a Master’s program.

debra(the Droog archive, from old to new)

I have just finished an internship at the iconic Dutch design company Droog Design. I was hired for a major archiving project because of their 25th jubilee. It was their wish to hand over the archive to the RKD (Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis). Therefore, the archive had to be reordered and packaged according to the requirements of the RKD. In a small team, we were able to set up a well-organized ordering system that will benefit the archive user. During this project I learned a lot about archiving, design in general and the history of Droog Design. Besides that, I assisted in a major acquisition for Centraal Museum Utrecht. With this project I had the privilege to work with the curators and provide them with information in order to select the objects.

debra 2(managing the construction of the exhibition)

At Droog Design I also got the unique opportunity to organize my first exhibition for Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen. During this project I was responsible for creating the collection list, researching the objects, selecting the objects within the chosen themes, a condition check of the objects, arranging the transport, writing the captions, arranging loan agreements and managing the construction of the exhibition. I have learned a lot about the versatile side of organizing an exhibition in a short period of time. It was a lot of hard work but this experience reassured me that I want to pursue a career in exhibition making. The results of my work has been praised by Museum Kranenburg, my supervisors from Droog Design as well as from the designers who were present during the opening event. The exhibition ‘Do it like Droog!‘ can still be seen until the 21st of May.

Because of my practical experience I feel more confident in applying for a Master’s program. Therefore, I would highly recommend to follow an internship during your bachelor, or afterwards like I did. An internship gives you the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge in the practical field. It is also very instructive for personal developments, as you learn to stand up for yourself and set goals. Besides that, you can expand your cultural network and get a feeling of your career prospects. If you have any further questions, you can contact me at my personal e-mail address ( or hopefully spot me at the VU after the summer!

Bye and good luck to you all!



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