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Photo: Harald Völkl (© Baden-Württemberg International)

Studying at the HfG Karlsruhe is fundamentally devoted to the design of the future. The focus is on specific questions: What can digitalization do to improve people's lives? What contribution can art and design make to putting the latest technologies at the service of a pluralistic and open society? Which philosophical, media and art theoretical thoughts are required to critically question social change?

In order to learn to deal with a complex and diverse reality, studying at the HfG Karlsruhe is consistently organized across disciplines: anyone who studies theory gains at the same time skills in creative and artistic practice. Conversely, anyone who studies art or design practice enters into theoretical dispute. This interlocking of the departments Communication Design, Product Design, Media Art, Exhibition Design and Scenography, Art Research and Media Philosophy succeeds because it takes place in the greatest possible freedom: Our students have the opportunity to develop their own interests and strengths, to determine their individual focal points – and thus develop a very personal profile. As new technologies evolve over the next few decades, independent minds are more in demand than ever. Against this background, we have also decided to keep the diploma and the Magister's degree. In addition, studying, teaching and research at the HfG are in close cooperation with one of the best and most innovative exhibition machines in the world – the ZKM | Center for Art and Media.
The HfG Karlsruhe ties directly to the ideas and concepts of the Bauhaus tradition – a tradition in which the design of the future is seen as a central social task. Already the founding rector Heinrich Klotz defined the self-conception of the HfG as a "digital Bauhaus". His claim could hardly be more current. The extent to which his vision shapes the design of the future is shown by the departments at the HfG. Their common characteristic is the effort to open up the challenges of the future to society through technological, artistic and theoretical concepts.


10:00am: Welcome and General introduction by the acting director Prof. Dr. Johan F. Hartle

10:15am: Communication Design
10:30am: Art Research and Media Philosophy
10:45am: Product Design
11:00am: Exhibition Design and Scenography
11:15am: Media Art

11:15am–12:00am: Joint coffee break

12:00am–02:00pm: Students of the individual departments give a tour through the studios and workshops

02:00pm–06:00pm: Visit of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media (free admission on this day with a valid student ID)

Communication Design

Communication is the most important cultural technique of our day. At the same time, the development of social media shows that communication is in danger of being exploited politically or economically. So how can communication be designed so that messages are clearly transmitted? That it empowers other people to form independent judgments? The study of communication design puts these questions at the center – and thus creates a practice of communication that goes far beyond a mere graphic design.

Art Research and Media Philosophy

At the center of the theoretical studies at the HfG Karlsruhe are all those questions that arise from the technological and artistic developments of our day. Thus, there is a clear focus on modern and contemporary art, on current and future media phenomena and on the philosophical penetration of political-aesthetic developments. Embedded in the overall curriculum of the HfG Karlruhe, the theory study unfolds in close interaction with the design and art departments.

Product Design

Products accompany our everyday life. Hardly an action, hardly an experience, hardly an encounter in which products would not play a role. How can things and their functions be designed in such a way that, in addition to their benefits, they also have an aesthetic significance? What opportunities do digitization and artificial intelligence offer for the world of products? The study of product design addresses these questions – and develops innovative solutions for the everyday things of the future.

Exhibition Design and Scenography

The question of how spaces are designed and finally built is one of the key issues of the future. For today, we are no longer moving exclusively in material, analogous spaces. Digitally constructed rooms are also part of our everyday life. The Department of Exhibition Design and Scenography links the real with the virtual spaces. The students learn to shape both forms effectively and to use them so that it is possible for people to use these spaces in a variety of ways – both artistically and in everyday life.

Media Art

The Department of Media Art is divided into the main areas Digital Art / InfoArt, Film, Photography, Video and Moving Image. In this way, the entire field of media expression is covered and offered for future research and development projects. As media play an increasingly important role in our society – and produce considerable political, social and cultural consequences – media studies focus intensively on the social role of the media.

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