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      Academy of Art and Design HGK


      European education ministers adopted the Bologna Declaration in the Italian city of Bologna in June 1999.As defined by the Bologna Declaration:

      • A course of study consists of two levels. The first level is the Bachelor level (B.A., at least 6 semesters, 180 ECTS), and the second level is the Master level (M.A., 4 semesters, 120 ECTS). At present, only Bachelor programmes are available. Continuing Master programmes will be introduced in autumn 2008.
      • Courses of study are divided into modules. Each module is concluded and tested.
      • ECTS points indicate the length of a course of study and provide information on students’ performance. ECTS points are recognised by EU universities.

      Lecturers, assistant lecturers and instructors

      Lecturers at the HGK must have excellent practical, methodical, communicative and creative qualifications. Professors are responsible for the programme. They head the institute and develop the concepts and methods of the programme. Most of our professors and lecturers are also practicing freelance designers, architects, artists or cultural studies experts. This enables them to incorporate current practice and cultural debates into their teaching, projects and theoretical work. Experts, professionals and specialists from the professional world, education and research are invited to hold workshops or serve as consultants, mentors or guest instructors.

      Identity of the University for Design and Art (HGK)

      The HGK is more than just an umbrella organisation for the eight training institutes and the Institute for Design and Art Research. The university directors in Basel and institute directors work together to develop and pursue strategies and goals.

      Sensory appearance of ideas and active discourse

      Art and design have always fuelled modern society, and they continue to do so. Our HGK plays an important part in promoting art and design. The call of the poet Arthur Rimbaud “Il faut être absolument moderne” – “one must be absolutely modern” has not lost any of its relevance in the 21st century. It postulates that modern society cannot escape the present, progress or advancement. Being “absolutely modern” included and continues to include truthful and critical expression of all movements and reactions to this self-propelling unstoppable dynamic, this modern turbulence.
      In our pluralistic society, being modern in today’s terms means that there is no clearly defined avant-garde, no societal or cultural authority that holds the absolute truth. We live in a pluralism in which existing ideas and images, artistic strategies and aesthetic perceptions coexist. Their statements and intentions must therefore be comprehended, debated and argued.This insight shapes the artistic, the design and the intellectual educational climate at our HGK. We are dedicated to the common model of active discourse.The model accompanies and entwines artistic creation and the contents of positions and attitudes.

      Working together – artistically and creatively – to produce the culture of the present

      Art and design are an expression of the time in which they are created. They shape a period or era; they give it a form. Spaces, stagings, images, texts, visual messages, objects, fashions and media have the power to shape. “Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space,” said architect Mies van der Rohe. Eras become readable and visible. Art and design are productive forces. They invent, create, innovate and transform to produce the culture of the present. The core task of the HGK is to be part of our present culture and to contribute to producing the expression of this culture, to use design and artistic means to lend it a face.

      The HGK has unique potential

      The University for Design and Art (HGK) of the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz University of Applied Sciences and its Basel and Aarau sites is the only university for design and art in Switzerland that offers all fundamental courses of study in design and art: visual communication, interior design and scenography, industrial design, fashion design and HyperWerk in the area of design, art and media arts, and design and art education.
      This variety makes our HGK unique, and students can benefit from the wide range of courses available. Interdisciplinary curiosity inspires and encourages individual creativity.

      Our potential is embodied in the individual institutes and wide range of media

      As a result of the merger that created a single university for design and art in northwest Switzerland, both the Aarau and Basel sites now belong to the same institution. Courses of study in art that have already begun will continue unchanged at both sites in independent institutes.

      Art (Basel site)

      The visual arts as an achievement of the modern enlightened world have been free art for over 200 years. Art serves no one. The purpose of art is its freedom of purpose: Art is independent exploration in inventing, researching and producing images. Independent artists look within themselves and assign their tasks and contents themselves. Artists are specialists in perception and researchers in visual foundations. As new art always reflects existing art, art is always transformation, visual research and reflection in one. The Art Institute in Basel offers a comprehensive education in art (painting, performance, installation and sculpture, video and media arts).

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