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      All Institutes of the Academy of Art and Design

      Visual Communication

      Visual communication is communication using images and texts. Its media are symbols and words. It is as at home in traditional print media as in new media. It is an important component of a society and Lebenswelt shaped by imagery, and it takes on complex multimedia and interactive design tasks. It creates orientation and identity in the struggle for attention in a visually shaped culture. Visual communication is an independent tool for awareness. It uses visualisation to render concepts visible, imaginable and understandable.

      Interior Design and Scenography

      Interior designers deal with space as living space and with objects used to furnish that space. Space is an information medium in which we orient ourselves using our senses. This perception – often unconscious – changes our moods, influences our feelings. Designers create the atmosphere, impressions, dramatic compositions and staging of a space. Our designs are real and virtual-real, and range from an individual object to three-dimensional exhibition and experience space and event design.

      Fashion Design

      Fashion attracts people. It serves both as necessary clothing and as an outward expression of oneself. It can simply dress the body or consciously stage it to attract attention. It creates a paradoxical identity between individuality and the masses.This course of study prepares students for a career shaped by aesthetic, cultural, technological, economic and societal demands. Fashion design requires a feeling for perceiving the present and for identifying future currents and trends. This makes fashion typically modern: It is the hot and cool centre of
      our culture of acceleration.

      Design and Art Education

      The experiences of design and art come together in creative-aesthetic education to create visual achievement and aesthetic thought. Sensory experiences and sensitive perception are fundamental world references and primary world experiences. They are often diametrically opposed to empowerment in the world. Yet we use them to create our basic experiences in the world and in resistance. Graduates of the design and art education programme go on to become teachers
      at secondary schools or art educators and impart the skills needed to use sensory perception and one’s own handiwork to create sensitive and meaningful experiences.

      Industrial Design

      Industrial designers create consumer goods such as capital goods that are manufactured industrially and in series. Design is a multi-layer complex process.The aim is to combine the widest variety of factors in a single object for everyday use: tactile definition and aesthetics, readability and signals, impression and emotional effect, materials and producibility, and ethical considerations and values embodied in the language of form. Industrial design models designed products as well as processes and strategies. This makes industrial design an interdisciplinary process, from design to implementation.


      HyperWerk prepares students for post-industrial design. Post-industrial design focuses not on industrial series manufacturing of an object, but on processes designed in the post-industrial service sector. HyperWerk designs the processes of transformation and change. The complexity of technological developments, social change, Lebenswelt and diversity are investigated and moulded in new forms of process design and project development.The programme consists of annual cycles of a single process, from developing a topic to the finished product.

      Between practice and discourse: diagnosis & reflection

      The University for Design and Art is also a place of cultural diagnosis and reflection on the past and future. “Theory without practice is empty; practice without theory is blind”, goes the saying. We therefore strive to keep practice and discourse in a meaningful balance. Practical creation must stand up under examination and contemplation by knowledge of orientation and theoretical foundations. Given that every consciously designed product, every design process and every
      work of art is a document of its time, our programme includes a cultural history and perception-oriented education and fundamental examination of the context of design and art.
      Lectures and seminars treat a variety of topics including:
          Culture of the present and of the past
          Societal ideals
          Cultural sociology: taste, cultural milieus and mentalities
          Forms of “aestheticising” the Lebenswelt and processes of perception
          Art and design as an operating system
          Shaping processes in design and art

      Contextual knowledge
      Interdisciplinary events and lectures are held as part of the Basel institute “Contextual Knowledge” series. Most events are held at Vogelsangstrasse 15 in Basel.

      Institute for Design and Art Research
      In the area of design, research means innovative enhancement or creative development of visual messages, products or processes in any media and rendering them concrete. As exploration in the area of perception and sensory experience is a necessary component of the research involved in every art and design project, all applied research also involves basic research. No other university that combines scientific realisation and practical development and creation in such a productive and close relationship places such importance on research.

      • The Institute for Design and Art Research coordinates and networks research activities of the University for Design and Art.
      • Ideas come from the individual programmes. The institute supports developing and formulating concrete research concepts.
      • The institute functions as a transfer station and platform for universities, research partners, networks and the public. 
      • Research discourse in the area of art and design at the institute covers motivation, methods, strategies, differences and implementation.

      The professional VR studio at the Aarau site is used for interface design research.

      Design | Art + Innovation postgraduate programme and  continuing education
      The HGK offers a Design | Art + Innovation (Executive Master) postgraduate programme in Basel. The programme treats the relationship between tradition and future in design and art. Innovations, new design solutions, new products and new forms of artistic expression are increasingly emerging in the interface between design and art. Students investigate strategies and dynamics of the New, where design, art, science and society intersect. The postgraduate programme is an interdisciplinary vessel for testing the link between research and a Master’s education. Continuing education classes are held in Aarau and Basel and are open to the public (“Creativity and more” programme in Aarau).

      HGK services
      We provide design services to companies and public institutions. Design and art projects are carried out during project courses or by a specially chosen team.

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