The School of Design in Pforzheim Design PF is not only a prestigious educational institution, but also a source of impulses for the public. It occupies circa 3,000 square meters, is staged in as many as four different venues and presents projects and works from the various departments. Students are also regularly sought to serve as cooperating partners for the industry and cultural institutions: these young people support businesses in projects or contribute their works to enrich extramural exhibitions. Alongside the exhibition of works, the School of Design also offers a platform for lectures and workshops: academics, scientists and designers from around the world come to Pforzheim to offer insights into their work and to provide intellectual stimulation for design-related activities. 


Some short facts about the School of Design:

  • 6 Bachelor and 3 Master programs in Design
  • one of the oldest and well-known Schools for Design in Germany
  • founded 1877 as Ducal School of Craft at the behest of the jewellery industry that wished to encourage Higher Education
  • in 1992 fusion with the School of Economics to Pforzheim University
  • since 2005 School of Design at Pforzheim University (public university – no tuition fees for EU-students)
  • is fully accredited and continuously evaluated by the state Baden-Wuerttemberg and ZEvA Hannover
  • since 2004 member of CUMULUS International Association of Art and Design Colleges
Dekanat Fakultät Gestaltung, v.l.n.r.: Prof. T. Gerlach, Prof. S. Klose, Prof. M. Throm, Prof. M. Kohlmann

Graduate and postgraduate programs

The School of Design currently offers 6 Bachelor and 3 Master programs:

Bachelor of Arts in Accessories Design The “Accessories Design” curriculum is unique in Germany. This course of study includes all areas of women’s and men’s accessories: shoes, bags, luggage, belts, small leather goods, eyewear, scarves, foulards, hats, etc. The items created include oneof- a-kind pieces, designer and brand accessories, and models with a functional emphasis or digital and interactive characteristics.

Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design Industrial designers create every conceivable type of industrial product from consumer merchandise to capital goods. The curriculum builds upon creativity, interdisciplinary work and design management. The focus is on a synthesis of technical aspects, artistic aspects and the humanities, while taking commercial and ecological factors into account.

Bachelor of Arts in Fashion This course of study trains creative fashion designers who cultivate their own unique styles. Graduates are able to connect their innovative concepts and individuality with artisanal quality, awareness of problems and technical know-how. They also create offers for industry that cater to the differentiated needs of consumers.

Bachelor of Arts in Jewellery Jewellery is material and form in respect to the body, expressing subtexts of symbolic function and emotion. The core of the program re-examines traditional values within form and social developments and industry parameters, leading to new jewellery paradigms. Jewellery as artifact and multiple is interrelated with art, fashion, accessory and object. The focus is on exploring the full jewellery spectrum within material contexts through the interplay between new and classic materials and technologies. Graduates are recognized for their unique design profiles and professionalism. 

Bachelor of Arts in Transportation Design The program is comprehensive and diverse with a strong focus on innovative and visionary design projects framed by industrial collaborations with automobile manufacturers throughout the world. It covers “transportation” in a broad perspective comprising public transport, mobile systems of organisation for land, sea and air travel, personal mobility products, new modern technologies and contemporary developments of mobility. The quality of the program is reflected by its enviable reputation.

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Visual communication serves the process of designing information. Visual communication works with and through many different media: apps, posters, advertising campaigns, stands at trade fairs, illustrations, typefaces, etc. This course of study trains communications designers whose designs contribute toward solving communicative issues in commerce, academia, science, culture and civil society.

Master of Arts in Creative Direction Building on their existing capabilities as designers, students who earn a Master of Arts in Creative Direction develop leadership qualities that go far beyond the competence of merely developing forms. Better design demands profound thought and a holistically conceived approach. Exploration of diverse theoretical approaches and emphatic practices are important elements in this course of studies.

Master of Arts in Transportation Design Having gained specialised skills and knowledge, including further development of their personal design identity, graduates of the course are able to instigate and direct projects, advanced or production with a high level of intellectual and creative rigor, as well as managing design teams and product presentation on a professional level. School of Design  

Master of Arts in Design & Future Making Through their passion and their striving for perfection, people who have earned the Master’s degree in MDFM ensure the excellent quality of products, integrate cultural aspects, and emphasize a high degree of originality. With an eye toward the future, these individuals contribute to the ongoing digital transformation by devising new concepts for usage, marketing and manufacturing. This Master’s program is primarily driven by its project structure. Excellent graduates who have earned Bachelor’s degrees in the disciplines of visual communication, product, fashion, accessories, jewellery or media design deep-en and enhance their individual design-related skills, conduct experiments, develop new design idioms and discover innovative solutions. Three essential factors share the focal point: the products’ aura of quality and value; digital transformation; and innovative design strategies. How does somthing “truly new” come into the world? Design Thinking, Design Strategy, Economic Systems and other methods are the fields of research and application that enable our graduates to perform tasks which are essential for the future. The MDFM draws upon the competencies of the School of Design and the university, uses the potential of the workshops and laboratories, and expands these possibilities through digital systems and tools. This leads to the creation of new design idioms and impulses that are relevant to changing values, to new concepts of usage and that reveal innovative perspectives.