Program structure

The BA degree program in Fashion Design is a synthesis of art, design, creativity, applied science and practice. The coursework focuses on themes such as social and cultural influences on fashion as well as aesthetics, composition and colour theory; these themes are incorporated into project concepts and their practical execution. The coursework encompasses the design of fashion and clothing programs ranging from unique pieces through to large-scale production. All fields of ladies and men’s fashion from unique articles, designer and branded fashion, through to ready-made clothing, sports and children’s clothing, stage costumes, accessories and styling are addressed. 

A unique focus of the education at the Pforzheim School of Design lies in the integration of fundamental studies in the fine arts. The students cultivate skills in the areas of painting, drawing, sculpture and still and moving images. This is complimented by cultural studies such as the history of design, art analysis, aesthetics, semiotics and the sociology of cultural processes. These subjects serve to hone the students’ perceptive skills, i.e. the ability to interpret symbols, recognize historical developments and gain cultural knowledge. Many years of experience show that the students thrive on the skills gained from this practical and theoretical knowledge and obtain indispensible ideas for their own career development. Furthermore, interdisciplinary projects also provide the opportunity for cooperation with other design fields such as jewellery and transportation design. The fashion design department works together with renowned companies, organizations and research institutes and promotes international study programs and placements abroad. 

During the initial semesters, emphasis is placed on experimentation with shapes, colours, materials, pattern-making and draping. Themes from a wide range of fashion fields are analyzed and concepts are developed for collections, stage costumes and accessories. Subsequently, students are taught to develop a multifaceted and yet distinctive style through project work, which is integral to all levels of the coursework. In addition, this project work strengthens the communications and decision-making capabilities as well as creative skills. Proficiency in business, management and marketing, provided by the subject area Design and Business, supplement the basic knowledge essential to all design fields. The 5th semester is a mandatory internship semester, preferably completed abroad. 

In order to facilitate the realization of projects, the fashion design department has superbly well-equipped workshops and laboratories at its disposal:  approximately 120 students work on equipment for pattern-making and in knitting and sewing workshops, in media laboratories and in studios for audiovisual presentation techniques. 

Students participate in excursions, guest lectures and workshops and are encouraged to spend time abroad for studies and internships. Due to regular participation in international competitions such as Hyères and Apolda, where students have captured first place honors, the Fashion Design Programme at Pforzheim School of Design gains regular international attention. Furthermore, the students participate in various fashion shows and exhibitions and present their final pieces from each semester in a public fashion show in Pforzheim, which is completely organized and realized by the students themselves.

The goal of the degree program in Fashion Design is to educate autonomous artistic individuals, who are capable of developing their own perspectives and forms of expression, and who assume authorship of their own work.

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