Program Structure

Students of the School of Design in Pforzheim develop their own criteria for confidently dealing with traditions, based upon a knowledge of traditional and new techniques. The aim of the course is to develop confidence in design and craftsmanship and to promote the emergence of a personal creative stance. The students should deliberate and reflect upon their own actions, the work should be professionally presented and it should be possible to successfully position the results in the commercial market. 

During the course of studies, the students work, among other things, on gold and silversmith techniques, on engraving and enamelling, on electroplating and ceramic techniques, with CAD and associated rapid-prototyping techniques and with various synthetic materials. The productive interplay between new and traditional materials, technologies and techniques stimulates a creative reaction to the commonplace, day-to-day experience. The superb technical equipment in the workshops, combined with the intensive supervision, facilitate a well-grounded technical and artistic education that is internationally unique.

The focus of the students’ creative development takes place in the context of project work. Depending on the topic, the work takes place in the field of authorship, in multiples, in cooperation with industry or in exclusive research. The student‘s own subject proposals and the choice of in-depth subjects in other fields thus play an important role in the individual structure of the course of studies. The degree program ensures relevance for a professional career through supplementary coursework in the areas of law and economics for designers. 

Experience in product presentation as well as contacts and preparation for a professional career are acquired at international trade fairs. These trade fairs also provide an opportunity to gain experience in communicating with companies and galleries in a realistic situation. Students may complete exchange programs at international partner universities, which offers the opportunity to gain extensive experience in different creative and cultural contexts. 

A particular focus of the education at the Pforzheim School of Design lies in the 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, recognise 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. The aim is to educate autonomous artistic individuals, who are capable of developing their own perspectives and forms of expression, and who can assume authorship of their own work.