A unique combination of artistic, design and theoretical subjects makes studying at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design especially varied and exciting for professional careers in the future. With communication design, product design, media art, exhibition design, and scenography, as well as art research, media theory, and media philosophy, the university presents itself as an art school of a particular type that has increasingly developed since the early 1990s in Europe, the United States, and Japan.
Common to all courses is the inter-disciplinary project work practiced from the beginning, allowing for an ideal combination of theory and praxis that reflects the teaching concept of the university. The cooperation with neighboring ZKM | Center for Art and Media underlines the inter-disciplinary focus of the school. Internationally renowned professors and artists ensure excellent teaching while maintaining its international profile. Well-equipped studios and workshops guarantee a highly innovative environment for the nurture of experimentation.
A prominent feature of the university is the building itself. The school is housed in a former industrial building together with ZKM. The atriums, light bridges, and adjoining rooms offer unique spaces for events and exhibition. At the present time, the university offers its circa 400 students not only excellent studying conditions, but it also still offers Diplom or Magister degrees – one of the few in Germany to still do so. With these internationally recognized certificates and a wide range of project-based courses, graduates are prepared to an optimum standard after their academic studies for their professional requirements.
Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design was inaugurated on April 15, 1992. It was founded by Professor Dr. Heinrich Klotz between the years 1989 to 1992 together with ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. This unique combination of teaching-, research-, and exhibition-institutions takes into account the new artistic and pedagogic task of bringing traditional arts together with media technology and electronic production processes.
On January 28, 2008 the German Council of Science and Humanities awarded Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design for its excellent educational concept after a comprehensive evaluation. The council especially highlighted its ability to innovate, its flexibility and the social competence of its students, colleagues and teachers. It also praised the exceptional range of courses on offer with which the school was able to establish itself as a leading education and research centre. The modern organizational structure of the school as well as the countless cooperations with international educational institutions – particularly with neighboring ZKM | Center for Art and Media – were also acknowledged. The university takes this excellent evaluation above all as an obligation for the future.
From April 2018 to October 2019, the university was directed by Prof. Dr. Johan F. Hartle as acting rector. From October 2019, Prof. Dr. Matthias Bruhn took over the office of acting Rector. Jan Boelen assumed the office as Rector of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in December 2019.