Design stands for the development of creative, intelligent and sustainable solutions in the dynamic interface between society, the arts and technology, between strategic economic management and interdisciplinary scientific thinking. Pforzheim University / School of Design bases it's educational goal on connecting these factors of success with the goal of teaching sustainable design on the highest aesthetic and technical level. Quality and a sense of responsibility define the center point of thinking and taking action, as our students will be deciding influences on culture, economic success, identity and acceptance of companies and the developing aesthetic understanding of our society.
We cultivate an active exchange with over 20 partner schools worldwide, some are individually study program specific and others applicable to several study programs. Participation in internationally well known trade fairs opens our activities to a larger audience, providing participating students with invaluable, international feedback and experience. We also place a high value and emphasis on participation in international competitions, take part in international symposiums, and are actively involved in organizing them as well, such as the biannual international Transportation Design Symposium.
We are content to have qualified and vivid cooperations with industries and universities such as international operating companies (e.g. Daimler, VW, Audi, Miele, Kärcher, Duravit...) and nationwide workshops involving students from faculties of architecture, design and art (funded by Bayer, Grohe, Henkel...). On the other hand we also connect to regional business´ coining a Corporate Identity for the region of northern black forest or being an active member in chamber of commerce.
Both the BA and MA programs aim to help our students develop into independent thinking, successful and sustainable designers, able to work in their chosen fields and be active contributors to the ongoing development of their professions. A profound breadth in the fine and theoretical arts is the critical foundation for all study programs, giving our students a unique basis for developing individual aesthetic and critical thinking approaches. While different study programs emphasize different attributes, the ability to conceptualize, to synthesize new aesthetic and problem-solving strategies is tightly woven to material- and form-sensitive explorations and realisations.
faculties and departments
Pforzheim University School of Design hosts various departments with a focus on Accessory Design, Jewellery, Fashion, Industrial Design, Transportation Design, Visual Communication as well as Creative Direction and Design as Future Making. With its unique trans-departmental education, DesignPF offers a broad range of art-related core classes to all design students challenging the designers’ elastic and creative mind, provoking inspiring paradigm shifts and fostering an engagement of intellectual, experimental and tacit rigor.The project- and student-centered education assures hands-on, collaborative seminars and studio classes, interdisciplinary activities as collaborations with internal and external partners and stresses the cultivation of challenging sustainable engagement, working within limitations and interconnecting creativity and commerce.
bachelor level programs
Pforzheim University School of Design offers six Bachelor degree programs in the area of
- Accessory Design,
- Industrial Design,
- Transportation Design,
- Visual Communication (with elective options of different minors)
master level programs
Pforzheim University School of Design – DesignPF - currently offers three postgraduate degree programs, which takes 3 semesters to complete. The consecutive master’s program in Transportation Design requires an undergraduate degree in a similar field whereas the master’s programs in Creative Direction and Design as Future Making request an inter- and transdisciplinary design approach with a focus on creative making and leadership strategies.
research activity and main areas
Pforzheim University School of Design – DesignPF – focuses on two major areas: research through as with design and research about design. Both approaches comprise the fulcrum of creative, critical thinking and making.
Creative THINKING & Critical MAKING
Creative MAKING & Critical THINKING:
DesignPF Research entails critical as creative engagement taking in two conceptional as contextual approaches: the ‘disegno’ concept and the ‘design turn’. The appealing concepts comprise both, design as embodiment of all intellectual processes and creative principles and design as an integrative force with its synthetic and interdisciplinary potential of generating and imparting knowledge. Craftsmanship and the various ways of thinking are fundamentally interconnected capacities of future-oriented, innovation-driven design work.
DesignPF Research approach requires Denkräume forming, ‘thinging’ and thinking spaces: encouraging, even provoking diversity, lateral exploration, experimental investigations, controversial sense-making and knowledge spans with a particular, reflective focus on process structures in art and design. Research a comprises various ways of thinking and interacting with speculation and situated knowledge.The internationally recognized lecture series "artefacts”, accompanied by the upcoming eJournal "artefakte.online" provide theme-oriented inspiring impulses for students, educators and researchers.
In conjunction with EngineeringPF, the DesignPF Research Institute HEED operates as a pioneering hub, as an innovation laboratory incorporating trans- disciplinary design research, multidisciplinary skills and transfer knowledge in order to challenge empathic, holistic interactions, to strengthen a (joint) venturing culture and to encourage entrepreneurial activities in the field of design, technology and engineering.
DOCTORATE LEVEL PROGRAMS
PhD-collaborations possible on request.
doctorate level programs
subject areas for exchange students
All courses / modules in the degree programs (inclusive the Fine Arts & Sciences) of the School of Design. Admission is based on recommendations of partner universities. Additional admission requirements for graduate programs – please check the requirements of the Master’s program
For summer semester: October 15
For winter semester: April 15
The teaching language is primarily German (selected courses and project supervision are also available in English).
The Master’s programme Transportation Design is taught in English.
Free German language classes are available.
Summer semester: mid-March to mid-July
Winter semester: beginning-of October to mid-February
cost of living per month (studying and living)
fees for student services approx. € 82;
living costs about € 550 per month