Portrait of the Kunsthochschule Kassel

The North Building, designed by the architect Paul Friedrich Posenenske, comprises a lecture theatre, the student refectory, workshops and the studios of the degree programme in Visual Communication. © Nicolas Wefers

The Kunsthochschule Kassel is one of the few internationally oriented art colleges that bring together scientific, artistic and art education degree programmes. As it has a right to award doctorates and Habilitationen (post-doctoral lecturing qualifications), it is also one of a select handful of art colleges in Germany with university status. Around 1,000 students including master-class students are currently enrolled on degree programmes in Visual Arts, Art Education, Art History and Theory, Product Design and Visual Communication at the Kunsthochschule Kassel (KhK).

In addition to facilities specific to degree programmes, the KHK offers students interdisciplinary workshops for all thought and work processes.  With its outstanding number of workshops, 14 in all, it thereby continues the Bauhaus traditions of combining craft and artistic skills constructively with one another.

The departmental library (BB8) at the Kunsthochschule Kassel supports teaching and studying with its diverse art, design and media collections. It is housed in the building designed by Paul Friedrich Posenenske in 1962 and close to the Karlsaue, as are a three-storey lecture theatre building, the student refectory, various workshops and the studios of the degree programme in Visual Communication. This compartmental model of the tripartite university building has developed over the decades into the Kunsthochschule's architectural emblem. The Kunsthochschule's visual identity is also based on Posenenske's architecture in that it makes the raster system of the building complex the graphical starting point for official communication.

Interdisciplinarity + Individuality

Students can gain fundamental experience and skills in the wide variety of contemporary art to go on their own individual artistic journeys. © Martha Friedel

Artistic freedom is combined with scholarly thinking at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. This allows students to become acquainted with art and culture from different perspectives. We offer committed and motivated people the best conditions in which to develop their talents and diverse opportunities for interdisciplinary work beyond the boundaries of individual artistic disciplines. Students at the Kunsthochschule Kassel are able to exercise their own responsibility in choosing how they wish to combine artistic freedom with the scholarly teaching programme. Qualified professors from all specialist areas support them in this choice through close collaboration.

EXAMEN 2018 featured an experimental educational format taking the form of a choreographed fashion walk. © Nicolas Wefers

Impetus + Innovations

Students are exposed to creative and artistic methods in a variety of media areas. © Nicolas Wefers

The Kunsthochschule Kassel sees itself as a place of constant change in which students are involved through the impetus that they provide and their search for innovations. They not only continue to develop their specialisms, mature as persons and are prepared for the professional world, but they also contribute, through their artistic work, to the constant further development of the Kunsthochschule Kassel. Students are selected here according to potential and personality. Anyone wishing to pursue his or her very own artistic path is supported and challenged here. We are looking for students that fit in with us: with an art college steeped in tradition, on the one hand, and one that, on the other hand, welcomes personalities that break down accustomed perceptions and are intent on seeking new forms of expression.

Internationalism

To simplify initial entry into the program for international students interested in studying at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, the student initiative PANALOBBY has developed the pamphlet “Wege der Dokumente – Journey of the Documents”. Design/Layout: Kathi Seemann

International exchange is an essential part of the Kunsthochschule Kassel's self-image. In the context of the ERASMUS programme, we maintain exchanges with Belgium, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Italy.

During their study abroad at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, students from Spain, Italy, China, Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and other countries not only obtain insights into related or foreign cultures, but can also set their own thematic priorities.

Networking

Art at the Galeria Kaufhof Kassel: Students from the Kunsthochschule exhibited their own works in select display windows at the Galeria Kaufhof Kassel. The windows were enlivened by the interdisciplinary function and turned into a communicative site. © Nicolas Wefers

The Kunsthochschule Kassel establishes links between academic theory and professional practice: spin-offs and different kinds of cooperation arrangements connect the Kunsthochschule Kassel with its cultural and business surroundings. The intense cooperation with partner universities and other cultural centres like the Staatstheater Kassel (Kassel State Theatre), the museums in the Hessen/Kassel museum scene, the Kasseler Kunstverein (Kassel Art Association), the Landeswohlfahrtsverband Hessen (Hessen State Welfare Association) etc. also increases the practical orientation and professional qualifications of the higher education courses.

Award-Winning

Florian Maubach (Kunsthochschule Kassel) was awarded the German Short Film Prize in 2018 – in the category of animated film up to 30 minutes – for his graduation film “Räuber & Gendarm” [“Cops & Robbers”]. © Konrad Wolf, Film University Babelsberg

Prizes and awards underline the quality and diversity of the education at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. Teachers and students across all degree programmes have been honoured at a host of national and international competitions for their short films and animated films, publications, initiatives or products. For example, they received the audience award of the German GOLDENER SPATZ children's media festival, the Studio Hamburg Young Talent Prize, the Comic Salon Erlangen's 2014 Max and Moritz prize for the best student publication, the prize for the "Best Youth Game" at the German Computer Game Awards, the Red Dot Award or the Design Prize for Germany. They were also among the prize-winners of competitions like the Next Generation Short Tiger at the film festival in Cannes, the Berlin International Film Festival, Most Beautiful German Books, or were awarded the Hessian University Prize for Excellence in Teaching for the best student initiative (TOKONOMA - Platform for Young Art and Club Culture in Kassel).

A glance back into the past shows that the Kunsthochschule was already busily industrious in the second half of the last century: for example, Günter Kupetz, Professor of Consumer Goods Design, developed the pearl design for mineral water bottles in the 1970s. The artist Karl Oskar Blase, Professor of Art and Visual Communication at the KHK from 1966 to 1992, designed the visual appearance of documenta on several occasions and was represented there through his works. In the 1980s, the American Oscar for Animated Cartoons was awarded twice to students of the Kunsthochschule Kassel: to Wolfgang und Christoph Lauenstein, for "Balance", and to Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach, for "Quest".