The Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart), founded in 1761, has a longstanding academic tradition of excellence in the fields of fine art and design. With a student body of approximately 850, the Stuttgart Academy is a state recognized institution with University status. As one of the largest institutions of its kind in the State of Baden-Württemberg and a prominent institution in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Stuttgart Academy is a state-of-the-art center for education in both fine (e.g. painting, sculpture) and applied arts (e.g. architecture, design). This innovative and dualistic approach to the study of the arts has emerged from a solid traditional foundation and is a reflection of the Academy’s understanding of its unique role in university level arts education, a position which the Academy continues to preserve and cultivate. Previous Alumni of the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design include prominent figures of the art world including Adolf Hoelzel, Willi Baumeister, Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer.
The academic education offered by the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design is characterized by a workshop environment which involves student participation in both individual and group projects with the support and supervision of academic staff. The outstanding quality and range of equipment available in the technical department workshops allows students to acquire a wide-range of practical skills under the guidance of highly skilled workshop teachers. As with all university level degree courses in the fields of art and design, students must be bold, self-motivated, and show a high degree of initiative and perseverance.
Broad variety of study-fields
The Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design offers 14 degree courses. The first year fine arts foundation course offers all students a sound introduction to fine and applied arts study. The purpose of the foundation year is to give students a broad knowledge base covering all areas of the arts, from art history, theory and analysis, painting, drawing, graphics, to sculpture and new-media. All fulltime degree students must complete the one year foundation course, which functions in co-operation with the departments of applied arts. The fine arts departments encourage students to develop their artistic and research skills through access to a broad range of methodologies and teaching styles in relation to arts theory and studio practice. Fine art degree students receive close supervision from their designated professor who oversees the students studies from second year studies to final examinations. Through the excellent technical workshop facilities at the Stuttgart Academy fine arts students are encouraged to explore a diverse range of fine arts disciplines ranging from print techniques (i.e. etching, lithography, screenprinting, offset) to ceramics, wood, stone and metal work (i.e. woodturning, stone carving, bronze sculpture).
The study of applied arts at the Stuttgart Academy, including architecture and design, which had previously encompassed the traditional emphasis on the study of manual trades, has been developed in order to take into account the growing and diversified demands of industrial production capabilities.
The leading-edge departments of Architecture and Design at the Stuttgart Academy offer multifaceted programmes where students work intensively in small groups and under the close supervision and support of professors and academic staff. The specialized technical workshops at the Stuttgart Academy give both design and architecture students the opportunity to explore and realize a comprehensive range of production techniques. The award-winning Design department at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, with its reputation for excellence, offers students the chance to study in a highly competitive and international programme of studies. As well as lectures and seminars, design students have the opportunity to participate in specific group projects relating to the wide-ranging practical and theoretical disciplines of design.
There is hardly another university in Germany, at which it is possible to study industrial design within the context of free art, communication design, architechture, the teaching of art or set design to name but a few. This special climate is stimulating in many cases and increases the quality of education, even if the potential opportunities have not nearly been fully exploited as yet. As a rule, exchanges and co-operations between the students are very intensive. In addition to the testing and model construction workshop of the industrial design study course and its affiliated 3D lab. with various rapid technology processes, the Academy has a further 32 workshops for the realisation of projects. Besides a film studio, carpentry workshops, metalworking, ceramics and plastic workshops, they also include a glass blowing workshop, bronze casting workshops, stone sculpture workshops and all conceivable types of printing workshops.
The Course Structure
With its special structure, the study course is unique within German university environment. Irrespective of its moderate size, its international relationships with other universities are comparable with those large universities. In the meantime, the course of study has established itself as a significant hub of an international network. Thus there is a constant exchange with ENSCI Les Ateliers, Paris, University of Art and Design UIAH, Helsinki, Konstfack University College of Arts, Stockholm, Politecnico di Milano, Milan and GSA Glasgow School of Art and Design, Glasgow. There is no doubt that, as a highly potent economic location in Germany, Stuttgart and its surrounding region with many medium sized companies and internationally active major corporations is an exellent location, in which to study industrial design. In addition to its successful history (Prof. Richard Sapper and Prof. Klaus Lehmann), the extremely good reputation of the study course is also due to the fact that a multitude of successful co-operations have been carried out with industry in the past.
This balancing act between industrial demands and artistic standards has produced an exceptionally productive climate within the study course in recent years. The industrial design course consistently occupies the top places in current rankings. Due to the good study conditions, students are highly motivated and fulfil our expactations regarding openness, flexibility, inquisitiveness and commitment to a high degree. One could certainly speak of a „new“ generation of students. International networking, exciting co-operation projects, the prestigious careers of our graduates, who are now working in leading design agencies and companies worldwide are certainly an important motivating factor. Thus there are certain international design studios, who make a point of seeking students from Stuttgart.
Together with other universities such as: Politecnico di Milano, Milan, ECAL, Ecole cantonale d´art de Lausanne, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich, Royal College of Art, London, Design Academy Eindhoven, Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, the industrial design study course is consistently invited to take part in international design competitions. The industrial design study course has a network of past graduates, which provides evidence that the career opportunities for its graduates are particularly high. In well-known design oriented companies, e.g. Gaggenau, Elektrolux, Siemens, BSH (Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte), Nokia, Daimler, Porsche, Festo, Festool or Stihl our graduates are meanwhile active in key positions. Irrespective of this, some of our graduates have reached the international pinnacle of design by working on their own.
Here you can find a atmospherical film, made by students in the workshops of the academy: