School of Art

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The School of Art qualifies students for artistic and scientific activities in the spectrum of fine arts and applied design. 
The teaching areas of the School of Art are characterized by openness and understanding for each other. Students have free access to all teaching areas within the School of Art, and in some cases also to teaching areas in the School of Design. This open and variable concept, called the Offenbach Model, is unique in the world; it takes into account the forward-looking practice of constantly changing challenges and opportunities in art and design. 

In the course of study, emphasis is placed on experimental exploration, process-oriented development from idea to conceptual concretization to implementation, in which students' individual, social and intellectual competencies can grow.
In the intersection of free and applied working methods, innovative possibilities can be explored and new fields staked out.
Unlike classical art academies, there are neither classes nor masters at the HfG. Students can study in parallel with different professors and develop their own artistic position and practice through a variety of teaching areas and perspectives. 
The artistic and creative, scientific and technical courses offered by professors, teachers for special tasks and heads of workshops, as well as artistic and scientific staff, changing guest professors and lecturers, all come into their own.

Theoretical teaching areas

The HfG is an artistic-scientific university. It offers a broad spectrum of scientific-theoretical subjects, which flank, deepen and complement the teaching of the artistic-design subjects in a judgmental manner. The School of Art teaches art history, philosophy/aesthetics, sociology/theory of the media, and perception theory, supplemented by other theoretical courses geared to specific artistic-design issues.

Depending on the theoretical subject, developments in art and culture and their social role are reflected upon here. This is by no means only about the systematic historical classification or the critical discussion of the corresponding developments; rather, the exchange between artistic-design and theoretical-scientific disciplines, which is programmatically cultivated at the HfG, is also effective in the opposite direction. Just as what is researched in theory and science can be reflected in artistic and design work, conversely, for theory and science the problems and developments that emerge in the artistic-design subjects can be the occasion for the revision of concepts or the development of new questions and fields of research.

This double perspective determines the theoretical and scientific work: it contributes to a self-understanding of the artistic-design subjects about the concepts and questions that implicitly or explicitly guide them, and at the same time it faces the constant challenge of practice.

Vocational Preparation

The HfG trains excellent, independently active and contributing artists and designers who can hold their own in a changing professional world. In addition, the career preparation program offered at the university with counseling and training accompanies students on their first steps into professional life. It offers a series of lectures and seminars on the subject of starting a business and also a consultation hour to help students plan their careers and professional entry into the world of work.

Yrd works

Taschide klein

Sandra Tan and Johannes Schiebe, graduates from the School of Design founded design studio Taschide

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Loimi Brautmann and Nicolas Kremershof, graduates from Visual Communication Faculty founded Urban Media Project (together with Oliver Kremershof)

Photo: Jessica Schäfer


Additional lectures summer semester 2023

Anselm Baumann 

Jennifer Becker

Anne-Marie Beckmann

Jonathan Bepler

Laura Brunner

Nicholas Bussmann

Ubin Eoh

​Markus Frohnhöfer

Jan Hartmann

Karoline Kirberg

Nadine Kolodziey

Dirk Krecker

Xenia Lesniewski

Leonie Martin

Mario Mentrup

Maria Mohr

Ishkhan Nazaryan

​Sonja Palade

Sarah Schoderer

Götz Sophie Schramm 

Martin Selbert

Nina Sieverding

Charlotte Simon

Sophie Watzlawick

Amin Weber

Mounira Zennia

Course Objectives

The courses qualify students for artistic-creative activities in the fields of art, media and design as well as theory and science. As a School of Art at an art university, the teaching areas pursue the exploration of artistic-creative contents as well as the promotion of the individual creativity of the students. The aim of the course is to acquire the corresponding practical, artistic-creative, and scientific-theoretical basics as well as methods of experimental work. In addition, technical implementation is taught and tested, and aesthetic judgment is trained.

In the workshops, laboratories and studios, computer and media technologies as well as analog and classical creative-artistic techniques are taught, researched and further developed. Accompanying the practical qualification, comprehensive historical, cultural, social and economic contexts are taught in all teaching areas through the theoretical-scientific subjects. 

No separation between art and design

The "Offenbach Model" dispenses with the traditional separation of liberal and applied disciplines. This model is unique and is based on the practice of softening and hybridizing the boundaries between art and design and between different teaching areas in education. The School of Arts' degree structure is characterized by courses of equal standing that are accessible to every student. Students can pursue their inclinations and interests across foci without having to neglect a respective subject-oriented specification.

Study structure

As a rule, the foundation course is completed at the end of four semesters after taking the University Intermediate Diplom which consists of a complex art/design paper. The advanced course concludes in the tenth semester with the Diplom exam, consisting of an art/design-related main subject and a theoretical one plus a subsidiary one of both kinds.

Type of qualification

Diplom Designer, School of Art.

Foundation course

The basic teaching is largely identical for all first-semester students. Students are taught the basics of art/design and methods of presentation and are introduced to the field of theoretical knowledge. As of the second semester they can attend various courses that go into more detail, depending on their individual interests. 

The foundation course takes the form of various courses, seminars and lectures on the following subjects:

1. Elements of design

The principles of design for both the applied and the liberal disciplines, Drawing, Nude Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Experimental Spatial Concepts, Conceptual Design, Typography, Graphic Design/Illustration, Photography, Electronic Media, Film/Video, Stage and Costume Design.

2. Projects

Projects in the fields of the liberal arts and applied arts involving film, video and electronic media, photography, stage and costume design. External projects and cooperative work.

3. The principles of theory/academic work

The principles of theory/academic work in the four core theoretical subjects: Philosophy/Aesthetics History of Art, Sociology/Theory of the Media , Theory of Perception and, for students of Stage and Costume Design in the  subject area-related theoretical subjects: History and Theory of Stage Direction, Aesthetics of the Theatre/Dramaturgy.

4. Technical courses

Technical courses: Electronic publishing/DTP, digital publishing, preprint/print processes, industrial print processes, silkscreen printing, soft and hard covers, free graphic reproduction, sculpture workshop, workflow photography, video lab, film/video workshop, electronic media workshop, information technology, stage and costume design workshop.

Advanced course

In the advanced course, the basics of art/design and theory/academic knowledge already acquired are investigated in greater detail and more depth. The focus of this course is on conceptual work and the methodology to be used, on substantive considerations and the development of the students’ own pictorial vocabulary and pictorial strategies. Theory starts to become increasingly important when planning and executing complex tasks.

The following range of teaching is available for the individual subject areas:

Subject area Art

Conceptual drawing/nude drawing, painting, sculpture, experimental spatial concepts.

Subject area Communications Design

Conceptual design (e.g. corporate design, corporate communications, poster design, editorial design, event design, copyrighting), typography (e.g. book typography, magazine design), graphic design/illustration (e.g. motion graphic design, media in transit, digital branding and image, interface design). 

Subject area Media

Photography, electronic media (cross-media live formats, net-based systems/telepresence, virtual environments, cross-media lab), film/video (art documentary film, experimental film, short feature film, video art, expanded cinema etc.).  

Subject area Stage and Costume Design

Stage and costume design (e.g. stage design and costume concepts, theatre projects, costume design).

In-depth theoretical/academic work

In-depth theoretical/academic work in the four core theoretical subjects: Philosophy/Aesthetics, History of Art, Sociology/Theory of the Media, Theory of Perception.

Technical courses , workshops

To consolidate and expand on the knowledge acquired in the foundation course the teaching on the advanced course continuous to include workshops and project work: Electronic publishing/DTP, digital publishing, preprint/printing processes, industrial print processes, soft and hard covers, silkscreen printing, free graphic reproduction, sculpture workshop (e.g. plaster of Paris and clay, wood and metal), workflow photography (e.g. photo studio, digital photo lab, analogue black-and-white lab), film/video workshop (e.g. digital cutting studio, audio studio, script, camera, film music), video lab, electronic media workshop, (e.g. compositing and montage, 3-D lab, development of art software and hardware) information technology, stage and costume design workshop (e.g. theatre technology, technical drawing, lighting, makeup, costume design, material science, theatre workshop, stage technology).


Up until their Diplom students must prove that they have worked as interns for at least 12 weeks and at most 24 weeks. Depending on the requirements of their chosen subject area, this internship can be in DTP studios or with a reprographics services provider, at a printer’s, advertising agency, communications and media agency or a publishing house, with a broadcasting company, at film studios, postproduction and photo studios, galleries, art galleries, art societies, museums, festivals, theatres, independent theatres and similar institutions.

Dean's Office

The Dean's Office is the parliament of the university; it manages the department, prepares and implements the decisions of the Departmental Council. It concludes target agreements with the Senate and the Presidential Board and, within the framework of structural and development planning, decides on the equipment of the teaching areas and on the use of personnel and material resources. The Dean's Office is also responsible for the organization of studies and examinations.


Prof. Alexander Oppermann
T 069.800 59-220

Vice Dean

Prof. Kerstin Cmelka

T 069.800 59-173

Dean of Students 

Prof. Dr. Marie-Hélène Gutberlet

Student Liaison  

Prof. Dr. Marie-Hélène Gutberlet

Prof. Mike Bouchet 

Office Manager, the Dean’s Office and Examination Committee

Christina Wittich
Tel.: + 49 (0)69 80059 123
Main building, 115b

Examination Comittee

Anja Mainardi-Ploch

Tel.: + 49 (0) 69.800 59-192

​Hauptgebäude, Raum 115b

Departmental Secretary

Yvonne Truber

Tel.: + 49 (0)69 80059 200

Main building, 115a

Postal address

Hochschule für Gestaltung

Dean' Office School of Art

Schlossstrasse 31

63065 Offenbach/M



Room 115a / 115b, 1st floor, main building

Entrance: Schlossstrasse 31

Opening times

Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Closed on Friday

Dean’s consultation hours

By appointment