Study /Teaching Staff /Honorary Professorships

Honorary Professorships

Hanne Darboven †, Hamburg, artist

Hanne Darboven, herself a graduate of the HFBK Hamburg, has been an honorary professor since 2000. This conceptual artist won international renown in the 60s through her development and modification of systems of complex number sequences, which she later also converted into music. Hanne Darboven has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale and taken part several times in the Kassel documenta. She died in 2009.


Prof. F. C. Gundlach, Hamburg, photographer

F. C. Gundlach, founding director of the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, has been an honorary professor at the HFBK since 2000. In the past, he specialised in fashion photography in a documentary style. During the 50s he quickly became a sought-after fashion photographer and photo-journalist. Models are constantly at the centre of his staged scenes; film stars and artists are also frequent subjects. F.C. Gundlach was later the curator of numerous internationally regarded photographic exhibitions. As a collector, his private photograph collection is one of the most significant in existence. He makes it available to the Haus für Photographie as an indefinite loan.

1926 born in Heinebach/Hessen
from 1954 produced fashion spreads for publications including »Film und Frau«,  »Stern«, »Quick« and »Brigitte«. A pioneer roving reporter (including fashion) in the Near East, Middle and South America
1967 founding of the firms CC (Creative Colour GmbH) and PPS (Professional Photo Service)
1975 founding of the PPS gallery F. C Gundlach, one of the first photo galleries in Germany
1993 founding of the »Arbeitskreis Photographie Hamburg e.V« (registered photography working group Hamburg)
1999 and 2002 Triennale der Photographie Hamburg
2000 founding of the »Stiftung F. C Gundlach« (the F .C. Gundlach foundation)
from 2000 chairman of the board of trustees for the Deutsches Centrum für Photographie


Enzo Mari, Milan, designer

Enzo Mari, Italian industrial designer, artist and theorist, has been an honorary professor at the HFBK Hamburg since 2000. Enzo has designed more than 1600 objects in total for firms such as Danese, Artemide, Olivetti, Castelli and Rosenthal. His most significant designs include »Putrella«, a bowl fashioned from an iron beam, »Pago-Pago«, a vase made from artificial materials and usable on both sides and the »Sumatra« filing system. He has been awarded the »Compasso d’Oro« several times. As a design theorist he has written for several publications. During his time spent teaching internationally he was concerned primarily with the psychology of space and colour perception. 

1932 born in Novara/Italy
1952-1956 studied at the Accademia di Brera, Milan
1971 took part in the exhibition »Italy – The New Domestic Landscape« at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
1976-1979 became president of the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI)
today board member of the Centro Studi ed Archivo della Communicazione, Parma


Nishikawa Katsuhito, Düsseldorf, artist, architect

Nishikawa Katsuhito, whose work characteristically crosses the boundary between design, art and architecture, has been an honorary professor at the HFBK Hamburg since 2000. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, furniture and architecture. Together with Tadeo Ando, Erwin Heerich and others, he developed the »Museum Insel Hombroich« in Neuss. With several outdoor works, such as the walk-in »Tilapia« sculpture project, he has significantly influenced the area’s appearance.

1949 born in Tokyo
1974-1976 studied under Karl Fred Dahmen at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich
1976-1981 studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Erwin Heerich
1982 won Förderpreis der Stadt Düsseldorf (Advancement Award of the City of Düsseldorf)
1977-today numerous international exhibitions


Dr. Stefan Sasse, Hamburg, designer

Since 2007, Dr. Stefan Sasse has been honorary professor of Patent Law/Copyright and Engineering Mechanics in the department of Design at the HFBK Hamburg. After studying machine construction specialising in design engineering, he completed a qualification as a patent assessor. He has written on design engineering, primarily in medical issues, in several publications.

1994–1996 became director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at the Berufsgenossenschaftliches Unfallkrankenhaus Hamburg-Boberg
1998 received a doctorate at both the Technischen Universität Hamburg-Harburg and the BG-Unfallkrankenhaus Hamburg-Boberg
1998 was given the 1st International Audi Design Award for the design of a system supporting bone healing
2000 passed German patent assessor exams
2001–2005 became visiting professor for Engineering Mechanics and Construction at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
since 2002 a patent lawyer with the law firm White & Case, Hamburg


Prof. Dr. Hubertus Gaßner, Hamburg, art historian

Prof. Dr. Hubertus Gaßner, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, has been an honorary professor in the department of Theory and History of Art at the HFBK Hamburg since 2007. After studying art history in Marburg, Heidelberg, Munich and Hamburg, he took on various teaching posts as well as professorships at various institutes of art history, and produced several publications on European and American art in the 18th through to the 20th centuries.

1950 born in Frankfurt am Main
1982 awarded doctorate at the Universität Heidelberg
1989-1992 became director of the documenta archive, Kassel
1983–2002 became main curator of the Haus der Kunst, Munich
2002–2006 became director of the Museum Folkwang, Essen
since 2006 director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle


Dr. Harald Falckenberg, Hamburg, art collector and writer

The renowned collector of contemporary art and book writer, Dr. Harald Falckenberg, has been a honorary professor of the HFBK Hamburg since 2008.

Harald Falckenberg (*1943) studied law in Berlin, Freiburg and Hamburg, completed his legal clerkship and assessor exams in Hamburg and gained a doctorate on international insurance law at the Universität Hamburg. He subsequently worked at the Universität Hamburg and the Freie Universität Berlin, first as a scientific assistant and later as a managing director and as a member of the Hamburger Verfassungsgericht (the Hamburg Constitutional Court).

Falckenberg has been chairman of the Hamburger Kunstverein since 1999. His collection, housed in the Phoenixhallen, led the US magazine »Artnews« to name him as one of the »World’s Top 200 Collectors«. He is a longstanding member of the Freundeskreis der HFBK.

Honorary Members

Prof. Gret Palucca †, Dresden, expressive dancer

As a young ballet student, Gret Palucca went to see a dance performance by Mary Wigman in Dresden. This caused the young girl to find a new direction beyond classical dance. As Wigman’s student and a member of her dance group, Gret Palucca developed a jaunty, cheerful dancing style. In 1924 she began her solo career, and became a leading representative of expressive dance. Contacts with Dada artists and with the early Bauhaus made New Art into one of Palucca’s themes.

1902 born in Munich
1925 opening of the Palucca-Schule in Dresden, later with offshoot projects in Berlin und Stuttgart
1926 founding of the Palucca dance group
1936 appeared at the opening night of the Olympic Games in Berlin
1939 banned from performing by the National Socialists; stripped of the directorship of the Palucca-Schule
1951 last solo performance, to celebrate the birthday of Wilhelm Pieck
1952 was a co-founder of the Deutschen Akademie der Künste in East Berlin
1956-70 vice-president of the Deutschen Akademie der Künste
1993 died in Dresden. Was buried at Hiddensee


Prof. Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky †, Frankfurt, architect and designer

Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky was the first woman in Austria to complete a degree in architecture. Her designs were influenced by the then still nascent tendency towards functionalism in design. She became well known through her design of the “Frankfurter Küche” (Frankfurt kitchen), considered a prototype of the modern fitted kitchen. 

1897 born in Vienna
1926 appointed to the Hochbauamt Frankfurt am Main (structural engineering authority, Frankfurt am Main), where she specialised in kitchen design
1930-32 designed two terraced houses for the Wiener Werkbundsiedlung (Vienna industrial association estate)
1930-37 as a member of the May group, received a commission to design new cities as part of Stalin’s first five-year plan
1938 took a teaching post in Istanbul; made contact with banned European artists such as Béla Bartók and Paul Hindemith
1941 arrested by the Gestapo during a journey to Vienna while attempting to secretly contact the Austrian Communist resistance movement and sentenced to 25 years in prison
1945 was liberated by US troops. Later received commissions in Bulgaria, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba and the DDR
1980 her work was belatedly recognised by Austria. She was awarded the Architekturpreis der Stadt Wien (architecture prize of the city of Vienna)
until 1996 received numerous prizes and took part in numerous international exhibitions
2000 died in Vienna, and was buried at Vienna Central Cemetery


Prof. Max Bill †, Zurich, architect, painter, sculptor

Max Bill was a leading representative of Concrete Art. He was active in both the theory and practice of art, design and architecture. Today his constructive sculptural works are displayed in public worldwide. As a furniture designer he became known by designing the »Ulmer Hocker« (Ulm stool) which can be used as a tray, a shelf or a stool. Max Bill received numerous prizes and honours for his work.

1908 born in Winterthur
1927-28 studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau
1932-37 member of the artists’ movement Abstraction-Création in Paris
1944-45 a professor at the Zürcher Kunstgewerbeschule
1951 was appointed as first director of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm
1955-64 participation in documenta I, documenta II and documenta III in Kassel
1961-64 director of the »Bilden und Gestalten« (Depicting and Shaping) department for the schweizerische Landesschau von Lausanne (Swiss national exhibition at Lausanne)
1967-74 professor of environmental design at the HFBK
1994 died during a visit to Berlin


Prof. Dr. Frei Otto †, Stuttgart, architect

Frei Otto was one of the leading representatives of a biomorphic architecture. He developed structures for his buildings based on pneumatic and biological principles from his intensive study of nature and natural forms. Best known are his tent-like roofing constructions, for instance the Olympic Stadium in Munich. Other major works are the German Pavilion for the World Exhibition in Montreal 1967, »eco-houses« for the IBA (international building exhibition) in Berlin 1985 and the temporary umbrella constructions for Pink Floyd’s tour in 1977.  Frei Otto has been famous worldwide for his experience with light construction, cable nets and lattice shells.

1925 born in Siegmar  (today part of Chemnitz)
1943 enrolment on an architecture course at the TU (Technische Universität) Berlin, shortly afterwards called up by the Wehrmacht. Deployed as a fighter pilot
1945-47 a prisoner of war in France; first professional experience as a camp architect
1948-54 resumption of studies in Berlin. Travelled to the USA to study on a scholarship. Became acquainted with leading architects, including Mies van der Rohe, Erich Mendelsohn, and Frank Lloyd Wright
1952 founding of an architecture bureau in Berlin
1957 founding of an »Entwicklungsstelle für Leichtbau« (development centre for light construction)
from 1958 visiting lecturer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm
1964 founding of the Institut für Leichte Flächentragwerke (institute for light supporting surfaces) at the TU Stuttgart. Intensive exchanges with physicians, biologists and palaeontologists concerning natural structures
from 1969 director of the research department Weitgespannte Flächentragwerke (wide-spanning supporting surface constructions) at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)
2015 died in Warmbronn


Prof. Gottfried Böhm, Cologne, architect, sculptor

Gottfried Böhm is the only German architect so far to be awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize. He built numerous churches, more than forty in total, most of them in the Rhineland. His work is characterised by an individual architecture of concrete and glass. Böhm’s best known building is the sculptural/expressionistic pilgrimage church in Neviges. Among his secular buildings are the town hall in Bergisch Gladbach-Bensberg, the Stadthaus in Ulm and a town hall with a cultural centre in Bocholt. The idea of roofing the Reichstag building with a glass dome also comes from Böhm.

1920 born in Offenbach am Main
1942-47 studied architecture and sculpture at the TU Munich and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Munich
1955 took over his father Dominikus Böhm’s architecture agency
1986 was awarded the Pritzker Prize
1991 became an honorary member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London
2006 a retrospective, »Felsen aus Beton und Glas« (Rocks of Concrete and Glass) at the Deutschen Architekturmuseum Frankfurt am Main
today his architecture agency in Cologne is mainly run by Böhm’s three sons.


Prof. Oswald Mathias Ungers †, Cologne, architect

Oswald Mathias Ungers was an influential architect during Germany’s post-war period. His architecture is based on basic geometrical forms, such as circles, squares and cubes. Using these primal forms, he established an unmistakable elementary building style, outside of all modern trends. As one of the leading theorists of his time, he developed »German rationalism«. Well-known examples of his building art include the Galerie der Gegenwart (Gallery of the Present Day) of the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Alfred-Wegener Institut in Bremerhaven.

1926 born in Kaisersesch/Eifel
1947-50 studied architecture at the TH Karlsruhe under Egon Eiermann
1963-67 a professorship at the TU Berlin
1967-75 professorships at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Harvard University at Boston, and the University of California in L.A.
1979-80 professorship at the Hochschule für angewandte Kunst in Vienna
1986-90 professorship at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
1987 member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin
1988  member of the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA)
1997 awarded Großes Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (great cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany)
2001 awarded Goetheplakette der Stadt Frankfurt am Main (Goethe Award of the City of Frankfurt am Main)
2006 awarded Verdienstorden des Landes Nordrhein-Westfahlen (Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia)
2007 died in Cologne


Prof. Friedrich Spengelin, Hamburg, architect

Together with his wife, Friedrich Spengelin runs an architecture bureau in Hamburg, with a branch in Hannover. They have already realised numerous pieces of work together, such as the Kunsthalle Emden and the town hall and spa building on Heligoland.

1925 born in Kempten/Allgäu
1948 completed a diploma at the TU Munich
1951 founded bureau in Hamburg
1961 appointed to the chair of Design at the TH Hannover
1966 chair of town planning, housing and federal state planning at the TU Hannover
1970 planning collective Spengelin, Gerlach and Glauner started in Bonn
1973 awarded Heinrich Plett-Preis für Verdienste um den Städte- und Wohnungsbau (Heinrich Plett Prize for services to town and housing planning)
1974-today member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutsche Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung, the Internationaler Verband für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau und Raumordnung, the Internationaler Verband für Stadt- und Regionalplanung, and member of the BDA board for the state of Hamburg and the national BDA board