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University Council

Members of the »Hochschulrat«

Konstantin Kleffel of the Hamburg architecture bureau Kleffel Papay Warncke has been chairman of the HFBK’s Hochschulrat since 2011.

Dr. Hans Jochen Waitz, patron of the arts and collector, is deputy to the chairman of the HFBK’s Hochschulrat. Also, he is a member of the university's Society of Friends as well as the board of the Kunstverein Hamburg and numerous foundations supporting recent art. As a law graduate, he campaigned with the architect Jan Störmer for the preservation of the ›Fleet‹ (canal) island along Admiralitätstraße and the Alsterfleet, thereby laying the foundations for the arrival of numerous galleries and studios there.

Birgit Schäfer is Managing Director of the Hans Weisser Foundation, which focuses on science and youth education. From 2010 to the end of 2018 she was a member of the board of the BürgerStiftung Hamburg, and since July 2015 she is chairwoman. She has been an honorary member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Association of German Foundations (BVDS) since 2018 and is also active in several committees. She studied law and worked as a lawyer until 2001.

Eva Hubert has been Managing Director of the Filmfund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein for nearly 20 years. She was responsible for the good cooperation with the HFBK's Film department, allowing students to produce their final films under favorable conditions.

Birgit Kochen-Schmidt-Eych is Manager of the Hamburg-based family-run enterprise Alfred Kochen GmbH & Co. KG, international traders of industrial raw materials.


The Hochschulrat has the following responsibilities:

  • Deciding on plans for structure and development in accordance with the University Senate
  • Deciding on the basic principles for equipping the University and distributing its resources
  • Authorising fundamental rules and the statutes for the quality assessment process
  • Authorising budget plans
  • Acknowledgement of the selection and de-selection of the President
  • Selection and de-selection of the Chancellor
  • Acceptance of the Executive Committee's annual report
  • Discussion of the annual report
  • Making recommendations on the profile development of the University
  • Making recommendations on where to place emphasis in research and teaching
  • Making recommendations on the further development of the range of studies on offer

Individuals from scientific, cultural, economic and political life who are familiar with the nature of higher education can be appointed as members of the University council. Their posts are honorary, and their time in office is four years in length.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art were answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. In addition, there will be an appointment specifically for English-speaking prospective students on February 23 at 2 pm.

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

photo: Tim Albrecht

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?