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Bachelor of Fine Arts

The interdisciplinary Bachelor degree »Fine Arts« encompasses all of the artistic and scientific subjects which can be found in the different departments as followed:

as well as numerous workshops and laboratory classes.

Students are free to decide whether to take classes in several departments or in a single department. This open structure guarantees maximum flexibility and allows students to determine the content of their studies in art and/or science themselves.

During their first two semesters, beginning students will receive extensive supervision and assistance in becoming familiar with forms and methods of working, as well as an orientation on which subjects to take in the following years. Eventually, the learning and research which is undertaken in the studios of this institution will be dictated by the student’s own artistic intentions and by the interaction between individual artistic ideas and the practical considerations of planning and artistic work. Students will be assisted extensively during this process by assessment both within the group and in one-to-one conversation with tutors. At the same time the various scientific options on offer will help students to develop their plans for artistic development in detail, give them a theoretical dimension, and set them out in a judicious way and present them successfully to others. It is also possible to concentrate on scientific subjects. Knowledge of the materials and the principles of application of different techniques of working in art, as well as the necessary manual and technical skills can be gained in the numerous different artistic workshops.

Students will learn to develop work of their own which is experimental in a way which emphasises the aesthetic principles behind the work, the statement it makes and its strengths. They will be able to gain skills in craft processes which will enable them to express, refine and further develop a variety of artistic ideas. Students will be able to develop a knowledge of the history of art and theoretical concepts which will enable them to analyse and determine the state of development of their own artistic work and both increase and enhance their artistic productivity. Students taking a scientific subject will also learn to formulate theoretical problems, to develop an argument which traces their implications, and arrive at a conclusion or thesis. Developing the ability to present one’s own work to an audience, and to translate it into a variety of media is also an integral part of this study syllabus. The normal amount of time needed to complete this degree is 8 semesters.


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?