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FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Institute Digital Communication Environments

FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Institute Digital Communication Environments

FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Institute Digital Communication Environments


The Institute Digital Communication Environments HGK Basel offers internationally accredited curricula on the Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. levels reflecting the rich tradition of the Basel School of Design in particular and Swiss Graphic Design in general.

The City of Basel, located in the tri-national Rhine River valley, is a unique cultural environment with easy access to France and Germany.

While our Bachelor course focuses on the students’ ability to conduct a creative process, our Master of Design program strives to extend the students’ individual design vocabulary based on the heritage of Swiss Design and its unique pedagogy. The International Master of Design is conducted in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The program leads to a double degree from the UIC and the HGK Basel.

International Master of Design UIC/HGK Basel

Graphic Design, Visual Communication, and Media Design give visual form to messages that become a part of our everyday lives. Although these disciplines contribute to the much discussed "image flood" in today’s societies, we find implicit knowledge about the meaning of images, the process of creating them and their media references of extreme importance. It is on this central theme that the MDes is focused. Therefore, the goal of the program is the deepening of process-oriented design skills through project-oriented design work with enhanced analytical competence in image theory and the media sciences.

Key Issues

The international partnership between the UIC and the HGK Basel generates a variety of opportunities for the participants of the program, such as international internships, studying in a foreign cultural environment, and an international group of students and professors.

The unique methodology of the Basel School of Design, its tradition and its focus make the MDes program an extraordinary opportunity to achieve a high level of practical and theoretical design competence.

The MDes program is involved in the current discussions of the internationally oriented design practice and its issues of design research. In combination with the strong practical background of the Basel School of Design, graduate students are given the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of discourse concerning image theory and design-oriented research.