Bachelor of Fine Arts - Sustainable Design (via ecosign)
The degree course in Sustainable Design is offered by Alanus University in collaboration with our franchise partner ecosign/Academy for Sustainable Design in Cologne.
The interdisciplinary programme combines design with sustainability under the premise that a contemporary design course must go beyond the teaching of job specific and aesthetic skills. Sustainable design must also take the ecological, economical and social challenges of our time into account and thereby act as a competent mediator among the consumer, our environment and the global economy.
The design programme is held at the ecosign/Academy for Sustainable Design, located within the creative urban district of Ehrenfeld in Cologne. On request, other courses offered by Alanus University, such as painting, sculpture and other subjects, can be integrated into the programme.
Throughout the 8-semester design programme, students can combine key subjects such as communication design, product design, illustration and photography in a flexible and individual way.
In small groups, the future designers acquire a thorough grounding in theory, competence in using a variety of media techniques as well as practical hands-on workshop skills. Students apply this knowledge in creating their own innovative designs.
Group projects and regular cooperation with institutes, organisations and companies prepare them practically and realistically for a career in design, while providing direct contact to potential future employers and clients.
Unique Opportunity in Germany
ecosign has more than 20 years of experience in the field of sustainable design. At our academy, sustainability – considering the ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects of one's own actions – is not a just a catchphrase, but an essential component of the teaching concept from the perspective of design, science and philosophy.
Sustainable Design is a degree programme that can be individually tailored to the student’s own needs and learning goals. Each semester, the four major subjects communication design, product design, photography and illustration with their numerous subcategories and possibilities for specialisation can be combined, varied or expanded upon in countless ways.
In addition to practical projects and seminars, a variety of subject-specific lectures, theory courses and a large number of elective subjects that deal with current trends in design are available to choose from.
Around 45 qualified, highly committed lecturers provide intensive support to the approximately 230 students. This results in instruction based on dialogue and hands-on experience that generally takes place in small groups of 10-20 students with emphasis on individual guidance in a constructive working environment.
The students' semester and final theses make a contribution to people and the environment without sacrificing innovation, aesthetics and functionality.This successful combination is reflected not least in the numerous awards and prizes conferred on students and alumni (e.g. Red Dot Awards, Bundespreis ecodesign, German Design Awards, if Awards and many more).
Semester projects with partners from business and industry, research, and civil society enable students to gain practical experience and establish contacts with potential future employers and clients during their studies. Project partners include the Wuppertal Institute, the German Sustainability Award, the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Consumer Advice Centre NRW, Greenpeace, Effizienz-Agentur NRW, Cologne Waste Management (AWB), Cologne Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds, and the Club of Rome.
Extensive hands-on experience and close cooperation with partners from business and research ensure that the majority of academy alumni find excellent jobs within a very short period of time after graduation – often in positions of leadership.
About half of the students work freelance after graduation and set up their own design offices, while another third find permanent positions in agencies, publishing houses and other companies. Still others work at the crossroads of design and sustainability in research institutes or become active in the field of design management.
• General or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) OR a completed vocational training programme with at least 3 years of career experience
• Successful participation at one of the regular application day events held by ecosign.
• Applicants with a higher education entrance qualification (Abitur): proof of artistic aptitude through an entrance exam on application day (pursuant to §36(2) Kunst-HG NRW).
• For applicants without a higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), admission is only possible if outstanding artistic talent is determined (pursuant to §36(3) Kunst-HG NRW).
• Foreign applicants require proof of sufficient German language skills, both spoken and written, through a recognised language certificate (Level C1).