The Academy for Fine Arts and Design (HBKsaar) in Saarbrücken was founded in 1989 in connection with the economical and technological development of the Bundesland Saarland which intends to respond the challenges of the future by the creation and extension of alternative research centres - in particular in the fields of ecology, new technologies, computer graphics and artificial intelligence.
The nature of the art schools in Saarbrücken was shaped by arts and crafts which from
the twenties onwards followed the Bauhaus tradition. The HBKsaar has emerged from these art schools as an art academy which offers the two departments Fine Arts and Design. The academy ranks as one of the youngest art academies in Europe. It is a state institution and at the time it has 250 student places at its disposal.
The main characteristic of the academy is the interdisciplinary linking up of the courses. That means on the one hand experimental and interactive projects based on recent resources in the fields of science, technology, economics and society and on the other hand the focus on electronic media. Indeed the aesthetic innovation of telecommunications confronts artists and designers with key questions concerning our future.
The flexible educational concept requires from the students the capability of responsible, critical and reflexive interest for their environment. The purpose is to form mobile students rather than traditional artists or designers visiting one "class". So the students can gain an aesthetic qualification based, as far as possible, on an universal knowledge of social relevant contexts.The main building of the HBKsaar is an historical baroque building situated together with various pavilion buildings near the Ludwigsplatz in the heart of Saarbr¸cken. The principals office, the administration, the library, the media library, the archive, the studio and seminar rooms, workshops, a darkroom and a cafeteria can be found here. There is also a printing centre at the Tummelplatz, only a short walk.
In 1994 the campus was further extended with the opening of the so-called E-Haus, a former grammar school building. Today, the E-Haus houses various studios for photography, sound and recording, video and computer. Another site of the HBKsaar is the Handwerkergasse in Völklingen. It is part of a former iron and steelworks which belongs to the European cultural world heritage of UNESCO since 1994.The Art Department encompasses all artistic media, from painting and sculpture up
to audiovisual and computer generated art. The Design Department teaches all the fields of communication,media and product design.
The educational and professional concept of the HBKsaar is project orientated which means that it is based upon the principle of bringing together different disciplines and skills. Thus, new cross-discipline teaching and study projects are being developed continuously. This educational structure concentrates on flexibility which enables a far-reaching interchangeability between the different courses.Beside a close interconnection with several scientific and cultural institutions such as the Saarland University, the
Academy of Music and Drama, the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, and the neighbouring academies of Fine Arts in France, the HBKsaar sees a further challenge in the confrontation with specific assignments given by public and private enterprises with the aim of increasing the students awareness for recent and future developments of the society. This co-operation result in semester works which deal with concrete design projects as well as art projects in public space.
Since 1993, the HBKsaar has been linked by an agreement, financed by the INTERREG Programme of the European Community, with the Glasswork Centre in Meisenthal, a former glass factory in Lorraine. The centre is offering various training courses about glasswork techniques in art and design. Meanwhile the HBKsaar has set up a co-operation network which has enabled the participation of the art schools of Nancy, Strasbourg, Reims, Karlsruhe, Milan, Florence, Barcelona, Prague, Enschede.
Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar
Tel: +49 (0)681 / 9 26 52 101
Fax: +49 (0)681 / 58 47 287
Further information: http://www.hbks.uni-sb.de