Tradition: back to the future

“Folkwang is the union of all the arts and artistic education.” When the arts patron Karl Ernst Osthaus founded the Folkwang concept in1902 he wanted to create a meeting place for people of every origin as a cultural centre in western Germany that would gather all of the arts under one roof. Thus the two Folkwang schools – one for Music, Dance and Speech and one for Design – were set up in 1927, alongside the Folkwang Museum. After the end of World War II they moved into the former Benedictine Abbey in Werden.

The Folkwang School of Design was re-opened in 1948 as the Folkwang School of Applied Arts. The study program developed by Werner Glasenapp from 1949, focusing on experimentation in the education process, is still part of our design training. In 1972 the Art and Design faculty was integrated into the University of Essen, which merged with Mercator University in Duisburg in 2003 to become the University of Duisburg-Essen. In 2007 the Industrial Design, Communication Design and Photography courses were brought back to the Folkwang Hochschule.
In its continuing development, the Faculty of Design is emerging as a place for inter-disciplinary teaching and practice that is carrying the Folkwang idea into the future.