Merz Akademie (Stuttgart, Germany)
Critical thinking, research and the deep questioning of technology’s ‘invisible’ predeterminations are at the heart of Merz Akademie’s teaching, learning and research. Students are supported in their studies from the start to develop their own aesthetic practices in design, art, film, or new media as a form of artistic research.
Merz Akademie is a nationally accredited, non-profit University of Applied Art, Design and Media. Its history dates back to 1918 when it was established as a “Free Academy for Cognition and Design,” as it was called by its founder Albrecht Leo Merz, an unconventional pedagogue and educator. The founding principles have their roots in the emancipatory reformist movement of the early 20th century and rest on Merz’s educational theory that sought to integrate intellectual and physical work into a holistic process. What the founder conceived as a kind of “general study of design” for the industrial age is being set forth today within the changing cultural, aesthetic, and technological conditions of the so-called information or media age, in higher education of designers and authors of print media, moving image media, and electronic media.
With a strong interest in the disciplines of the humanities, social and cultural studies, design, art, and technology, Merz Akademie positions itself between a classical art academy, a college for applied arts, and a department of humanities. It aims to facilitate the professional and academic education of design-authors who are prepared not only to fulfil but to define the requirements of an ever changing professional field.
The university sees itself as an experimental think-tank that allows its students to integrate their cultural, social and theoretical interests with their design study. The students create independent, relevant content such as films, new media, or traditional media of visual communication that enables them to design and transmit their own ideas and inclinations.
In its research activities, Merz Akademie is particularly dedicated to the process of mutual exchange between design, technology, art, and academics, thus opening up a field for research and artistic practice to address artists and designers as well as scholars in the humanities.
In its research activities, Merz Akademie is particularly dedicated to the process of mutual exchange between design, technology, art, and scholarship, thus opening up a field for research and artistic practice that is meant to address artists and designers as well as scholars in the humanities.