Partner university in the Arctic Circle celebrates anniversary of design education

Our partner university University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its graphic design education this fall. Our Design Department head Prof. Dr. Markus Schröppel has been involved from the very beginning.

Prof. Dr. Markus Schröppel with HMKW students during a visit at the partner university in Rovaniemi.

Prof. Dr. Markus Schröppel with HMKW students during a visit at the partner university in Rovaniemi.

At the Faculty of Art and Design at Lapin Yliopisto, the University of Lapland, bachelor's and master's students are trained in various design disciplines - and this since two decades, now. But the history of design education at our partner university in Rovaniemi goes back longer, as graphic design professor Silja Nikula breaks down in her retrospective under the motto "Think Visibly - Understand Design". In it, she paraphrases the purpose of the training as follows (translated from Finnish by Prof. Dr. Markus Schröppel):

"The central criteria of applied art are expediency, impression, and functionality.

Although the media environment has changed, the central design goal has remained the same: to create a form that fits the content and takes the communication goals into account. Often they are associated with mental images or other intangible things. A growing area is information design, where information is structured as well as possible for use."

Professor Dr. Markus Schröppel, co-head of the Department of Design at HMKW Cologne, began working at the Faculty of Art and Design in Rovaniemi 20 years ago. Before that, he was a visiting student in Rovaniemi. He defended his dissertation seven years ago today ("Elimination of doubt: Methods for a predictive design to direct and optimize the flow of visitors" is available online) at the University of Lapland. As a visiting professor, he teaches there with a focus on the conception and design of orientation and wayfinding systems.

The partnership between the two universities also came about through this contact: HMKW students of the B.A. Graphic Design and Visual Communication, which is taught also in English at HMKW Berlin, can apply for a funded semester abroad at the University of Lapland within the Erasmus+ program. Several graphic design students of HMKW have already visited the place at the Finnish polar circle.

We warmly congratulate our partner university on the anniversary of its prestigious and popular educational program!