Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW

September 16, 2022

Our present is marked by challenges. How do students at an art and design academy meaningfully deal with issues such as the pandemic, the climate crisis, war or social discrimination? What can art and design do to promote a deliberate confrontation with our future? What positive influence can design have on the way we all live together?

The graduates of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design present possible answers to these questions in the graduate show NEXT GENERATION 2022, taking place at Basel’s Dreispitz and online. With their roughly 250 products and thesis papers, with their projects and narratives from eleven fields of study, the designers, educators and artists make it clear that change is possible when we proactively engage with the pressing issues of our time.

The final projects offer safe spaces and inclusive infrastructures with their visionary designs: for example, the “Urin*alle” all-gender urinal or a modular lighting system that takes into account the biological rhythm of flora, fauna and people as part of a smart city. In their multifaceted scenography projects, the students advocate for liveable and resilient public spaces in our cities and perform “radical repairs” that could help us arrive at a sustainable, diverse, inclusive and robust urban coexistence.

They continue to collectively call hyper-individualism into question and attempt to strengthen collective spaces through shared practices and experiences. They also address our relationship to the internet: the omnipresence of the global network, and the matter-of-course way we use and are largely dependent on it.

At the same time, they propose anonymised application processes in the metaverse: in a virtual environment in which all parties—whether it’s the members of underrepresented groups or people who by virtue of their origins are given special privileges—can get to know one another neutrally as abstract avatars. They continue to negotiate the potential of art and art education in decolonisation processes or translate into motion the knowledge about the effects of plants, thus making it accessible in a new way.

The graduates use images to address the ever-worsening climate situation in animated films or show us about belonging in a volatile world in performances; and even the hypothetical scenario of a world without humans, i.e. after the end of humanity, is discussed as a recommendation for action. 

In addition to the exhibition, which shines a spotlight on the fields of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Scenography, Art and Design Education, Visual Communication, Digital Communication Environments and Fashion Design, the BA and MA study programme in Fine Arts will present itself with a video walk through the Peace or Never exhibition, which was on at Kunsthaus Baselland in late August.

The BA study programme in Process Design at the HyperWerk has set up 21 audio stations throughout the Dreispitz area. There, the graduating students talk about what moves them as process designers, what issues they addressed in their work and what’s special about the specific spot they chose for the audio walk.

The short stories and reports cover a wide range of subject areas, including the cultivation of self-defined roots, poetry and corporeality, human-dog relationships, safer spaces, interventions in public spaces, barrages of images, jewellery, intrinsic motivation in learning spaces, pro-feminist masculinities, participatory urban design and the sexuality of (body) images.

A multitude of final thesis projects are also being presented on the website with video statements, image series and short texts, enabling a visit to the exhibition at any time and from any place.

Time and location
September 17–24, 2022 at Basel Dreispitz: Freilager-Platz 1, 4142 Basel/Münchenstein, open daily from 12–7pm. Online:

Info event for prospective students as part of the final thesis exhibition: on September 21 starting at 12pm in Basel (an online event will be hold in November 2022).

Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
September 16, 2022

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