HfG Archiv Ulm
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HfG Collection

The Collections

When the city of Ulm opened the HfG Archive in 1989, the intention was to build up a collection that documented in detail the innovations generated by the HfG in design and environmental design. In 1987 the members of “club off ulm e.v.” called for the creation of the archive to be funded by loans and gifts. In the same year the Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung, now a foundation called the HfG-Stiftung, gave all its material on the school as a permanent loan to the city of Ulm. The collection was further enlarged by loans and donations.The archive currently consists of roughly 6,500 graphic works, 350 models, 30,000 documents, 11,000 photographs, and last but not least, the former HfG library containing 6,000 volumes. A second focal point of the collection is formed by bequestsfrom former lecturers Otl Aicher, Tomás Gonda, and Walter Zeischegg. The collection is being continually expanded by the addition of new material from exhibitions or former members of the school.

HfG Collection


350 objects and prototypes from classes in the Industrial Design and Building Departments. Serially-produced products from HfG development group designs.

The objects were designed to be suitable for daily use, serial production, and industrialized construction.

The objects in the collection were created in industrial design classes taught by Bill, Bonsiepe, Gugelot, Leowald, Lindinger, Maldonado, and Zeischegg.

Those from the Building Department come from classes taught by taught by Bill, Doernach, Ohl, Schnaidt, and Wirsing.

HfG Collection

Graphic works

6,500 sketches, draft drawings, technical drawings, and graphic works from Foundation Course classes, the Visual Communication, Industrial Design, and Building Departments, as well as the construction plans for the HfG building.

The graphic works in the collection were produced in classes taught by Aicher, Albers, Bill, Frøshaug, Gonda, Huff, Itten, Kapitzki, Maldonado, Nonné-Schmidt, Peterhans, Sugiura, Vordemberge-Gildewart, among others.

HfG Collection


11,000 black and white negatives with contact prints, around 3,000 black and white original enlargements and 6,000 slides. Shots of the HfG building, student work, serial products, photos taken of classes and events, portraits of lecturers, taken with the primary aim of documenting and presenting the school.

Fürst, Hahn, Koppermann, Siol, and Stritzinger each took their turn in running the photography workshop, and acted as technical teachers in the field of photography. Other photography and photographic theory lecturers at the HfG were Scheidegger, Staub, and the guest lecturers Baumann, Cornelius, Fieger, Hall, McBride, Rago, Rölli, Schroeter, and Schumacher.

HfG Collection

Exhibition panels

350 exhibition panels compiled at the school about the school and work produced in classes. These include, for example, the 1958 exhibition to mark the fifth anniversary of the HfG’s founding, the photography exhibition of 1963–64, and landscape and product photos.

HfG Collection


Approximately 30,000 documents concerned with the administration of the HfG and the Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung (correspondence with companies, donors, design institutions, students and lecturers, and accountants), construction records and plans for the HfG building, material printed by the HfG, documents on student bodies, on the running of the school, on the development groups, the teaching program, and curricula. Lecture notes, student work, and documents concerning the magazines ulm and output are also included.

HfG Collection

Diploma projects

236 students of the 640 who attended the Ulm school completed a diploma project. These projects, with only a few exceptions, had both a theoretical and practical component. The accompanying written documentation is virtually complete, and is kept in the library of the HfG Archive, where it can also be viewed. Countless designs and models belonging to the practical section are kept in the Archive repository.

HfG Collection


The HfG library, with approximately 6,000 volumes and journals, constitutes a unique collection of literature on environmental and design matters in the 1950s and 1960s. The focus is on the social sciences, philosophy and psychology, regional planning, architecture, design and technology, semiotics, and cybernetics. In addition, there are basic works on mathematics, the natural sciences, history, and a selection of fiction. Among the journals are complete back copies of architecture and design periodicals, as well as political and cultural magazines.

This inventory of works from the past is complemented by a small library dedicated to the HfG and history of design. It is not possible to take books away from the reference library. However, study areas and photocopying facilities are available.

HfG Collection

Press Archive

A collection of c. 4,300 articles on the school and its influence in public life from 1946 to 1973. The texts are in chronological order.

HfG Collection

Audiovisual media

The HfG Archive collects all film material to have appeared since 1968 on the history of the Ulm school, its influence on design, as well as the work of Otl Aicher. A list of this material, with information on the filmmakers, can be supplied on request.

The HfG Archive also has audio tapes of interviews with former lecturers and students of the school. These were recorded in the process of researching exhibitions. The sole purpose of this collection of film and audio recordings is documentation.


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