The History of the Ulm School of Design
Building of the HfG Ulm, 1955. Photo: Ernst Hahn. © HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm, Sign. HfG-Ar Dp 090.18. All rights reserved
The Ulm School of Design was one of the most progressive institutions for teaching design and environmental design in the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by Inge Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill; the latter became the school’s first rector in 1953. The HfG Ulm quickly gained international recognition. New design approaches were researched and put into practice in its departments: visual communication, industrial design, building, information and later film. The HfG building was designed by Max Bill and still impresses today with its striking, open location.
The campus reflects the teaching concept, namely the integration of work and life in one place. The history of the HfG has been characterized by innovation and change, in keeping with the university’s self-image as an experimental institution. This led to numerous modifications in the content and organization of teaching.
Even during its existence, this private university became a model for new foundations, for example in India or Brazil. After its closure in 1968, faculty and students carried on the core of its teaching – whether in their day-to-day work with numerous well-known industrial companies or by teaching at universities and academies around the world.