Department of Design

Department of Design offers students BA and MA degrees in Visual Communication, and Furniture and Spatial Design/Interior Architecture.

Department of Design can take about 100 students. The department is led by a Dean who, together with the teaching staff, is responsible for the programmes and tuition at the department.
The department has a distinctive creative identity. Work is grounded in a philosophy of cross-disciplinarity, integrated thinking and conceptual development. Design assignments address practical issues and are rarely tied to a given material or mode of production. Activity at the department is therefore based on ways to identify and articulate problems, on analysing the different sides of a problem, elaborate ideas, solutions and integrated concepts and put ideas to work in a limited resource environment but aided by relevant and accessible technology and production systems.
Design quality relies on insight into and understanding of the multifaceted nature of a design problem. Success depends on the designer's ability and willingness to work with others and articulate a complex problem as a coherent set of concepts. For this reason, instruction at the department is largely based on conceptualising and project work.
The study programmes should enhance the students' communicative abilities and capacity to relate critically to their own work. It is also important to be able to see the department's different design areas as elements of an integrated whole.

Students are introduced to the subject's basic philosophy and techniques and how they can be used in the solution of practical tasks. Students acquire a grounding in and appreciation of the history of design, communication, ergonomics, marketing, technology, ecology etc. The department encourages group work across the department's subject areas. The department has access to necessary technical resources such as workshops and computer laboratories.

External collaboration
The department is outward-looking and dedicated to building training and developmental partnerships with major research and educational centres in Bergen. The department values working with the private sector and various organisations and institutions. Domestic and international partnerships are both prioritised at the department. Given that the subject itself is continually evolving, programme revision is an ongoing task.

The designer's first job is to centre their work around the human dimension, but remaining alert to the balance between functional and aesthetic ideals, and between people and environment. The Subject Area is informed by a humanistic platform, and students are expected to know about and understand how society works and evolves.

Study programmes
The Bachelor's programmes in Design give students structured opportunities to learn and acquire confidence in technical skills, while encouraging students to experiment and think along new lines. Collaboration with other subject areas is prioritised.
Students are permitted to specialise within limited areas in the final part of the programme and in the Master's programmes in Design. The department has workshops for wood and metalwork and access to computer laboratories with good supplies of equipment.
KHiB's design programme is also characterised as being part of an art academy, and is designed to give a broad understanding of the field(s).
Department of Design includes two Subject Areas:

  • Furniture and Spatial Design/Interior Architecture
  • Visual Communication

Substans: Degree Show, Seminar and DesignJam
Substans is an annual event with the purpose of bringing regional professional designers and industry together. The key element is the MA Degree Show in Design by graduates at the Dept of Design at Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB).
In connection with the MA exhibition the Dept. of Design at Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB), arranges a seminar and DesignJam for designers in the region in collaboration with Design Region Bergen and the local departments of Grafill and NIL.
Read more about Substans

Design incubator
Department of Design has initiated a design incubator in collaboration with the Municipality of Bergen and USF Verftet.