The University of Art and Design Linz (Kunstuniversität Linz)
has its institutional and programmatic roots in the “Kunstschule” (Art School) of the City of Linz, which was founded in 1947, assigned academy status in 1973 and finally made a fully-fledged university in 1998. The institution was conceived as an explicit statement to signify dissociation from the previous art policy of the National Socialist era. This is in particular exemplified by its emphasis on the fundamental values of freedom of art and research, its commitment to modernism and contemporary art and the positioning of the University at the interface of free-artistic and applied-economically oriented design. In the past as in the present, these values form the basis of the fundamental essence and identity of Kunstuniversität Linz.
Since 1 January 2004, the University is constituted as a “corporation under public law” according to the new Universities Organisation Act of 2002 and hence enjoys far-reaching autonomy.
In the context of the regional and international frame conditions within which Kunstuniversität Linz operates, three main orientations were evolved over the past few years. Going beyond specialist competencies per se, they are of particular importance for artistic development, research and teaching and moreover reflect the unique profile of the University:
This term describes the focus on the artistic, scientific and general knowledge transfer-related potentials inherent in media and in the work with media. Within the University, intermediality on the one hand stands for the communication of broad media skills in all courses and on the other hand embodies the building of an internationally leading, top-level centre of research, education and information in the arts as well as in science and business. Towards this purpose, Kunstuniversität Linz co-operates closely with other regional and international institutions and in particular with the Linz-based Ars Electronica Center.
Based on excellent technical skills training in the individual courses, Kunstuniversität Linz is above all committed to the interfacing of architecture, design, urban and regional planning, ecology and the media. Accordingly, concrete artistic-scientific projects and research activities provide a basis for developing students' cross-sectional skills and competencies spanning the different disciplines, thereby affording them a broad perspective and teaching the required flexibility.
As Kunstuniversität Linz unites practical creative work and scientific research, applied and free artistic design under one roof, artistic-scientific research ranges among its curricular core activities. Both from a methodological point of view and where knowledge transfer and education are concerned, the challenging relationship between science and art calls for extensive research and development of the arts in one single process. Accordingly, the profile of Kunstuniversität Linz comprises cultural studies and art theory, media theory, educational outreach and communication strategies as well as gender studies in the context of tangible artistic production.