Bergen National Academy of the Arts

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Bergen National Academy of the Arts - Main Building Strømgaten 1

Bergen Academy of Art and Design (Norwegian: Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen) or KHiB is one of the two independent institutions of higher learning in the visual arts and design in Norway. It is located in Bergen, Norway. [1]


Art education has long traditions in Bergen, as the first school of art was established here in 1772, modelled on the Academy of Art in Copenhagen. The present college, Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen, is a fairly new institution which in 1996 merged two former institutions; Vestlandets kunstakademi which had been founded in 1972 and Statens høgskole for kunsthåndverk og design which dated to 1909. [2]

The institution is currently spread across several buildings at two different campuses. Authorities have promised a new collage building for this purpose, and the architectural group Snøhetta have been assigned to develop the project. Originally planned for 2009, the concept has been redrawn to meet budget demands from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The planned date for completion is 2013 (proposed). [3]


KHiB has an excellent library on campus located in Vaskerelven 8. It is highly specialized, offering a wide range of books and periodicals within art and design. Although primarily for students and staff, the library also welcome the general public.


Bergen Academy of Art and Design is currently located in five different buildings in the center of Bergen. The main building and reception area is in Strømgaten 1, just across from the Bergen Railway Station. In the vicinity of the main building (around the pedestrian street Marken) are two buildings shared by the Department of Design and the Department of Specialised Art; Marken 37 and Kong Oscarsgate 62. Parts of the Dept of Spesialised Art is located in Vaskerelven 8 together with workshops for printing and photography. The Department of Fine Art is located in C. Sundtsgate 53 at Nordnes.[4]


KHiB has three departments: Department of Fine Art, Department of Design and Department of Specialized Art. There are 300 students and around 100 staff members. A range of continuing education courses are available.

A note on departments: as of 1 August 2012, the two art departments will be united into one. This will also apply to the study programmes for bachelor students. It will not, however, affect the Master programme in Fine Art, as it was merged already in 2005.

Students can take a three-year Bachelor degree and a two-year Master degree in the following areas:

  • Visual Art
  • Interior Architecture
  • Furniture Design
  • Room Design
  • Visual Communications
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles

Department of Design[edit]

Department of Design offers students BA and MA degrees in Visual Communication, and Furniture- and Spatial Design/Interior Architecture.[5]

  • Visual communication is written communication (typography), visual communication (illustration in a wider sense) and interactive communication (from web design to various forms of interactive design), for print and digital media, both static and dynamic.
  • Furniture- and Spatial Design/Interior Architecture is about creating spatial solutions and constructions for open and enclosed public and private spaces. Students design furniture and other items for industrial manufacture as well as various fixed/movable items related to rooms and their functions. Another part of the program concerns exhibition and museum design.

Department of Specialised Art[edit]

Studies at the Department of Specialized Art address the wide field of what traditionally is called visual and applied art. In the view of the department it is essential – and a challenge – to operate in this highly charged area where distinguishing boundaries are neither settled nor sealed. Specialization refers to the approach within a discipline or subject area, not to the particular means of artistic expression, the art object or work.[6]

What sets the department apart then is specialization in a given area along with the emphasis on practical work, approaches and techniques.

The Department contains four Subject Areas:

  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles

The strength these subject areas comes from drawing on theory and traditional and modern techniques to inform students’ individual assignments, providing a pathway to higher artistic proficiency.

Department of Fine Art[edit]

Bergen National Academy of the Arts - Department of Fine Art

Studies at the Department of Fine Art introduce students to art in the wider sense as a platform from which to develop their own artistic practice. The most important part of the program is the development of a personal work of art which takes account of wider cultural and social issues. Students will learn how to present, contextualise and critique their own and others’ artistic work.

Art is a dynamic and innovative field of activity and study, also in terms of the media, materials and critical debate. Dept of Fine Art offers programs in two-dimensional and three-dimensional visual art, electronic media and performance art. We encourage fearless discussion of tendencies and changes in the contemporary art scene, culture and wider society.[7]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°23′27.7″N 5°19′58.8″E / 60.391028°N 5.333000°E / 60.391028; 5.333000