HGK FHNW was founded in 1796 and is one of the oldest art and design institutions in Switzerland. Basel, the city at the center of Europe’s largest, tri-national metropolitan area, home to a three quarter million people and with thousands of commuters crossing the borders between Switzerland, France and Germany on a daily basis, is the ideal location for ECAM. Furthermore, HGK FHNW moved with its ten institutes to the recently established Campus of the Arts Basel in 2014. This cultural cluster, of which HGK FHNW is part, offers an ideal context for education and research, and provides an infrastructure and a network of cultural institutions for roughly 750 students and 250 faculty members.

Setting up ECAM and the Graduate School is an indispensable prerequisite for guaranteeing sustainability, especially in view of the missing possibilities of promoting our own upcoming researchers.

ECAM is designed as a cross-university research center. It established a collaboration with the University of Art and Design Linz (Kunstuniversität Linz) (UADL) and its International Research Centre for Cultural Studies (IFK, Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Kunstuniversität Linz). ECAM partially overlaps with HGK’s three research institutes IXDM (Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures), IIG (Integrative Design) and IAeP (Aesthetic Practice and Theory).

The Compass Model shown below describes the FHNW Academy of Art and Design’s basic structure:

In conjunction with our fields of competence, all PhD projects are to be embedded in one of the three research clusters: (1) Arts, Design and Media-Based Research: Developing a framework for the evaluation of the research fields, (2) Poetry of the Real: Processes of poietic generation, and (3) Impact of Culture: Relevance of culture in society.