Max Littledale and Mitch Hopkins semester exchange at h_da in Germany
In the fall of 2016, both Mitch Hopkins and I were lucky enough to be selected for a new adventure. Mitch had been working with the study abroad coordinators to set up a new exchange program for Capilano University's IDEA School of Design, one that would give us applicable credits and line up with our semesters here in Canada. The exchange that got set up was through a new school, one that Capilano had never sent any students to: Hochschule Darmstadt (aka h_da), in Germany. Mitch and I were both extremely excited by this opportunity, considering the enormous place that Germany has in design history. Here are some photos of our experience.
We were at school between the beginning of March 2017 until the middle of July 2017.
Both Mitch and I had great opportunities to travel to different countries, each of us seeing at least seven major European cities over the time we were there.
The school itself was fantastic, with h_da boasting an entire building dedicated to the design department. This space had facilities such as a screen printing room, an industrial design lab, a letter-press and book binding room, an outdoor barbecue/bar/venue, and other tools for us to play with.
You are required to take:
- Pre-sessional German language course
- 1 conceptual design (entwerfen) course
- Production & realization (part of entwerfen)
- Visualization Methods and Techniques (experimental)
- Since you pay only the set Capilano tuition, any further courses you attend are free but do not give you transferable credit.
Additionally we took:
- Poster design (additional experimental course)
- Exhibition/sculpture block course in Civitella D’Agliano, Italy
- Silkscreening workshop
In studies, I focused on experimental illustration and screen printing, while Mitch focused on editorial layout design and photography. We shared a few classes, one of which being a poster design course, and the other being an experimental typography section (where we chose to design a typeface).
While there, we enjoyed cycling, photography, t-shirt design, cooking, and exploring. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to challenge ourselves to meet new people, and gain a new perspective on what communication means.
We returned to school refreshed, re-focused, and recharged, with a new set of experiences to guide us through our creative practices.
Denise Grösch and Michael Wenninger are incoming students from Hochschule Darmstadt who join IDEA School of Design this semester. I became friends with Denise when I was in Germany and I am excited for her to have a rewarding exchange experience in Vancouver.