Course Description

Manual & Material Culture

Research, design, take things into your own hands

Want to get your hands dirty? Yes! Want to get your mind spinning in the heat of the creative process? Oh, yes! Want to connect the hand with the brain – like in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” – preferably with your own heart and soul? That too? Then this course is perfect for you – no matter whether you have A-levels or whether you have completed an apprenticeship. There’s nothing to stop you embarking on a career as a craftsperson-plus-designer! Science fiction or tradition? Both are possible: design the present!

Manual trade meets product design

Have you finished an apprenticeship and want to rechannel your practical skills, taking them one step further? Or do you come from a grammar-school and want to lend concrete form to your abstract knowledge? In both cases, this is the right place for you. For the first time, a university training programme combines these aspects in a unique, extraordinary course of studies: the bachelor’s course in “Manual & Material Culture” unites manual trade and product design in an innovative, forward-looking way with a business-oriented outlook.

The course

The course caters for your current situation: if you have already completed training in a manual trade, you will learn the tools for professional product design. If you are a grammar-school graduate, you will acquire sound woodworking or metalworking skills in an additional course. In any case you will learn practical manual skills along with business management expertise. You will also study methods of design research, design development, and design presentation. The core of the curriculum is the “Craft Studio”, in which you can explore the latest developments in design and use of a wide range of different materials in hands-on project work. Also, you will engage in extensive study of technical design and design theory, but also future-driven topics such as “new materials and sustainability” – or the role of manual trade against the background of the latest developments in technology such as “3D printing”.
To channel your career more effectively, in the second year of study you can choose between the subjects business management and cultural studies, thus preparing either for future managerial tasks in medium-sized companies or for a postgraduate master’s course.

NDU advantages: real-life, creative setting

Study at the NDU is founded on practice: numerous cooperations between the University and the business world allow you to experience current standards in industrial productions hands-on. At the same time, you will benefit particularly – above all with regard to your creative development – from the stimulating environment of an innovative private university: you will have daily dealings with tomorrow’s graphic and information designers, interior designers, event engineers, and numerous other “creative workers”, carrying out joint projects and exchanging views and experience beyond the boundaries of your own disciplines.

Whatever specialisation you opt for, and whatever educational setting you come from: your particular creative development, geared to your needs, is always guaranteed.



Profession and career opportunities

The door to a career in the production industry is wide open: above all the unique combination of a bachelor’s course with manual skills will make you a highly valued candidate for managerial positions in medium-sized companies. Design firms also appreciate this dual expertise, combining, as it does, top-notch design and technical skills. Another avenue is to embark on a self-employed career, in which you can give your creativity full play as a freelance designer or craftsperson. Last but not least, building on your basic academic training you can refine your expertise in a related master’s course or take a master craftsman’s diploma.




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