Foundation of the Ulm School of Design
© Stiftung Hochschule für Gestaltung HfG Ulm / Photo: Martin Rudau


Hochschule für Gestaltung

HfG Ulm

It is the successor to the Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung, the former sponsor of the Hochschule für Gestaltung. Founded in 1986, it manages the foundation's assets and utilises the proceeds generated for the foundation's statutory purposes. The focus of these tasks lies in the promotion of science, research and development of design as well as the preservation of monuments, in this case the preservation of the foundation's own building complex on the Oberer Kuhberg in Ulm as a cultural monument in accordance with the Monument Protection Act of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The foundation's assets are based solely on the properties of the former university on the Oberer Kuhberg. The foundation's tasks are financed from the rental income from the properties in accordance with the available funds.

After consolidation
After the end of the school in 1968, the then Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung succeeded in reducing the outstanding debts and renovating the properties for the first time and later keeping them intact. This was mainly made possible by renting out the HfG building for many years and integrating it into the operations of Ulm University. The Foundation's financial and legal relationships were also successively reorganised and made sustainable. As a result, the building complex was transferred to the ownership of the successor organisation to the Geschwister Scholl Foundation, the Ulm University of Art and Design Foundation under private law.

Obligation to maintain the building

The task of managing the foundation's assets includes the obligation to maintain the building complex. To this end, the foundation is obliged by its articles of association to generate income from rental income from these properties. It is thanks to those responsible at the time that the debt burden could be completely paid off in the 1990s.

Building refurbishment 2012-2014
With the termination of the lease and the departure of the University of Ulm in 2011, a comprehensive building refurbishment and adaptation to both the changed utilisation requirements and stricter energy and building law obligations became necessary on the basis of a new utilisation concept for the school complex. In particular in the former cafeteria and lecture theatre area, the original spatial situations of the historic HfG were restored and brought back to life. The Foundation had to finance the conversion and general refurbishment largely with capital market funds; in addition, a limited amount of public urban development funds were granted by the state and federal governments. The burdens resulting from this financing will significantly restrict the Foundation's range of activities beyond structural maintenance and safeguarding the entire complex for years to come.

Stiftung HfG Ulm
© Stiftung Hochschule für Gestaltung HfG Ulm / Photo: Martin Rudau
Centre for Design since 2015
With the new utilisation concept under the name  »Centre for Design«, important rooms of the HfG are once again open to the public or semi-public for the first time in decades. The utilisation concept rests on three pillars:

  • the (municipal) HfG archive as a department of the Ulm Museum,
  • the event area with the former canteen, the lecture halls and the associated spacious access and communication areas,
  • the rental space for design-related offices and companies.

With this mix of public and private use in the Centre for Design, the HfG has today also developed into a lively place of encounter and communication.

HfG Ulm architecture
© Stiftung Hochschule für Gestaltung HfG Ulm / Photo: Martin Rudau