In general, studies at the KISD are project-oriented. Besides these projects, studies are characterized by scientific seminars which are accompanied by lectures, technical seminars, and workshop introductions. Additional courses are also offered for example for short-term projects in order to teach specific know-how within a short period of term. The spectrum is completed by student work groups in which students contribute to everyday life at KISD.

At the beginning of each term a curricular calendar is published for the selection of seminars and projects. This serves as a basis for the individual combination of the study plan of each student.

There are three types of projects:

  • KP: Short-term projects (KP: two weeks)
  • MP: Mid-term projects (half term)
  • LP: Long-term projects (the whole term)

Almost every Friday there are public presentations where students present their project results. This leads to a constructive project discussion and analysis of the projects and to knowledge transfer between students. All projects are documented and made available in the archive.

Within every area of expertise one scientific seminar is offered each term.

As a reflexive component these seminars form an indispensable unit in order to combine practical design-oriented projects together with these seminars.
Supporting documents for a successful participation are reports as well as extensive documentations or investigations in written or in a medial form.

The KISDlectures are characterized by their alternating focuses, speakers, and themes. International experts from different professions and designers are regularly invited to be guest lecturers.

In addition to these, the so-called KISDtalks are dedicated to design theory, design research, and design history, covering the historical movements of the past, including cultural, social, and economic aspects and their effects on design.

The technical seminars are offered by technical lecturers and staff from science and research.

Complex or detailed basics and perspectives from the respective technical work area are the content of these technical seminars.

Proofs of the successful participation are written achievement of practical workouts.

Through workshop introductions students are taught knowledge and skills in the areas: modelling, print media, wood and metal, which are needed for planning and producing particular objects.

The events are supervised by a workshop chief instructor. The participation is compulsory and precondition for the intermediate exam and diploma program.
Skillful persons are excused from this commitment.

Student work groups (AG) are a productive supplement of the school and integral part of studies at the Köln International School of Design. In these groups, students define their own team goals, and work toward achieving them, in addition to working on established tasks for the group. These student work groups are indispensable for the functioning of KISD. They give the students the opportunity to practice working and learning self-resposibility. It is compulsory to participate in a student work group for two terms – but many students are dedicating themselves much longer to their respective »AG’s«.

Our student work groups:

  • Application WG
  • Archive WG
  • Gute Stube WG
  • International WG
  • Media WG
  • Online WG
  • Public Relation WG
  • Raum und Ressourcen WG
  • Planing term WG

The existing academic program at KISD is complemented by a multitude of courses with different types of content. In these courses, students will train important basic skills ranging from English and documentation writing to software introductions. Tasks and learning content of these courses is also to teach students tools and important working techniques in the labs.