The research focus has expertise in the field of visual design and offers comprehensive research and development services: from process consulting and complex spatial analyses to new kinds of wayfinding systems.

Contract research + Consulting services

We jointly develop solutions and provide a wide range of services in the following areas:

  • Support for interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Expert reports in the area of visual communication.
  • Spatial analyses.
  • Rhetorical design analysis according to the Bern model. 
  • Process consulting.


  • Game Lab
  • Visual Design Lab

Student theses

Researchers from the Communication Design research focus and the MA in Design work closely with external partners to explore topics relating to communication design. 

Research + Development

Research pathways for lecturers

HKB lecturers can take part in research projects:

  1. By proposing a research project: the focus here is on drafting, submitting and running your own project, which will be supported by an external institution. You will require leadership qualities, research experience and academic writing skills. Lecturers without any research experience can take advantage of the opportunity to gain experience by working on their own HKB preparatory project.
  2. As a PhD student, e.g. on an SNSF-funded research project: this will take three to four years and is combined with a PhD at the University of Bern (in the Graduate School of the Arts).
  3. As an expert providing occasional academic and/or artistic assistance on a research project: 

Interested? You are welcome to come along to a Communication Design team meeting at any time. Twice a semester, FSP KD also holds a ‘Research Wednesday’ where we present our current projects.

Research pathways for students

Students are able to take part in research events during their studies:

  • from the first semester, the BA Visual Communication includes theory teaching that takes an in-depth look at the FSP KD concepts, methods and projects.
  • The MA Design also offers a ‘Design Research’ specialisation, the only one of its kind in Switzerland. Here, students work on their own research project throughout the duration of their master’s studies. They are specially mentored by researchers. 
  • On completing your MA, you may continue your research as a PhD student at the University of Bern and HKB’s Graduate School of the Arts . 

Twice a semester, FSP KD also invites students to attend ‘Research Wednesday’.