Design, music, theatre and other arts

Design, music, theatre and other arts

Research at the Bern University of Arts (BUA) combines scientific and artistic approaches in a practically oriented way. It addresses questions arising from cultural studies and technology, and explores issues that are relevant to society. Artistic work and all forms of structured communication are theoretically substantiated and interpretively developed. BUA research has four key areas of focus as follows:


Insight required representation. In the intermediality focus we try out and investigate the processes of transfer between different media, particularly between scientific and artistic forms of representation. Our emphasis is on how different media also generate different forms of knowledge. 


Areas of research:

Art as Research

Intermedial Arts

Auditory Cultures

Art Education




Artistic work is given a theoretical basis and accessed by means of interpretation. It is only through the act of interpretation that many works of art manifest themselves at all. In the research field ‘Historically Informed Performance’ (HIP), the research area Interpretation investigates performance practice in music and music theatre primarily of the 19th and 20th centuries and puts its research findings into practice. Further focus areas are historical music instruments and music theory. The research field ‘Authorship’ examines current shifts in the relationship between authorship and interpretation across all the arts.


Areas of research:

Historically informed performance

Historical music instruments

Music theory


Website research area Interpretation



Communication design

Here, the objects of study are all forms of designed communication. The projects in the research field 'Knowledge Visualization' make qualitative knowledge visible in new ways; in 'Social Communication' aspects of communication in society are analysed and redesigned, especially in the healthcare sector; 'Communication Design in Space' is dedicated to visual communication in architectural spaces, and in 'Design and Rhetoric' communication design practices are investigated by means of rhetorical concepts.

The Bern University of the Arts HKB is a member of the Swiss Design Network (SDN), the national competence network of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences.


Areas of research:

Knowledge Visualisation

Social Communication

Environmental Communication Design

Design and Rhetoric



Materiality in Art and Culture

The research area Materiality in Art and Culture studies materials from the perspective of art technology, on the one hand, and of art and cultural studies, on the other. Materials are either to be preserved or are used to preserve other materials. In any case, it is important to register and understand the frequently complex interplay of materials with respect to their composition, the technology employed and the artistic or cultural statements they make. The research fields of Material research in Art and Culture and Preventive Conservation have a more scientific and technological approach, while the field Medial Semantics of Materials in the History of Art and Culture focuses on the significance of materials from the perspective of cultural studies and the humanities.


Areas of research:

Material research in Art and Culture

Preventive Conservation

Medial Semantics of the Materials in the History of Art and Culture



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