Preliminary Schedule of Program Dates* 2014-2015

Summer Semester: June 1 – July 15, 2014


Norwich University offers an exciting Visual Culture/Art program for students with different levels of experience in studio arts, applied arts, visual arts, sciences and design from elementary to advanced. The Visual Culture/ Art Program runs parallel to the Architecture/ Pre-architecture track, offering students a unique blend of academic and cultural opportunities.

The Visual Culture/Art program is designed to make the most of what Berlin has to offer in the way of art collections and artistic innovation, to consider the conditions for creating, collecting, and displaying works of art, and to examine the interplay of culture and politics.

In the upheavals of the last centuries, Germany’s attempts to assert itself as world player left their impression on the arts. Artists, for their part, helped shape Berlin – from the conception of museums and the works they collect, architectural expressions of power, to the interventions of avant-garde artists from the niches they carved out of a teeming metropolis. In the intimate setting of the Kupferstichkabinett (Prints and Drawings Department), Gemäldegalerie (European Paintings before 1800), Hamburger Bahnhof (Museum of the Present), and other collections, students examine the quality and power of original works, as well as visit artists in their studios. Together we interrogate how artists respond to changes in the global economy, and the arts’ own trajectories.

Berlin offers students a wide variety of visual and cultural encounters, from the collections of images housed in its numerous museums and galleries, to its breadth of architecture that has shaped Berlins identity. Berlin is the laboratory for contemporary arts and hosts some of the most well known contemporary artists and their studios amongst others Olafur Eliasson, Rebecca Horn and Wolfgang Tillmanns as well as world-renowned museums and private collections. As the site of a number of movements in visual culture and Arts , from Dada, Expressionism and photomontage to film propaganda, it is a perfect place to explore the role of the visual in cultural understanding.

Once rent by the postwar division of Germany, Berlin today is a pivotal city in the midst of a continent moving towards economic and political unity, while preserving traditions of regional diversity. Berlin offers a uniquely layered experience. Ethnically diverse neighborhoods are collected into a city functioning as a federal state, capital, center of EU decision-making, and springboard to Eastern Europe. Precisely these multifarious roles continue to make Berlin the setting for critical inquiry and a flourishing arts scene.

Students will synthesize their research and knowledge from their Visual Culture Seminar into an original inquiry cultivated in their Visual Culture Seminar course. Their inquiry will culminate in their Visual Culture Studio Project. Students will research and produce a body of work ranging from painting, photography, video and installation to the performative arts.

The Norwich University Visual Culture/ Art program demands concentration and dedication, as students learn to negotiate between the experience of living in a foreign environment (as avid consumers of knowledge) and the time they spend in studio (as diligent producers of art). Students must show an open attitude towards learning in a new environment and a special commitment to producing rigorous academic work. Students pursue their independent self-designed project with a faculty member, professional, artist, designer or other mentor who serves as advisor for the project.

Summer Curriculum (6 weeks)

VISUAL CULTURE STUDIO                  – Visual Culture Studio Project (elementary through advanced)

VISUAL CULTURE SEMINAR                  – History and Theory: Visual Cultures of Berlin


The Norwich University Berlin Studio is located in Schöneberg, a friendly neighborhood filled with galleries, cafes, specialty shops, and music stores. An updated loft in a fin-de-siecle building, it offers classroom and studio space, reading area, projection equipment, and WLAN. The building houses architecture and design offices, dance and gymnastics studios, artists and galleries, flower shops, and a bakery. Potsdamer Platz is ten minutes away. Norwich University introduces students to Berlin’s rich public culture, including theater and concerts, open-air markets, outstanding parks and lakes. Our staff also promotes interaction with German scholars, architects, artists, students and extracurricular activities.

Students live in shared furnished apartments, dorms, or family homestays within the inner urban ring. In single and double rooms, students share clean, safe accommodations, equipped with the essentials. Most families are long-term Berliners and offer students invaluable insights as a well as a chance to practice German and intercultural skills.


As part of the curriculum, students explore places in Germany and Europe of historical and architectural importance, led by Norwich University instructors or local experts (covered by the program fee).

Most trips are offered in conjunction with Norwich University’s other tracks, giving students the opportunity to share insights as they study the background of European culture. On some weekends and over the term break, students can travel independently. Each semester, students visit several of the following sites:

Dessau: Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus complex and Masters’ Houses; the Federal Environmental Agency by Sauerbruch and Hutton

Potsdam: Sanssouci parks and monuments by Karl F. Schinkel and Peter Lenné and Einstein tower by Erich Mendelsohn

Caputh: Einstein summer house by Konrad Wachsmann

Eisenhüttenstadt: socialist planned city restored to its original condition

Dresden: Zwinger Palace; rebuilt Frauenkirche; the new synagogue by Wandel, Hoefer, Lorch

Bernau: Trade Union School by Hannes Meyer

Weimar: birthplace of the Bauhaus, Bauhaus building by Henry van de Velde, Weimar classicism


Since 2009 the Visual Culture/Art Program has attracted over 50 students from 20 institutions in the US and Europe. Visual Culture/Art students from the US have worked with their counterparts from Germany, Belgium, Japan, and Kosovo, as well as with the other Norwich University students in language classes, on excursions, and in the Norwich University Berlin Studio.

Students also learn by collaborating across academic disciplines. Advanced students share their knowledge of visual representation, design methodology, and the verbal articulation of architectural concepts, for example, and benefit from the perspective of students trained in other fields. NU also opens the door to new friendships. We have welcomed students from the following schools:

Bennington College/ Bowdoin College/ Brown University / Bryn Mawr College/ Carleton College /Carnegie Mellon University/ Cornell University/ Endicott College/ Harvard University/ Knox College/ Hampshire College/ Norwich University/ Oberlin College/ Pennsylvania State University/ Reed College/ Sarah Lawrence College/ Tufts University/ University of California at Berkeley / Marlboro College/ Hobart and William Smith College/ University of Vermont/ Washington State University/ Yale University


The Visual Culture studio is the focus for all students in the Visual Culture/ Art program. The VC Studio Project is an opportunity for students to assimilate their Critical theory research into creative production in a workshop/studio semester long project.

Students pursue their independent self-designed project with a faculty member, professional, artist, architect or other mentor who serves as advisor for the project, meeting periodically with the student to provide supervision and support.  Students are encouraged to use their language skills knowledge of the local culture, and subject matter.

The final product of the Visual Research Project can take a variety of forms, but must express a rigorous, sustained inquiry into the chosen topic and demonstrate the student’s ability to engage with the resources in Berlin. Projects may range from a 18-20 page paper to a collection of short stories or personal essays. Students may also produce a body of work in the traditional arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, or the contemporary arts with a focus on the media and performative arts, illustration, film/video and photography.

Norwich University’s Visual Culture/Art program also works with several artists who have agreed to advise students project or artworks. Norwich University provides studio space in the Norwich University Study Center for students who are producing artwork.

Students are required to spend a minimum of 60 hours per semester conducting research for their project, meeting for a minimum of eight hours with their advisor and/or the Academic Director. A week at the end of each semester is planned for the synthesis of the students findings, writing, or other work, followed by the presentation and discussion of the projects in the group. Grades for the Visual Research project are based on the required paper or project, process, and the final presentation. Final grade assessments are made by the advisor and the Academic Director. Students must submit the final project by the end of the semester.

Visual Culture Studio Project

AP437Z, International Studies(four/ six semester credits)

The VCSP offers students the opportunity to pursue an independent, self-designed project in a specialized field of interest. A faculty member, professional, artist, architect, or other mentor serves as advisor for the project, meeting periodically with the student to provide supervision and support. Academic year students may explore one topic in-depth over two semesters, or different topics each semester. Students are encouraged to use their language skills, knowledge of the local culture, and subject matter.

The range of potential projects is wide — from public culture and fine arts to urban life and graffiti. The final product of the VCSP can take a variety of forms, but must express a rigorous, sustained inquiry into the chosen topic and demonstrate the student’s ability to engage with the resources in Berlin. Norwich University provides studio space in our Norwich University Study Center to students who want to create their own works, and locates additional outside resources.

The Visual Culture Studio Project addresses the needs of students experienced enough to work independently in all developmental phases of an independent project. Students are expected to formulate a convincing conceptual approach and a well-considered urban strategy to address the manifold challenges of the studio project descriptions listed below, and to produce a complete set of drawings and models illustrating their ideas. Site and precedent analysis help students establish the guidelines for their work, but they are encouraged to look for additional inspiration in their new study abroad context.


Visual Culture Seminar: Art in Europe, from Renaissance to the Future: Creating, Collecting, Exhibiting

AP437, Art and Architecture (four/ six semester credits)

The Visual Culture Seminar introduces students to the art, culture, history, politics, and context of Berlin/ Germany within Europe. A survey of visual culture from the Renaissance to the present. The seminar gives students a depth and breadth of knowledge of Berlin/ German visual culture. This course addresses the complexity of private and public interactions with artworks. We can approach works of art and architecture through concepts of style, taste, and tradition. In addition to their own distinct history, they also figure in a series of other histories – of religion, the state and its institutions, public and private life.

Under the premise that works of art not only exemplify artistry, they give expression to systems of belief. The ways in which a society views life and death, power and authority, the role of the individual and the collective, social and sexual identity and difference, is reinforced, challenged, or subverted in artistic productions.  Students will view work ranging from the canon of painting, graphic arts and architecture to modernist, post-modernist and the contemporary arts of media art, illustration, film/video/photography, graphic design and the performative arts.

By exploring the cities history students are encouraged to examine and revise their ideas of what is German, and to question their own sense of self and to explore the cultural embeddedness of identities in general. Berlin offers students a myriad of visual and cultural encounters, through a series of visual and writing exercises, students explore language, visual skills, ethical issues and theorize about their experience while synthesizing their field knowledge into an original work and/or formal academic writing.

A Team of art historians and curators, each teaching in his or her area of expertise, officers a series of seminars, museum and gallery visits and talks with artist and architects. Visits with international artists in their studios provides a chance to discuss the process of making art, as well as the students place in the rapid exchange among world cultures, the repercussions of global networks, and the role of the image itself in everyday lives.

Requirements: active class participation, two to three short papers and/or presentations, and a final exam or project.


In addition to their broad experience in the academic and professional sectors of architecture, Norwich University’s faculty members are long-term residents of Berlin and know the city’s culture and history. All have benefited from their own experiences abroad, hence their commitment to immersive foreign education and cross-cultural learning.


NU is pleased to attract established local artists as guest lecturers and critics at the students’ mid-term and final presentations. The following artists/ curators have participated amongst others in or been invited to upcoming reviews:

Andrea Stahl, Painter and Video Artist, Berlin

Klaus Eisenlohr, Filmmaker and Artist

Mareike  Lee, Artist and Curator, Berlin

Alice Goudsmit, Curator and Art Historian

Harald Theiss, Curator and Art Historian


Transcripts are issued by Norwich University, whose architecture curriculum is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill the credit transfer policies at his/her home institution, including advising appointments, paperwork and pre-departure or re-entry activities. Students need to contact their study abroad or appropriate office early on to ensure that they complete all requirements for credit transfer. For information about Norwich University’s accreditation, please see

All students must complete the Norwich University application. Those applying for the intermediate and advanced levels of the design studio also need to submit a portfolio (design or art), not to exceed an 8 1/2 x 11” or DIN A4 format. It should contain no originals and will not be returned. Students are encouraged to send portfolios online as PDF or JPEG files.

Students applying for Norwich University programs must have a minimum cumulative grade average of B– in their major field and should have sophomore standing or above by the time the program begins. For admissions information, please see the Norwich University application packet.


Summer Semester and Academic Year: March 31 for Summer , Oct 31 for Spring, March 31 for Fall

Norwich University reserves the right to make program changes if necessary. For more information and an application form, please contact:

Christian M. Dengler, Director Berlin Studio

mail: or


Cara Armstrong, Interim Director Norwich School of Architecture and Art


Apply to  Create a profile and then apply for Berlin program through Norwich (summer or fall/spring).


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