DIA thrives on the highly internationalised spirit of its student body. The confluence of ideas, experience and interests from over 50 nations continuously tests and enhances the teaching environment, ensuring a lively dialectic climate for all students and professors. All study programmes at DIA are taught entirely in English, supported by a core of English-speaking Professors, librarians, workshop technicians and administrative staff. Language classes are offered for free to all students looking to learn German.
The School is an active participant in a broad range of exchange programmes, including Erasmus. These schemes offer DIA students an opportunity to spend a semester studying at any of its partner universities throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania (there are currently 107 partner schools in 49 countries), often with financial support. In addition to a diverse student body, expertise is sought from around the world for the teaching staff. DIA has attracted an academic staff of experts in their respective fields with backgrounds as diverse as the students themselves.
One of DIA’s greatest strengths is the breadth of study options. Instead of instituting a school-wide specialisation, DIA students are allowed to choose for themselves the skillset which will best serve their interests and aspirations after graduation. From the fundamental traditions of architectural practice to the cutting-edge and highly experimental, a complete spectrum of subjects equips students to be the architect they want to be. Nineteen different design studios are offered per semester, embracing architecture, urbanism, material technology, theory, anthropology, computation and many related fields. The design studios are complemented by an equally wide range of theoretical and practical courses. Alongside a design project each semester, students study the three core subjects of Theory, History and Urbanism as well as two electives of their own choosing and one of three comprehensive courses in Computer Aided Design. An overview of all current studios, courses, electives and workshops can be viewed in the Compendium.
Experimentation and the realistic testing of ideas are central to the teaching style at DIA. Rapid prototyping labs, virtual reality studios and extensive model making workshops are available to all students along. Five-axis robotic arms, laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers and a suite of workshops tailored for metal, plastic, wood are located on campus and manned by experienced technicians full-time.
DIA stands shoulder-to-shoulder on the Dessau campus with the world renowned cradle of Modernist architecture, the Bauhaus. Although DIA has forged a clear ethos of its own, it shares with its iconic neighbour the core belief in creating “form out of the nature of the task with the means of our time” (former Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Mies van der Rohe in G, No. 1, 1923). Teaching continues to take place within the Bauhaus, today home to both the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, to which DIA belongs. DIA students also have access to the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation’s extensive library.
Photo captured by the one if its Alumni Ira Efremova.