*foundationClass is a study preparation program at weißensee school of art and design berlin where prospective students with experiences of flight can build/reconstruct a strong portfolio to apply to German-speaking art and design schools, can learn about art and design and share their own artistic practice with peers.

For more info on the workshop programme 2022/2023 please see here

WHAT IS THE *foundationClass?

*foundationClass is a study preparation program at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin where prospective students can learn about art and design, share their own artistic practice, and build/reconstruct a strong portfolio to apply to German-speaking art and design schools. 

All prospective students who have fled to Germany and applied for asylum here and have been affected by racism are eligible to apply. The *foundationClass is aimed at people who wish to take up or continue art or design studies or who have already begun in their country of origin and wish to change their study programme. The most important application requirement is a high level of motivation and the willingness to participate regularly.

The program consists of artistic-creative workshops, theory courses and excursions in the fields of painting, digital media, drawing and printmaking, graphic design, product and textile design as well as plastic-spatial-installative design. Teaching is led by professional artists, designers, scholars and activists who are BIPoC or who themselves and/or whose families have migrated to Germany. Some of the teaching staff of the *foundationClass have been working together successfully for several years, they also teach in other artschool contexts and are experienced teachers: 

Nadira Husain - visual artist with focus on painting, expanded paintin, guest professor at the Berlin University of the Arts

Krishan Rajapakshe - visual artist and designer, former guest professor for drawing in the Art + Design Foundation

Dr. Rena Onat - art and media scientist, among others full-time women's representative khb

Amora C. Bosco - author, poet and performer

Raras Umaratih - spainting student, co-teacher

A *foundationClass year runs for several months (so far June to February). During this time you will receive the status of guest student and have, thanks to the support of the art school infrastructure, access to all facilities (including workshops, library, computer studio, lectures). As a guest student, you are not entitled to BAföG, but the JobCenter should recognize your participation as a preparatory measure for studying and support you. Participation in *foundationClass is free of charge. Unfortunately, as a guest student you cannot collect credit points and are not enrolled at the university. If you participate in the *foundationClass, we can build a strong application portfolio together with you, but we cannot promise you a place in the regular study program at the khb. Currently, only about 10% of all applicants are admitted to an art program in Berlin. Outside of Berlin, the chances of a successful application are significantly higher.


The *foundationClass was initiated in 2016 by Ulf Aminde with the support of the Department of Art + Design Foundation and since 2020 has been led by Yemisi Babatola, Katharina Kersten and Ulf Aminde in close collaboration with the above-mentioned teachers.

Ulf Aminde, Co-director *foundationClass, artist, professor Art + Design Foundation (first year of studies)

Yemisi Babatola - project director *equalAccess and co-director *foundationClass, background in intersectional education and empowerment work with focus on queer young groups

Katharina Kersten - Co-director *foundationClass, working in human rights since 2013 with a focus on access to education and anti-discrimination.

An important founding goal was to create a space within weißensee kunsthochschule berlin that was critical of itself and of social power relation, where dominant views and narratives in art education could be reflected on and questioned. More and more, this claim has also translated into a university-related practice of helping to break down institutional barriers and discrimination in access to art and design education. The *foundationClass team is represented in the relevant university committees and is in close work relationship with the empowerment project *equalAccess, with the women's representative Rena Onat, the discrimination-sensitive research project +dimensions, and the psychological counselling Kristina Utz, among others.

Over the past six years, the *foundationClass has built a vast network in the areas of inclusion, diversity and power-critical perspectives in art and cultural institutions. We work alongside the projects Diversity Arts Culture, KontextSchule, IPäd, Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit, Moabit Mountain College and many more. The program is now at a necessary point of introspection and reflection after six years of (precarious) project experience, which goes hand in hand with an evaluation of successes and mistakes. With the support of team supervision and the expertise of Yemisi Babatola, a community agreement was created. The agreement is self-critically transparent and acknowledges where the *foundationClass currently stands in its practice and work, what hurdles exist and where its visions and aspirations for the future lie. At the same time, we use the text as an agreement among us who are already part of *foundationClass or would like to be, in order to aim for safer ways of collaborating.

The *foundationClass is a publicly funded project at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and is currently financed by the Berlin Quality and Innovation Offensive of the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the WELCOME and INTEGRA funding programmes of the German Academic Exchange Service. Both DAAD programmes end this year and will not be relaunched, meaning that important funding for the *foundationClass will also be lost.