In these recent times, it has not been easy for students. Essential student experiences were taken away along with many other things. At UE, we believe in giving our students high quality education coupled with a memorable student experience.
Graduation is one of the stand-out events on the student timeline, it acts as a symbol of progression, change and a transition to new adventures. It is important for students to take this opportunity to celebrate what they have accomplished and to remember the memories they have created along the way.
For the past four semesters, we have ensured that graduating UE students get to have this amazing experience in the form of a hybrid graduation ceremony and exhibition. This provides students with a chance to showcase their work and celebrate their achievements with friends, family and their fellow graduates. This semester’s graduation ceremony for Art & Design students was also held in hybrid form, the students celebrated on campus, while their friends and families joined online.
The online exhibition called ‘Turn the Tide’ was a showcase of the final projects of our graduating class. ‘Turn the Tide’ was created by our graduates, symbolising the zeitgeist of a turbulent period in time and indicating the transition towards a better time, gaining the courage to change things. The exhibition featured work from graduates from our illustration, photography, game design, communication design, media spaces, film and motion design, visual and experience design and innovation design management programmes.
Bachelor’s and master’s students from the Art & Design faculty from our campuses in Berlin, Hamburg and the Innovation Hub shared their impressive work with the audience. They used the UE Archive platform where works form our students can be exhibited permanently to the public.
Let’s take a look at some distinguished student thesis’ that received the ‘best of’ prizes in their programmes.
Best Thesis from Berlin campus
The Best Thesis from our Berlin campus for the winter semester 2021/22 was by photography BA graduate, Selma Radz Rodriguez. Selma makes an important contribution to the theoretical and historical contextualisation of the work of Afro-Cuban Filmmaker, Sarah Gómez. In a remarkably clear, accurate and sophisticated language, she succeeds in analysing the films of the early 1970s with and against the image of Man of the Cuban Revolution. In a gender-critical and postcolonial analysis, Selma is able to point out the inherent tension between censorship and artistic freedom as subversive emancipation in Sarah Gómez’s films.
The project was completed under the supervision of Dr Till Julian Huss and Tihana Romanic. Find out more about Selma’s project here.
Best Thesis from Communication Design EN BA in Berlin
Teona Kokhodze presented her project ‘MUSEUM OF GEORGIAN SCRIPT’, which was awarded the best of programme prize. It is a fictional institution of living thoughts. The multi-functional building exemplifies and documents the story of the progress of Georgian writing from its origins to the present. The museum syndicates historical and educational artefacts, currently preserved in several different national institutions. The collection is accessible to the public and offers visitors with a precise and complete retrospective of Georgian script.
The architecture and the brand identity concept are inspired by a circle, semi-circle and straight lines of Georgian’s oldest stages of writing development—Aasomtavruli letters. The study of the Georgian Asomtavruli alphabet and its visual translation carries an educational idea that aims to increase awareness of this topic among Georgian and foreign audiences. Find out more about Teona’s project here.
Best Thesis from Communication Design DE BA in Berlin
Annalena Schulz presents her project ‘Radio Schizo-Die Leere Der Geschichte’. The project is an album cover for the Berlin band, Radio Schizo. The album creates a brutally honest, dark, but not hopeless world. Topics such as interpersonal alienation, helplessness, growing pains, loss, awareness of finiteness, sadness, farewell and exhaustion are included, as well as the call to defy it all with anger in your stomach. The story of the character shown on the cover is a running theme which is continued on the back of the cover and on the additional poster, as well as the music video. Take a look at Annalena’s project here.
Best Thesis from Photography BA in Berlin
Our photography BA graduate, Carmel Alabbasi, presents his installation ‘A STONE HAS A SOUL’. It received high praise and was awarded the best thesis from the photography programme. It deals with the question of how do layers of deconstruction, war and reconstruction play with the creation of the collective identity? He deliberates how urban identity is a certain form of collective identity based on the acknowledgement of the uniqueness and meaning of a place, rather than on belonging or affiliation to a group—with his native city of Gaza as an example.
Carmel’s installation contains three videos and four wall-size collages that cover the outside of the installation room. They comprise of raw material, videos and photos taken in May 2021 during his first visit to Gaza after having left 14 years prior.
Best Thesis from Film and Motion Design BA in Berlin
The award for the best thesis in the film and motion design BA programme was awarded to graduate, Frederik Willmann, for his project ‘STRANGE TIMES’. Frederik portrays young creatives and their interests in a time of uncertainty. The project is an interview series with documentary value. The goal of the format, set in Berlin, is to portray its protagonists in an authentic way by following strategies closely linked to the documentary movements of the Direct Cinema and the Cinéma Vérité.
Frederik’s project includes the first two pilot episodes of STRANGE TIMES, introducing Freelancing Artist, Ellebasi and Turkish Skater, Berk. Take a look at the documentary film here.
Best Thesis from Game Design BA in Hamburg
The best thesis from the game design programme was awarded to Niklas Höhnk, game design BA graduate from our Hamburg campus. He discovers what role AI plays in video games. Instead of dealing with AI as an opposition or ally to a player, Niklas tries to assess the potential of AI as a tool and helper in the conception process of games. For this project, an AI prototype was trained to render images based on a simple sketch. In this case, in the context of Creature Concept Art assisted by AI-based image synthesis. Check our Niklas’ project here.
Best Thesis from the Film and Motion Design BA in Hamburg
Margarita Nikolajeva’s short film ‘CYCLES’ was awarded the best thesis prize from the film and motion design programme taught at our Hamburg campus. It focuses on a man living in a dystopian future whose hobbies include collecting decorative figures. One day he discovers a promotion where it is possible to win a special character with a code and become a cyborg. Get an insight into the process of creating the film here.
Best thesis from the Photography BA in Hamburg
Olivia Lehmann was awarded the best thesis from our photography programme. In her thesis, she examines the topic of minorities in advertising. She concludes that the ambivalent topic of diversity marketing is part of a process of visibility. The aim of her photo project ‘Ich bin halb anders’ (I’m half different) is to give the people who affected by this a voice. All of the people depicted in the project are booked in their professions because of their ‘otherness’.
She said: “Aesthetics are no longer defined by outdated ideals of beauty. Because otherwise they will always only be half different, never half the same. We need to listen more. We need to ask questions and understand answers.” Take a look at her project here.
Best thesis from the Communication Design BA in Hamburg
Among our amazing prize-winning graduates is Lukas Jahns, communication design BA graduate from our Hamburg Campus. His book ‘RETROSPECTIVE’ seeks to access the memories of his grandparents. With the help of personal stories from his grandparents, he demonstrates what it means to grow up in a dictatorship and in times of war and the dreams and wishes one had with the new start in Hamburg in 1945.
Lukas forms a trans-medial narrative through original pictures, documents, newspapers, postcards and city maps accompanied by video content through augmented reality. This enables the readers to develop a deeper understanding of everyday life between 1930 and 1955. Check out his project here.
Best thesis from the Illustration BA in Hamburg
The best thesis from our illustration programme in Hamburg was awarded to Sina Groß, for her project ‘HÄUSER IM WANDEL’ (Houses in Transition). She presents the research and preparation of her reportage illustration. She illustrates the gentrification of Hamburg’s Sternschanze, which used to be a left-wing scene district. She learns the stories and history of the houses in the middle of Schanzenstraße 41a and shares them through illustration. Check out her project here.
The graduating classes at UE never cease to amaze the audience with their outstanding projects in all art forms. All of the projects mentioned above, along with others, are available for public viewings on the Archiv.ue platform. Visit https://archiv.ue-germany.com/ to experience all the amazing ideas and opinions shared by our current and previous graduating classes. Preview the on-campus event here.