Gothenburg, Sweden

HDK-Valand. Academy of Art and Design

Academy of Art and Design at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, is a centre for the development of the independent artist/ author/ film-maker/ photographer. We are especially interested in the agency of artists in society, and in artist-led cultures across the space of contemporary art, cinema, literature, photographic and curatorial practices. The academy’s educators were the first in Sweden to introduce the doctorate through arts practices, and have been working with doctoral education for more than a decade. The Academy hosts a lively research community, including several prestigious nationally funded research projects in the areas of artist-led culture, social practice, queer cinema, contemporary poetry, and photographic archives/ imaging practices in environmental and climate science. In January 2020 Valand Academy and HDK (School of Design and Crafts) will merge to form a new department for design and art. The name of the new department will be HDK-Valand: Academy of Art and Design.

The Program and Strategy

We offer artistic education at Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral levels characterised by small class sizes and an admissions process that aims to provide diverse pathways into the academy. Our emphasis is on creating a peer educational environment and our pedagogical approach is based on co-production. This means that knowledge and practice are developed within a community of learners and researchers comprising students and professors operating in an intense and sustained dialogue with each other.
Our students come from different countries, cultural heritages and perspectives and we actively encourage cross-cultural dialogue. We are also concerned to ensure that our programme reflects the diversity of perspectives, politics and representations of the contemporary world. Students are active participants in the planning and development of their education, research and collaboration with the wider world.

Joint Lead Coordinators:

Troels Degn Johansson, Prefekt for HDK-Valand

Maddie Leach, Senior Lecturer and Proprefekt for HDK-Valand


HDK-Valand. Academy of Art and Design

Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts

Photo: Feminist Pedagogies Mobilisation Event (2016)