Along with my creative work as a blacksmith, I also manage an enterprise in the real economy. While these separate careers do not usually coexist, I have found that together they can allow one to make a living based on your passion. Study is a formative time for students in a kind of "protected environment". Here they can experiment in their creative work and develop their own "design language" without taking an economic risk. It is important to pass on not just artistic basics, but also experience from daily work, since the students will face the situation of having to further develop themselves independently once they have completed their studies. I will include my own experience as an artist, teacher and businessman in my teaching.


In my opinion, imparting the core knowledge of a course, as well as the individual and independent derivation of strategies on the part of the students, represents an essential basis of the teaching and learning process. I would like to give the students an insight into the international, contemporary metal design, and additionally to promote and challenge their self-critical thinking and designing. This will give students the opportunity to continue working on their own "design language", and to trigger a life-long, self-reflecting learning process. In this process, I consider the following competences to be important: Teaching the basics of metal design (Appropriate design for different materials, styles, limitations, techniques and artistic discussion of the contents of a design). Finding, promoting and establishing an individual "design language". Comprehension of creative diversity. Recognition of the connection between culture, ethics and mentality within a piece of art. Finding innovative opportunities for products and designs based on individual research, analysis and synthesis Development of strategies for solving design and functional issues. Understanding of planning, organisation and efficiency considerations during project realisation. Convincingly representing a design idea to third parties.


Heiner Zimmermann

Competences after completing the training

Critical management of the students own individual "design language" or design area. Flexible application of design and development tools. Competence in managing the challenges of real economy. Development of an individual strategy for starting a self-employed business. I consider it my task to train the students with respect to special knowledge, as well as to prepare them for the real economy. In this process I bear only half of the responsibility. The other half must be borne by the students, who have to be prepared to go this way together with me. Apart from teaching the basics, I consider my task primarily in motivating and inspiring the students, in critically questioning their projects and in stimulating them. Constructive criticism will help the students to rethink their projects and to find renewed motivation in order to step beyond their own limitations and to break new grounds. This will automatically make them excited about their individual creative further development.

I personally ensure that a pleasant learning environment based on respect and trust is created. In such a learning environment, respect for each other and the promotion of intellectual diversity can grow. In this regard, I see myself as a neutral mentor, who has no preconceived ideas, which will help stimulate the students to develop their own artistic language. With respect to this task, my experience in working as a moderator and coach in team trainings will be of benefit. Over the years I've developed the skill of coaching people on their way towards a personal development without imposing my own opinions too strongly.

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