Who we are
The Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture is recognised as one of the best art and design schools in teaching and research in Europe and in many areas of the world. Our position amongst the top art and design schools is confirmed by subject rankings, research performance, industry and student awards, and the leading brands and institutions that choose to work with us. We count many of the best architects, artists, designers, and scholars among our staff and alumni.
Most of those studying, teaching, or researching in architecture, design, fine art, or critical and historical studies do so under one roof at Knights Park campus, our home for 75 years. This is a vibrant community just 20 minutes from the world’s most important creative and cultural centre, London. And we sit within Kingston University, a broad-based university located in the ancient market town of Kingston upon Thames in southwest London, which has the highest number of graduate start-ups in the UK.
We are a community of critical practitioners in the creative and culture industries who lead contemporary practice with a commitment to an ethos of craft and professionalism.
The Faculty started as Kingston School of Art in 1875, becoming part of the then Kingston Polytechnic in 1970. We have been at Knights Park since 1939. Like other British art and design schools founded in the wake of the Great Exhibition, our objective was to support industry.
Looking forward while acknowledging our legacy leads us to reclaim our name as the Kingston School of Art in 2017. The new name will also help us to communicate our passion for transformative art school education, which supports students to take risks, to innovate and to find themselves – a world away from some limiting, pragmatist notions of education. To quote the artist Bob and Roberta Smith “every school should be an art school”.
The Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture will continue to be recognised as a leading art and design school, at the forefront of art, design, and architecture education and research internationally.
We are still committed to the mission of leading industry, while recognising the different complexion and challenges of industry now and the broadening of the term to include the creative industries and academia.
Our teaching is guided by two principles: that students learn through the process of making; that students are already critical practitioners and therefore contribute to the development of their subject area.
We work with leading brands and the most contemporary issues. We test ourselves by participating in national and international projects, showcases, competitions and symposia.
Because of our reputation we work with prestigious institutions and leading companies, often setting live briefs.
- We teach our Curating Contemporary Design MA with the Design Museum.
- We are a university associate to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).
- We collaborate with the London Transport Museum on design history, practice and research.
Is it for you?
We are looking for the best, brightest and most hard-working students. We will push you but support you while we do so. We want you to challenge norms, push boundaries and achieve excellence and many of our students do exactly that – across all disciplines.
Find out more by visiting us at an event or an open day.
an art school