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Opening at the Rosenthal Theater: The future of mobility is being shaped in Selb!

With the ceremonial start of the new course of studies “Design and Mobility”, Hof University of Applied Sciences has opened its new place of learning in Selb. The 16 first students and numerous guests of honor attended the official kick-off in Selb’s Rosenthal Theater. In the future, classes will be held in the Selb Spiegelhaus of Rosenthal GmbH. The new course of study will be headed by Lutz Fügener

Pleased about the new course of studies (from left): MdL Martin Schöffel, Bernhard Wagner (Form and Function Department of the BMW Group), Prof. Lutz Fügener, Anke Rieß-Fähnrich (moderator), OStD Dr. Bernhard Nitsche (Head of the State Vocational School Center for Product Design and Testing Technology Selb), Matthias Rasch (student representative) and Peter Berek (District Administrator Wunsiedel im Fichtelgebirge); Photo: Jörg Schleicher

With the internationally renowned professor for Transportation Design and 3D Design, one of the leading minds in his field has moved to Upper Franconia to establish the new degree program.

Today we celebrate another building block towards a smart rural region! Starting from classic mobility, we want to boldly drive forward new developments in Selb and thus contribute to a region that is proactively shaping its future and to which young people are happy to come.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann

The new course of studies contributes to the greentech strategy of Hof University of Applied Sciences with sustainable solutions and deals directly with the future of human movement. The new study program thus has the potential to make Selb one of the leading addresses in the field of vehicle design.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann; Photo: Jörg Schleicher;

Change brings opportunities

Before, Selb’s mayor Uli Pötzsch, who especially appreciated the merits of former district administrator Dr. Karl Döhler for the new study location, had already emphasized the importance of the new branch of the Hof University of Applied Sciences in his welcoming speech

A vision becomes reality – and all the time spent was worth it: Selb is a place to study and the design expertise available on site is being vigorously developed! We are looking forward to the new students. They can expect the best career prospects in a market of the future!”

Ulrich Pötzsch, Mayor of the City of Selb
Uli Pötzsch, Lord Mayor of the City of Selb; Photo: Jörg Schleicher

Bavaria’s Minister of Science Bernd Sibler also sent his greetings and good wishes for the development of the new location via video. Mobility is one of the most exciting fields of development of the present and the future, which is why the Free State of Bavaria is happy to support the new learning location as well as the construction of a new design studio at the Vocational School for Product Design in Selb with funds from the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria, said Sibler.

Science Minister Bernd Sibler delivered a video message; photo: Jörg Schleicher;

Acting instead of reacting

Finally, in a roundtable discussion sovereignly moderated by Anke Rieß-Fähnrich, state parliament member Martin Schöffel and Wunsiedel’s district administrator Peter Berek discussed the challenges arising from the changing economic sector of mobility together with BMW Group development specialist Bernhard Wagner, course director Prof. Lutz Fügener and Dr. Bernhard Nitsche from the Vocational School Center for Product Design and Testing Technology. “In the next ten years, there will be as much change in the automotive industry alone as there has been in the last 50 years combined,” said new program director Prof. Lutz Fügener. He admitted that the construction of the new design studio had been quite decisive for his move to Selb

A lot of things already fit together amazingly well here. I was also particularly impressed by the enthusiasm with which the region fought together. I have the impression that people here recognize how strong the pressure for change in the mobility sector is and that they want to act here rather than react.”

Prof. Lutz Fügener (Course Director)
Surrounded by politicians and guests of honor: The first students of the “Design and Mobility” course of study
at the Selb learning center; photo: Jörg Schleicher

Selb as a hotbed of talent

Whether in the automotive industry, which is specializing in new forms of propulsion, or in electric-powered bicycles, or in public transportation systems, which are adapting to new requirements, profound changes in climate and energy policy, as well as in society as a whole, are giving rise to completely new forms of mobility, according to the experts involved. Bernhard Wagner from the BMW Group made it clear how much Selb’s know-how is already in demand

Selb has been a key recruiting area in the design sector for 25 years through its vocational school. This has led to the fact that today 20 percent of our employees in our department are Selb graduates. It’s great that this development is now moving forward locally!”

Bernhard Wagner, Development Specialist, BMW Group

Training unique in Germany

Together, they want to contribute to making the existing boundaries of mobility – including those of the different types of mobility – more fluid and to redefine them in parts, according to Prof. Fügener. The intention is to offer students in Selb a unique education geared to these processes, according to the head of the program. The bachelor’s degree program in design and mobility is an interdisciplinary design course that addresses all issues related to the mobility of the future, he said. In addition to the pure design of vehicles, for example, changing user behavior is also integrated into the considerations. At a subsequent “get-together”, the new students also had the opportunity to make initial contacts with each other and with the experts present.

from left: Bernhard Wagner (BMW Group), Prof. Lutz Fügener and moderator Anke Rieß-Fähnrich; Photo: Jörg Schleicher;

Rosenthal also welcomes students

Already on Tuesday, the first lectures on the basics of the course are on the agenda. As the landlord of the new premises, the porcelain company Rosenthal GmbH will not miss the opportunity to personally welcome the students at the start of their studies. “The combination of porcelain with design and architecture has always been the brand essence of Rosenthal and we are therefore very pleased that 16 young creatives are now working and shaping the future in the Rosenthal Spiegelhaus,” says press spokeswoman Iris Reichstein.

The event was musically framed by Jochen Pfister on piano and Slawek Dudar on saxophone.

Rainer Krauß

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