History

Teaching creative designers for 80 years.

Advertising and fashion

The Beckmans College of Design was founded in 1939 by the advertising executive Anders Beckman and the fashion illustrator and pattern designer Göta Trägårdh. They wanted to create a small art college for advertising and fashion, as an independent, creative alternative to the large, government-operated Konstfack university College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

After visiting the World’s Fair in New York in 1939 together, Anders Beckman and Göta Trägårdh advertised for students and met with an enthusiastic response.The school initially opened on Hamngatan 10 but soon moved to Smålandsgatan 2.

Interacting with the world

From the very start, the curriculum was characterised by partnerships with businesses and institutions.The teachers were professional colleagues of Anders and Göta, with far-reaching networks that gave students access to invaluable contacts in their respective industries even while they were still at school.The aim was to bridge the gap between art and industry, industry and the general public, innovative ideas and wide audiences.“Anders Beckman and Göta Trägårdh have brought a fresh sense of reality to the students’ work,” wrote Gotthard Johansson in Svenska Dagbladet in 1941.

Anders and Göta said that the art of design was essential to social development.And we still believe that!

A limited company

After the death of Anders Beckman in 1967, his wife, Nunnie Beckman, took over and ran the College as a private institution.In the mid-1980s, it was reconstructed into a limited company and became Anders Beckmans Skola AB.The principal owners were now a group of Swedish design-oriented companies, including H&M, IKEA and Svenskt Tenn.The Beckman family still has a share in the College, which operates without generating any profits for the owners.

The Design programme

In 1988, the Beckmans College of Design moved to Nybrogatan 8, and in 1992 the Design course was launched, under the leadership of Jonas Bohlin, interior architect and furniture designer.

University college status

In 2003, the College became an approved examining body with full government funding, under the name of Beckmans Designhögskola/Beckmans College of Design. This means that students no longer have to pay fees. In 2009, the College moved again, this time to Brahegatan 10. Zandra Ahl was appointed Vice-Cnancellor in 2016.

Since being appointed a higher education institution, the College has worked continuously on the development and quality assurance of its fundamental ideas within the framework of applicable regulations.Artistic and theoretical basic training, an intense creative pace, a social awareness, professionally active teachers, frequent guests and interdisciplinary collaborations are the main focus.Urgent social, global and environmental issues, sustainability, economics and the arts permeate the entire curriculum.The Beckmans College of Design is committed to a humane and multicultural perspective on society.

They studied at Beckmans!

Many eminent creators in fashion, advertising/visual communication and design are former students at Beckmans, including Katja of Sweden (fashion, 1940), Kerstin Lokrantz (fashion, 1945), Sigge Erkhammar (advertising, 1946), Gunilla Pontén (fashion, 1948), Inez Svensson (fashion, 1951), Torbjörn Lenskog (advertising, 1957), Gunila Axén (fashion, 1963), Sighsten Herrgård (fashion, 1964), Kerstin Boulogner (fashion, 1966), Tom Hedkvist (advertising, 1968), Pia Forsberg (advertising, 1975), Hans Cogne (advertising, 1975), Magnus Bard (advertising, 1975), Lotta Arbman (advertising, 1979), Magnus Fältman (advertising, 1980), Pia Wallén (fashion, 1980), Gabor Palotai (advertising, 1982), Anna Holtblad (fashion, 1982), Camilla Thulin (fashion, 1982), Stefania Malmsten (advertising, 1985), Björn Kusoffsky (advertising, 1985), Elisabet Yanagisawa (fashion, 1986), Lars Wallin (fashion, 1987), Carl Fredrik Holtermann (advertising, 1987), Pontus Djanaieff (fashion, 1987), Pär Engsheden (fashion, 1988), Frank Hollingworth (advertising, 1988), Monica Förster (advertising, 1995), Anna Kraitz (design, 1999), Margot Barolo (design, 2000), Eva Schildt (design, 2001), Bea Szenfeld (fashion, 2002), Helena Hörstedt (fashion, 2004),Ann-Sofie Back (fashion), Carin Wester (fashion), and Sandra Backlund (fashion).

They studied at Beckmans too!

The following people with creative careers also attended the College:Gunnel Linde, children’s book writer (advertising, 1943), Kerstin Thorvall, author (fashion, 1945), Birgit Broms, artist (illustration, 1945), Lars-Erik Falk, painter and sculptor (advertising, 1946), Kjell Lönnå, choirmaster and TV host (advertising, 1955), Christer Lindarw, drag-show artist and fashion designer (fashion, 1973), Mauro Scocco, musician and songwriter (advertising, 1982).