The Class


The System-Design Class (Fachklasse System-Design) is a graphic design unit headed by the designer Maureen Mooren (NL) at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.

It takes conceptual graphic design as a starting point to be developed into various media and formats. We see design – in an inspirational educational setting in one of Germany’s leading art colleges – as a critical, research-driven and holistic tool towards “the publishing of ideas”.

In active exchange with the field of art we are interested in exploring overlaps with artistic practices as well as distinctive difference to approaches in design, both in image and text. Applied to various social, cultural and commercial contexts and collaborations we work on situations in which design is instrumental both in creating chances for authorship as well as pro-active problem solving.

Practical outcomes and projects of our class range from books and other publications, identities, exhibition designs, time-based media and film to installation and architectural situations.

We are part of one of the oldest German art-schools with a very long-standing graphic and typographic tradition, a place full of influential historic positions in art and design. These we want to benefit from, as well as put firm challenge to, connect and extend. In the context of the Academy’s rich heritage and expertise in the conception and design of books and printing we understand books as one of many stimulating and relevant formats that can raise issues of “doubt, delight and change” (Cedric Price) – based on generating, formatting, producing and distributing of images and text and their relationships.


Deutsche Fassung

Die Klasse System-Design ist eine Fachklasse an der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (HGB), die von Maureen Mooren geleitet wird.

Hier wird konzeptionelles Grafik-Design zum Ausgangspunkt für die Entwicklung von Projekten in unterschiedlichen Medien, Arbeitsformen und Formate. Wir verstehen Design als ein kritisches, forschungsorientiertes und ganzheitlich-verstandenes Werkzeug für “das Publizieren von Ideen”.

In unserem Design-Verständnis spielen neben den Einflüssen aus anderen Feldern und Wissenschaften auch Arbeitsweisen aus dem Feld der Kunst eine Rolle für die Erprobung und Entwicklung von neuen und experimentellen Formen von Design-Praxis und Diskurs.

Unsere Projekte reichen von Büchern, Publikationsreihen und anderen Drucksachen zu Erscheinungsbildern, Ausstellungsgestaltung, Film, Installationen und architektonischen Situationen.

Als Teil einer der ältesten deutschen Kunsthochschulen mit einer langen grafischen und typografischen Tradition sehen wir Bücher heute in einer von einer Reihe mit anderen relevanten und stimulierenden Formaten, die “Zweifel, Vergnügen und Wandel” (Cedric Price) anregen können und sollten.



Open for application. Please email us!



Maureen Mooren

is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she runs her own studio. In her work Mooren, by definition, raises the issue of representation. Mooren graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1996 and collaborated with Daniel van der Velden until 2007 on a variety of projects, mainly in the cultural field. Mooren & Van der Velden designed amongst others ‘Archis’ (now Volume) magazine, the identity of the Holland Festival, and several catalogues such as ‘For Real’ for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and artist books of amongst Haeque Yang, Job Koelewijn and Jonathan Monk. They won the first prize Concours International Chaumont in 2007. Since 2007 Mooren has operated independently and developed identities, books and printed materials, still mostly for cultural clients such as Holland Festival, Marres, Centre for Contemporaine Culture in Maastricht, and If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution. In addition, she designs artists’ books, amongst others for Manon de Boer, Joachim Koester and Keren Cytter. Since October 2013 Mooren is responsible for the visual identity of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. In 2011 she was one of the participating artists in the exhibition ‘Opera Aperta/Loose Work’ in the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Between 2001-2004 Mooren taught at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Graphic Design department in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Between 2011-2014, Mooren taught at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem. Since October 2014 she is professor of system design at the Academy of Arts in Leipzig. 


Britt Helbig

is a Belgian designer that gained her Master in Textile Design in 2005 and her Master in Graphic Design in 2007, both at the Sint Lucas Hogeschool Ghent. She has worked at Brussels-based graphic design studio BaseDesign for more than two years, developing projects with various clients in the commercial and artistic field. After that she became the graphic designer of the Vlaamse Opera Antwerp & Ghent and defined the visual identity of the house and its following 4 opera seasons. Currently she is working as an independent designer and is coordinating a Belgian Art Fair in Ghent.


Guests who have previously visited the System-Design class include:

Boy Vereecken (B), Bas Rogiers (B), Julia Born (CH), Armand Mevis (NL), David Senior (USA), Mia Frostner + Robert Sollis / EUROPA (UK), Franciska Zolyom (GER), William Haggard / Carver Haggard (UK), Alexander Garcia Düttmann (GER), James Langdon (UK), Eva Weinmayr (UK), Jam Rostron / Planning-To-Rock (GER), Adriana Eysler (UK), Linda van Deursen (NL), Chris Vanstone + Jenny Winhall / Participle (UK), Serge Rompza / NODE (GER), Hannes Schmidt (GER), Arne Linde / ASPN Gallery (GER), Helmut Smits (NL), David Bennewith (NL), Barbara Steiner (A), Emily King (UK), Rebecca Stephany (NL), Zak Kyes (UK), Prem Krishnamurthy / Projects, Projects (USA), Janettje in t’Veld + Toon Koehorst (NL), Jan Wenzel / Spector Books (GER), Hendrik Schwantes, Michael Heimann (GER), Nina Könnemann (GER), Daniel Gaffner (SE), Kai von Rabenau / MONO-Kultur (GER)


Class and Programme

In our class students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th year of the Diploma-course work together in two generous studio spaces on individual desks and team spaces.

In a time frame of three years (Fachklasse) students have the possibility to work on a wealth of different projects supported by personal tutoring – personal projects as well as class projects. We understand our class as an active community of student designers that share experiences and discourses, both practical and theoretical, result-driven as well as speculative.

The projects vary from life design projects with subsequent production and realisation of the designs, experimental activities that investigate design as a social and political discipline, projects that fuse design with artistic methodology, to research projects, which pursue themes of relevance to the international design discourse and an historical understanding of our culture. The course passionately encourages multi-disciplinary ways of working within design and the visual arts and is interested in fostering collaborations with other classes and departments and fields of the cultural spectrum, theoretical debate, aspects of science, entrepreneurship and politics.

Concrete results in the past have been printed matter and books, installations, identities, publication concepts, signage systems, participatory projects and designs for narrative environments, such as exhibition designs.

Throughout the course of the class activities we can access the various impressive workshops in the college, which provide high-quality facilities for printing in various traditional and modern techniques, bookbinding, audio-visual, crafts and installation aspects.

The term “System-Design” was coined by one of the previous lead-tutors of the class, the Franco-Swiss designer Ruedi Baur and was continued by his successors and lead-tutors of the class, Daniela Haufe and Detlef Fiedler of CYAN, and Stephan Müller. It is alluding to the complexities, the strategic component and the wider understanding of graphic design that is pivotal for the unit until today. Before the appointment of Maureen Mooren in 2015, the class was lead by Oliver Klimpel from 2008 to 2014 who also developed concept, information contents and structure of this website, together with students of the class.

Meister-Students (Meisterschüler)

In conjunction with the class, there is the option for a unique post-graduate course (Meister-Schüler-Studium) that gives a selected number of students the chance to pursue individual research-driven design projects for two years with Oliver Klimpel as their personal mentor and Professor. Besides the opportunity to in-depth tutorials students benefit further from the integrated activities of the regular class and can make full use of the curriculum and all facilities of the college.

Department and College

In addition to the System-Design class, there are three other units in the Graphic-Design / Book-Design Department:

  • Type-Design
  • Illustration
  • Typography

After two years of the Grund-Studium (Basic Course) – which offers a foundation in their chosen field – the students can choose to specialise in one of these units .

Generally, the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig) houses four different departments, which offer five year Diploma-Courses in:

  • Fine Art / Painting,
  • Graphic Design / Book-Design,
  • Photography
  • Media-Art

These departments are supported by a Theory department, which organises seminars and lectures on a range of fields relating to critical discourse in visual culture. Additionally, there is also a new two year Master course offered in the programme “Cultures of the Curatorial”.

Exceptional is the variety of well-equipped workshops including: facilities for printing (letterpress, lithography, etching, screen-printing, woodcut), a metal and wood workshop, an offset-litho printing facility, an audio-visual lab and various photographic studios and digital printing facilities.
The academy building is also housing the college library and the Institute for Book-Design, which is publishing books outstanding in their contents and design.

Class Alumni




For the Graphic-Design / Book-Design (5-year-Diploma-Course)

Information about the applications (dates and requirements) for a place in the course can be found at:
Application deadline: 15 December – 1 February

Furthermore, for detailed information you can contact Frau Roswitha Harmel and the student advise office:

Phone: (0049) 341 2135 144



For Wechsler (Transfer) into the System-Design-Class (Prof. Maureen Mooren):


Application deadline for next Winter Semester: 31 May
Application deadline for next Summer Semester: 30 November
Applications by have to be made to the department via the student advise office :

Phone: (0049) 341 2135 144

However, in the case of the System-Design Class, you would need to apply prior to this with a PDF-Portfolio showcasing your work by e-mail to Maureen Mooren and Britt Helbig.
Only after that and an interview a transfer into the class is possible.

All questions about administrative issues, credit points and other official requirements need to be resolved with the student advice office and Frau Harmel, see above.



For the Meisterschüler-Post-Graduate-Programme (description above):


Application deadline: 1 April – 10 August

Meisterschüler are only been accepted after applying with a Portfolio-PDF and, for successful candidates, a subsequent invitation to an interview.

For detailed information regarding eligibility and requirements you can contact Frau Roswitha Harmel and the student advise office:
Phone: (0049) 341 2135 144


Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig
Wächterstrasse 11
04107 Leipzig

Room: 81a,  Ground floor / inside Letterpress workshop
Phone: 0049-341-2135-125

System-Design studios:
Rooms 2.22, 2.23,
2nd floor