Claudia Perren. Photo: Franziska Sinn.

Claudia Perren Named Director of Basel’s FNHW Academy of Art and Design

Claudia Perren has been appointed director of the FNHW Academy of Art and Design, which offers BA and MA degree programs in the fields of art, design, and media, in Basel. Perren currently serves as the director and chief executive officer of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in Germany. She has helmed the foundation since August 2014. Prior to taking up the leadership role, she taught design, architecture, and urban planning at the University of Sydney and at the Sydney University of Technology for eight years.

In 2018, Perren faced criticism during her leadership of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation after the celebrated art school was accused of caving in to pressure from right-wing groups when it canceled a performance by the leftist punk band Feine Sahne Fischfilet. More than two hundred cultural figures signed an open letter condemning the move. Perren defended the decision and said that the institution ultimately opted to call off the production because it did not want to “offer the right-wing radicals a platform in front of the Bauhaus.”

“The new director of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design has to fit an extremely challenging profile and have the ability to master future challenges in a goal-oriented and sustainable manner,” reads a release issued by the university. “Professor Ursula Renold, president of the FHNW University board, is thrilled about the appointment of Claudia Perren as the new director: ‘We are convinced that Claudia Perren is absolutely the right person for this exciting task.’”