Nikolaus Hafermaas

Department Chair, Undergraduate and Graduate Graphic Design


As chair of ArtCenter’s undergraduate Graphic Design Department and of the new Graphic Design Graduate Program, Nik Hafermaas created a new transmedia curriculum, by fusing print, packaging, motion and visual interaction design. Both programs educate a new generation of communication designers to become creative leaders in a rapidly evolving world. As the executive director of the Berlin satellite program, he fosters future-forward global collaborations and transdisciplinary programs abroad.

In 1995, he and his partners formed Triad Berlin, one of Germany’s leading design firms, where, during his tenure as chief creative officer, his team created pavilions for World Expo2000 and Swiss Expo02. As founder of Ueberall International, he is creating data-driven art installations converging digital media and spatial experiences, such as the award-winning eCloud for the San Jose International Airport. Other clients include the international airports of Atlanta and San Diego, BMW Europe, TCHO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Mercedes-Benz.

“We are in the second digital revolution,” Hafermaas says. “The typographic boundaries between people, media, objects and spaces are beginning to blur into one seamless experience. There has never been a better time to become a transmedia graphic designer.”

Hafermaas graduated from the University of the Arts in Berlin, where he studied visual communication and architecture, and received his executive MBA at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership/Steinbeis University. A former AIGA board member, Hafermaas has been the featured speaker at design conferences across the globe, such as the IFA+ Summit in Berlin and the VOR Summit in Mexico City. His work has been recognized with international design awards from AIGA, the Industrial Designers Society of America and the Society for Experiential Graphic Design and featured in numerous publications and exhibitions.