Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

About us

The Hermann von Helmholzt-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK) is a transdisciplinary theory and practice-oriented research and teaching central institute of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It focuses on cultural techniques in the sense of practices for the production, transmission and processing of knowledge.

The HZK is one of the few established platforms, nationally and internationally, on which experts in material culture and cultural techniques, epistemologists, curators and artistic researchers come together in an inspiring, theory-driven environment. Founded in 1999, the HZK was established in order to create synergies out of unconventional collaborations across all faculties, including the natural sciences and the humanities, from which its members are drawn, as well as curatorial and artistic practices.

The University’s own collections and exhibition spaces, including the Humboldt Labor in the Humboldt Forum, the Tieranatomisches Theater and the Kleine Humboldt Galerie, fall under the HZK’s direction. This allows it to act as an innovative research hub with affiliations and impact far beyond the university and the academic community. Transdisciplinary use of academic collections is a major focus of its work. It is responsible for the Lautarchiv and the Kunstsammlung, as well as for the coordination of all the University’s collections, which are shared with the public in a digital database, as well as through inclusion in exhibitions, teaching and artistic research. The internationally renowned Coordination Centre for Scientific University Collections in Germany is also based at the HZK.

The HZK is dedicated to designing innovative and effective formats for knowledge exchange. It makes its research accessible and its research processes transparent through university teaching, conferences, publications, exhibitions and public events. This allows it to bring the University’s own heritage and research to diverse publics and into wider socio-political debates, nationally and internationally.