Universität der Künste Berlin


Built in 1975, the Universität der Künste Berlin or UdK is the largest art university in Germany and a major cultural hub in the city.

The original lighting system in the listed building wasn’t energy efficient and was failing to perform as required. The venue also needed lights that could be perfectly dimmed without being wirelessly controlled, as the existing cabling was inlaid into the concrete infrastructure of the building and couldn’t easily be replaced.

German distributor Vision Two were leading the project, reached out to us, and working collaboratively with the team, came up with an ingenious solution.


A complex project like this required a combination of new fittings and an LED upgrade of the current halogen lights, so our team at GDS Special Projects specially designed custom fittings that would seamlessly compliment the existing ones and crucially, work with the DMX cables already in the building.

A total of 148 new and refurbished fittings were created, and each was fitted with a unique ArcSystem pro One Cell Small unit, and then reinstated. A brand new GDS DX driver was also installed, providing control over a GDS-developed PPW protocol, and powering the lights over the existing cabling.


UdK was the first venue in the world to have this state-of-the-art equipment, incorporating the new GDS ArcSystem DX Driver.

The pioneering solution developed for this project completely met the venue brief, and was so well received, it has since been used for many complex ventures in various buildings around the world that face similar challenges.

Richard Cuthbert adds ‘UdK has been a fantastic project for us to fully utilise the manufacturing and R&D capabilities at GDS, to delivered a system exactly how the venue needed it to’

"A fantastic project for us to fully utilise the manufacturing and R&D capabilities at GDS"

Richard Cuthbert