Having been inspired by Gottfried Semper` s ideas and concepts, the School of Decorative Arts in Prague was founded in 1885. At that time it represented the first and only state school in Czech lands. The school itself was built between 1882 and 1885 according to the project designed by Františěk Schmoranz junior and Jan Machytka.
After the Czech universities and colleges were closed by the Nazis in 1939, the School of Decorative Arts took over the role of the Academy during the war period. In concordance with Act from 1946, it finally acquired a new status and subsequently a new title Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design (AAAD). In 1947 the study length was prolonged to five years and the studios were grouped in the following departments: applied architecture, applied painting, applied graphic design, textile, and clothing industry, applied stone sculpture, glass processing, porcelain, and ceramics.
AAAD celebrated its 100th anniversary of the school`s existence in 1985 by proclaiming to adhere to the cultural-political program of the communist party and never-ending struggle for progress. Such a tendency was maintained even by the following rector Jan Mikula.
After November 1989 a number of teachers were made redundant and the organization of AAAD departments and study system was changed. Under the then-rectors Josef Hlaváček, who took up his position in 1994, Zdeněk Ziegler, Jiří Pelcl, Boris Jirků and the current rector Pavel Liška, the AAAD is acquiring a completely new face. Nowadays, the university has joined several important international projects, enriched the educational system in additional fine and applied arts disciplines, and last but not least, focused on publishing books on art and organizing school exhibitions.
AAAD consists of twenty-four studios which are grouped into five departments: architecture, design, fine art, applied arts and graphics. The sixth department provides lectures on art history and aesthetics.