Rebranding from dBs to Catalyst

We’ve started the new decade with a bang! Here's everything you need to know about our rebrand from dBs Berlin to Catalyst, Institute for Creative Arts and Technology.

We’ve changed our name from dBs Berlin to Catalyst – Institute for Creative Arts and Technology. As part of this rebrand, also came a bold new look along with this fresh new website. 

Our new name gives us the freedom to express the unique identity we have developed in Berlin. Since launching the dBs Berlin centre, we’ve watched our talented student body grow into a thriving international community. Our courses have multiplied and diversified into film, acting and visual effects. And, following our move to the Funkhaus, our leading learning facilities have gone from impressive to cutting edge. It’s a chemical reaction that’s been six years in the making; now we have the name and look to match our trailblazing identity!

Our school was originally conceived as the first non-UK branch of the successful music production and technology education centre, dBs. While our UK counterpart has grown by opening new locations across the country, we have continued to develop our Berlin campus into a thriving international institute for creative arts and technology. Adding film, acting and visual effects to our renowned roster of progressive creative production and performance courses, we’ve transformed into a powerhouse of creative and collaborative possibilities. 

Although we are now a separate holding company, we remain part of the wider dBs family, with the same history, shared values, shareholders and management. That means that when it comes to all things education, our school remains unchanged.

A catalyst is something or someone that precipitates change. Something or someone that accelerates, energises or deepens transformation. A person whose enthusiasm or energy causes others to be more friendly or enthusiastic. An accelerator of a chemical reaction!

However you define it, the word catalyst aligns powerfully with our approach to learning. As an institution, we see ourselves as facilitators, fellow explorers and providers of challenge who precipitate growth in our community. As the creator, the student brings their elements to the process and creates new ones. We are merely catalysts of the student’s unique process of transformation.

Catalyst - Institute of Creative Arts and Technology

The Berlin centre has grown into a very different project from when it was originally conceived as the first non UK based music production education centre for dBs Music. 

Our successful UK centres approach to growth involves the opening of new centres in different cities across the country. Our Berlin centre has been transforming itself into an international institute of creative arts and technology. All of our growth and development will take place in the same geographic location which will help to provide an exciting hothouse - A high quality team working in the same location often in collaboration with each other and with our students. 


Our new name allows us to label and manifest visually what is happening in the real world. It gives us the freedom to express our own unique and developing identity in Berlin. The reputation we have for delivering high quality progressive education in music production, audio engineering and electronic music production is now developing into a reputation for delivering collaborative progressive education across the whole field of creative production and performance including film, acting and visual effects.

The word CATALYST is full of powerful meanings which align closely with our approach to learning.

A catalyst is:-

  • Something or someone that PRECIPITATES CHANGE
  • Something or someone that accelerates, energises or deepens TRANSFORMATION
  • A person whose enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly or enthusiastic 

At dBs we see ourselves as FACILITATORS, FELLOW EXPLORERS and PROVIDERS OF CHALLENGE which precipitates growth i.e. as catalysts.

The founder of dBs Berlin was looking for a name which summarised our progressive approach to education in a single word. Catalyst was chosen because it best described our role in the learning process. The student is the creator, bringing their elements and creating new ones. It is the students growth and transformation that is taking place. We are merely a part of that process. As a word it radiates energy, warmth, sparkiness - even a small explosion!

All of the subjects we currently deliver fall under the creative arts banner. We wanted our new name to reflect everything that we do. 

Most people think of technology as being something contemporary, hi tech or digital and we have plenty of that. However something as simple as a drum stick is also a technology. We use new technologies to push our boundaries beyond what we were previously capable.

Although we are now in a separate holding company we remain part of the wider dBs Music family with the same history, shared values, shareholders and management.

Given that we are owned by the same individuals we are very much affiliated to the UK operation. This change provides us with the necessary flexibility to develop ourselves in a way which is appropriate for our international audience whilst retaining the back up of a company which has been operating since 1998.

Although we will launch our new name and website before the end of the final semestre, we will officially stop using dBs Berlin at the end of the academic year as some internal and administrative areas will not change to avoid disrupting the school’s regular functioning. 

Any certification you already have will remain valid for the rest of your life! In the fullness of time when the Catalyst brand in Berlin becomes better known,  we will provide a letter to any alumni confirming that dBs Berlin/dBs Music was a name previously used by Catalyst.

If you are doing a degree with us, your degree will still be in the name of our validating university partner i.e. University of St Mark and St John in the UK.

This would not make sense as it is the same degree.

As mentioned earlier our plans for the foreseeable future are that Catalyst will be a single special place situated in Berlin.