Cities are our natural world, created by us and yet, in their constantly shifting complexity, almost beyond our grasp. Urbanization processes do not end at the city boundaries. Almost infinite networks, alienated communication, hasty consumption and conflicts of social marginalization or economic injustice determine our urban survival. Cities form contested spaces, whose present refers back to the past, whose power structures can be identified and also changed. It is important to predict the need for change well in advance but also to be able to react to acute crises great and small with fresh solutions.

Innovations are driven on a bottom-up basis. Not infrequently they arise at the margins of society, where established structures encounter influences from without, traditional responses no longer work, or safeguards apply to some but not to others.
The projects developed in the studio situation of our Social Design program show that societal innovation–meaning extraordinary results and unexpected approaches–becomes possible where different forms of knowledge and methods interact, where artistic acumen combines with creativity from the so-called hard sciences, where design, theory, architecture and the fine arts not only pool their strategies but also enter into confrontations and alliances that can be both risky and productive.

Innovative methods construct new meanings, strengthen responsibility and thus create the preconditions for identification with one’s own actions. Students who choose the Master’s in Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation signal their determination to play a critical and active part in influencing society and a refusal to discount the future!


The master programme Social Design Arts as Urban Innovation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna is oriented towards graduates from diverse fields of study, thereby stipulating work in transdisciplinary teams as the central teaching and learning approach in the programme. On the basis of professional competences acquired in their respective previous studies, students become acquainted with transcending disciplinary codes and thinking and working in greater interrelationships. Art in synergy with project-related scientific methods and knowledge is seen as a tool for urban innovation.

Duration and Scope:
4 semesters / 120 ECTS 
Graduation: "Master of Arts" (MA)

Download the curriculum as a PDF:  Deutsch  English



Hana Krizanova

Professional Dreamer, Vienna

Interested in exploring city as if it would be a living organism. Connecting knowledge of public space design (based on landscape architectural studies), fascination by natural science and magic (studying with eyes wide shut) is trying to grasp bigger processes in urban realm that we are part of everyday.

Design of public space, Stories

Poojitha Lal

, Bangalore

Eager to learn and looking forward to opportunities. Currently studying Business, system and service design at Srishti- College for art design and technology, Bangalore. I am at di’Angewandte for an exchange program and will be pursuing Social design.

Dieter Lang

Industrial Designer, Vienna

2006 bis 2010 Bachelorstudium Industrial Design an der Universität für künstlerische und industrielle Gestaltung Linz. 2012 bis 2015 Masterstudium Social Design an der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien.

Escalator Sciences

Aki Lee

Designer, Vienna

Based in Shenzhen and moved in Vienna recently. specially focused on the industrial heritage/architectural renewal projects in the PRD regions, and working on the documentary films regards on it. Also interested in city-observations and wandering. And how to re-define the terms we used for city lifes.

Documentary films, Design

Tinka Legvart

Media Scientist, Vienna

Born in Slovenia, lives and works in Vienna. Tinka is a Theatre-, Film- and Media-scientist, designer and artist, experienced in music, theatre, literature, dance, organisation and management. She took part and organised various exhibitions and festivals. Tinka is interested in the availability of space around us, however, usage of spaces in city raises even more complex questions.

Media Studies, Performance

Jan Phillip Ley

Interior Architect, Detmold

Jan Phillip Ley is a graduate of interior architecture from germany, now alumni of social design finishing in july 2016. Following the principles of human centered design he is mainly interested in the interaction between space and human, doing research about the perception of space and the correlation between space and identity. Ley is currently working at the „Detmold school of architecture and interior design" continuing his research within a lectureship for the ws 2016/2017.

„Social Interior Architecture