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



Alejandra Loreto

Photographer/ Architect, Vienna

Alejandra Loreto was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1987. She has always been interested in traveling and learning about the world. She studied architecture at the Universidad Simon Bolivar and Stuttgart University. While studying, she took photography courses and learned on her own. It was her excuse to meet people, understand different realities and influenced her way of thinking architecture and urban space.

Photography/ Architecture

Virginia Lui

Architect, Vienna

Virginia Lui is from Australia, currently living in Vienna. She has completed a three year Bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of Sydney and following that a year of work experience at Neeson Murcutt Architects. Her interest is fundamentally about design, all design, and its consequences. She is a firm believer in the idea that good design is a factor in a good life. She wants to meticulously scrutinize every detail. 

Deterrent Design

Eva Mair

Spatial Planner, Vienna

Eva Mair studied Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Vienna and Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her strong personal interest lies in the connection of social transformations and the reinvention and development of urban spaces.In the past, she has worked at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo and at the Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineering Consultants in Vienna.

Urban Planning
+43650 5511317

Susanne Mariacher

Architect, Vienna/Salzburg

Susanne Mariacher studied Architecture at Technical University Vienna. She worked in several architecture firms as well as at the Department of Art and Design, TU Vienna. With her associates she realized and worked on various projects within the artistic and architectural field, recently at the Festival der Regionen 2015.

Urban Architecture

Anna Ilona Misovicz

Social Designer / Sociologist, Vienna

Anna Ilona Misovicz, born in Budapest, grew up mostly in-between, now located in Vienna. Her current focus is on diverse structures of belonging and their discursive origin. She combines her social scientific background with developing and applying artistic strategies that mediate knowledge and perspectives while offering ways of identification.

Social Science

Teresa Morandini

architect, Vienna

Teresa Morandini is working at Architekturzentrum Wien. From 2015 until 2019 she was a research associate at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, TU Wien. Her main focus was the establishment and implementation of cooperation projects. Besides, she was teaching in the fields of urban design and was working as a curator. After she finished her studies in Architecture and Social Design, she engaged in the fields of moderation, program design and community building.