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



Katarina Šoškić

Photographer, Artist Researcher, Belgrade/Vienna

Katarina Šoškić is a photographer and artist researcher from Belgrade, based in Vienna. She is interested in the potency of an image – the way its narrative qualities could be employed to question social structures. She uses photography and words to research and analyze social phenomena, culture and subculture, the impacts of tradition and history, the constriction of social roles and underlying psychological mechanisms. 

Visiting Artist WS2020

Karin Fisslthaler

Artist, Vienna

Karin Fisslthaler studied Experimental Design in the department of Fine Arts at the University of Arts in Linz and finished her PhD in Practice Studies in 2019. She works in the field of fine arts, film/video and electronic music (under the name of Cherry Sunkist). 
Many of her collage-works, videos and installations stem from her response to the way media and pop culture portray the human body and how that affects notions of representation, identity and acts of communication.

Visiting Artist SS2020
Fine Arts, Film/Video and Electronic Music

Barbis Ruder

Media and Performance Artist, Heidelberg / Vienna

Barbis Ruder uses her body and her artificial corporate bodies to mix topics like economy, work, intimacy and convention into complex, but also minimalistic and reduced compositions that take shape in performance, installation, video and sculpture. As fine artist she is both creating work for exhibition spaces as well as for the stage. Her performances are always staged and related to the variety of media and form: from the body to the moving image, sound, sculpture and installation in space.


Oliver Hangl

Artist, Vienna

Oliver Hangl, who originally started his career as actor and scenic designer in 1993, is just as active in performative disciplines and media spaces as in fine arts exhibition sites. His works mark a consistent confrontation between man and environment. Hangl pushes at the boundaries between physical and psychological spaces. With the public space as his stage he playfully embeds a site and context-responsive set of experiences and interactions for both planned and incidental audiences.

Visiting Artist WS19/20
Since 1999 various teaching engagements at Art Universities ---- Since 2008 Director of project space k48 – offensive for contemporary perception in Vienna ---- Since 2010 Artistic director of WIENER BESCHWERDECHOR

Bogomir Doringer

Artist, Curator, Researcher, Belgrade/ Amsterdam

Bogomir Doringer is an artist, researcher and curator whose practice revolves around social phenomena and their manifestation on bodies and crowds. Between 2012 and 2015 he curated FACELESS, a series of exhibitions and events tackling the social meaning of the personal image. Currently, he is pursuing an Artistic Research PhD at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, with the research project I Dance Alone, investigating dynamics of the dance floor.

Visting Artist 2018/19

Heidrun Holzfeind


Holzfeind’s works address questions of the documentary mode in general, and the social function of architecture in particular. Based on extensive research and realized with poetic flair, her works probe the interrelations between society and identity, between individual histories and the political narratives of the present.

Visiting Artist 2019