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



Frank Daubenfeld

Artist, Vienna / Luxembourg

Frank studied Fine Arts at Kunsthochschule Mainz and at University of Strasbourg. He works primarily in the field of painting and installation. His works revolve around movement, symbols, as well as the connections and dialogues between image carriers. He is interested in how artistic practices can make use of different mediums to create a dialogue about social matters. Social themes addressed through an artistic approach can change the perspective and challenge collective belief systems.

Fine Arts

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

Eylem Ertürk

Arts Manager, İstanbul / Vienna

Having background in management and fine arts photography, Eylem has been working as an arts manager focusing on local cultural policies and socially engaged artistic practices. She is interested in research and production in visual arts to bolster cultural diversity and broaden cultural rights, participation and dialogue.

Anton Falkeis

Architect, Vienna

Anton Falkeis studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he graduated in 1986. He is a licensed architect in Austria and Liechtenstein. His architectural work has been widely published and exhibited. Anton Falkeis is a JSPS fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He published theoretical papers such as "Featureless City", "Western Styles and Eastern Mind", "Film as Preview" and "Urbanizing the World".

Staff / Until Summer Term 2016
+43 1 711 33 – 3560

Martin Färber

Experimental Designer, Vienna

Martin Färber is a Vienna-based designer and artist. Seeing design as a non-profit tool for social innovation, his approach is inspired by the concepts of modularity, open source, natural growth, participation and social interaction at the interface between arts and science. His work is ranging from open design systems to interventions in public space, social design projects and critical design works.

Design (Assistant)
+43 (0) 650 935 99 11

Monika Farukuoye

Artist / Film Maker, Vienna

Monika Farukuoye is an artist and filmmaker living in Vienna. Her interest circles around the creation and evolution of meaning, structures of the poetic and the artistic process per se. Her films, paintings and literary works question the delimitation of the personal self and its perceptions as well as the integrity and transgression of cultural barriers.

+43 1 711 33 3562