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



Lena Kohlmayr

Architect, Vienna

Lena Pauline Kohlmayr seeks to combine different fields by translating theory and social concepts into spatial manifestations in architecture and art. She has an affinity to networks and their translations in various mediums. Different cultural contexts have coined her approach and range from an isolated village in the countryside of Austria to urban concentrations like Tokyo.


Sally Kotter

Industrial Designer, Munich

Sally studied Industrial Design at the University of applied sciences in Munich. In Social Design she focused on the city as an accumulation of different spaces for various needs, the interrelation of the identity of the city and city dwellers, and habits used to aquire individual and collective space. Currently she ist working at an NPO engaging in education for sustainable development in Munich to develop projects to motivate fellow citizens by offering joyful, interactive options for action.


Sebastian Kraner

Film Maker, Vienna

Every „social“ work coming out of the arts has a totally different context and field of influence than, for example, the work of NGOs. There is the need for both. Social Design means using existing structures but also implementing new ones. It is connecting and allowing different ways of thinking and practice to develop new methods - which hopefully allow us to overcome the immanent powerlessness in current and future developments of a quite twisted world.

Fine Arts

Elina Kränzle

Urbanist, Vienna

In her interdisciplinary research, Elina Kränzle investigates processes of urban social change as they emerge in lived experiences, discourses, as well as in specific social, cultural and political contexts. As a doctoral candidate at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien, she explores different phenomena of space production by the nation-state in Vienna linking discourses on nationalism and urbanization as constitutive forces of contemporary societies.

Urban Studies

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

Gala Kuckhoff

Designer, Vienna

Gala Kuckhoff has been a designer in Düsseldorf since 2020, specialising in object Design. Her projects are characterised by a processual way of working that is always in search of new forms of expression. Her projects often have a personal reference and reflect the things that particularly occupy oneself. Experimental design is the focus of her work.

Productdesign, Ceramics