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



Frida Robles

Artist, Mexico City

Frida Robles’ artistic practice focuses on urban and personal narratives and its intersections. A personal quest on how poetry resides outside the written page. Open to collaboration, she focuses on finding new artistic research and participatory strategies; exploring the idea of street-based art. She holds a bachelor degree in History from the Iberoamericana University. Her first book entitled “All love letters are ghost stories” was recently published.

Writing/ History/ Performance

Bernd Rohrauer

cummunity based socialwork, social sciene, trick-film animation /editing / compositing, 1200 Vienna

I see myself as a found footage worker based on the sources of arts, social science, etc. to be combined in the fields of social interaction. I don’t care too much about authorships and trust in the power of community synergies and open sources.

Julijana Rosoklija

Multimedia Designer, Vienna

A pragmatic daydreamer who loves paper and pencils, (inter)action & combining different traditional techniques & media in order to create relevant works in a digital & highly developed society. The purpose of design has changed in time from a purely decorative & somewhat informative one to one that should provoke action & make an impact on everyday life. A concept is good, a result is better.

Stop motion and graphic design

Christina Schraml

Urbanist, Vienna

Christina Schraml is a Vienna-based urbanist (practice and theory), whose work is situated at the intersection urbanism and arts/culture. She holds a master of Arts in European Urban Cultures and a master of Philosophy. Since 2012 Christina teaches at Social Design/ Angewandte. She is interested in urban phenomena, cities and their people, and the gap between the actual and the possible.

+43 1 711 33 3563

Alessia Scuderi

Multimedia Artist, Catania / Vienna

Has a focus on visual arts and visual languages. In the last years, she has focused her personal work on architectural photography and recently on the existing relations between urban aesthetics and space experience. Highly interested also in the political value that forms of art can represent in contemporary societies in order to produce social change.

New Art Technologies
+43 676 6835639

Swati Soharia

Innovator - Sustainable Design , Vienna

I volunteer with disadvantaged women, training them on up-cycling and crafts design. I strongly believe in sustainable living, and work extensively on frugal innovation and sustainable design.