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



Ruth Mateus-Berr

Artist / Design Researcher, Vienna

Ruth Mateus-Berr is an artist and design researcher currently based in Vienna. Her artwork deals with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary questions. She is interested and experienced in art & design education, Design Research, Design Thinking, Social Design. She is professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and head of expertise in Design at MA Social Design, member of Design Research Society, and Research directory of Sensory Studies

Former Staff member
+43 1 711 33 – 2030

Dóra Medveczky

Architectural Artist, Designer, Vienna/Budapest

Dóra Medveczky is a freelance architectural artist from Budapest, Hungary. She studied architecture and art in Budapest and Munich and has been living in Vienna since 2017. Since 2016, she has been involved in various projects ranging from furniture design and signage to exhibition design. In her work, she analyses actual social phenomena and its material and spatial qualities, using various methodologies.

Art, Design, 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.


Jelena Moser

, Zürich

 I work in different fields and places. Doing theater projects and working in the Alps during the summertime. In summer 2020, I will complete my master in Transdisciplinarity at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since two years I have been working with vacant school buildings in the Alpine region. I am interested in how a school can become an indefinite place, in order to expose it to a process of transformation. How can we reshape school buildings in different



Theaterpädagogik, Transdisziplinarität

Andrea Navarrete

Designer, Mexico City

Believes that design is an engine to improve the quality of life of any society. Not only reflected in tangible products but also in relationships, as a basis for understanding within all communities: to promote social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. By embracing economic, cultural and social aspects, design represents a comprehensive alternative of development.

Industrial Design
+52155 6544 0967