Introductory Theory Winter 2018/19

Brigitte Felderer, Christina Schraml

Theorizing Social Design – Reading and Discussion of Seminal Texts

with Brigitte Felderer, Christina Schraml



The Power of Theory in Social Design - Introduction to Critical Urban Theory

Song: “Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht gesehen?


“Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night.” (Rupert Brooke)*

What happens to a city when night falls? In this course we will reflect on the transformation of the city when the sun goes down and the sky grows dark, when some city dwellers, e.g. the lost, the lonely, the sleepless, the homeless, become visible. We will explore various Social Design issues related to urban night-time activities, in/exclusive night-time culture, nightlife industry and urban policy with a special focus on two areas of the city, i.e. Vienna’s Gürtel and the Donaukanal. Key figures and positions to critical urban theory will be introduced and discussed, ranging from Jane Jacobs to contemporary voices and activists. The input will be complemented by guests, movies and on-site visits. By bringing together different theoretical and practical perspectives the seminar provides a Social Design perspective on the nocturnal city.

*Quote from the essay by the English poet Rupert Brooke “Letters from America” – his observations of New York City


I. Wednesday, 03.10.2018 // 10.00 – 16.00 // „Portraits of your cities at night“ Seminar Room 10 (Vordere Zollamtstraße 3, first floor)

II. Wednesday, 10.10.2018 // 10.00 – 16.00 // „Sleepless Cities“ Location tba

III. Friday, 19.10.2018 // 10.00 – 16.00 // „The City as Spectacle - Focus Donaukanal“ Location tba

IV. Wednesday, 31.10.2018 // 10.00 – 16.00 // „Who programmes the night? - Focus Gürtel Area“ Location tba

V. Wednesday, 07.11.2018 // 10.00 – 16.00 // „Social Design after Dark - Grande Finale“ V. Export's Kubus (der transparente Raum) am Gürtel


Requirements / Output

- Regular attendance, active participation, preparation and presentation of texts

- Artistic contribution to the final output / Grande Finale


Additional Information

A copy of texts will be provided in the first session.


Course Registration

Mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Institut für Kunst und Gesellschaft, Social Design
Seminar (SE), 1.0 SemStd., LV-Nr. S02487