Social Design Studio Summer School 2019

Social Design Studio


Application Form


The Theme - Social Design Is Invisible

In recent years, the notion of Social Design has emerged in public discourse addressing the value of design in tackling complex social issues of our times, as a tool for urban innovation and social responsibility. Social Designers are taking the role of facilitators, change makers, urban activists, social catalysts, etc. In line with this, new interdisciplinary academic programmes had been introduced like the master’s programme “Social Design-Arts as Urban Innovation”, which was initiated by the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2012.


The Social Design Summer School 2019 departs from the location Hotel Obir, a modernist abandoned Hotel built in 1971 after the plans of Ilija Arnautović – in a rural area and in a border region between Austria, Slovenia and Italy – and brings together students from various disciplines to introduce and exchange on the power of Social Design.

Participants will discuss and develop ideas and concepts for minimal interventions on-site in interdisciplinary teams by combining and developing methods and approaches from Social Design, the arts, urban activism, etc. The summer school will act by means of Social Design acupunctures throughout the area of Bad Eisenkappel / Železna Kapla. An excursion at the end of the week will bring us to the 2019 Biennale Arte in Venice.

The programme of the summer school will be complemented by guest lectures and workshops with practitioners from various fields of expertise. The ideas and concepts developed throughout the week will be finally documented and presented on the SD Website.

The programme’s red thread will be both the development of new approaches in Social Design and the reflection of existing methodology. There will be a chance for interested students to experience a thorough insight into the Vienna Social Design Studio’s projects. In addition, we will create a view on the larger context, compare Vienna and other international programmes in the field to sharpen our perspective.



Social Design methodology

Space pioneering

The power of minimal interventions / Social Design acupunctures

What can modernist Architecture offer to a small rural community?

New narratives for shrinking rural areas

Rural depopulation of former mining areas in remote valleys

Balance of resources

Examples of professional Social Design projects


The Format

The Social Design Summer School is organized as a combination of workshops, lectures, urban explorations and plenary discussions. During the entire stay participants will be asked to work on ideas for team projects, which will be presented at the end of the week in a festive act for the Inhabitants of Bad Eisenkappel/ Železna Kapla.

The Social Design Summer School will be held in English.


The Programme

Lectures and Workshops

Film Screenings

Open School - Skills and Knowledge Exchange Sessions with students currently enrolled in the master programme Social Design

Social Events

Visits and Excursions:

- Excursion “Heft”, Architecture of Günther Domenig, Hüttenberg / Görtschitztal / Wietersdorf.

- Visit of the Partisan-Museum at the Peršmanhof.

- Visit of the Longo Mai farm and cooperative.

- Excursion to Venice and visit of the Biennale Arte 2019.

* A detailed programme for the summer school will be sent out in the course of June.



Social Design students

Iva Čukić, Jovana Timotijevic (Ministry of Space / Belgrade)

Dimitri Hegemann (Tresor / Berlin)

Wato Tsereteli (CCA / Tiblisi)

Ute Holfelder, Klaus Schönberger (Institute of Cultural Analysis / University of Klagenfurt)

Simone Egger/Lukas Vejnik (Institute of Cultural Analysis / University of Klagenfurt)

Robert Schabus (Filmmaker, Klagenfurt)

Ernst Logar (Artist, Vienna)

Social Design staff: Brigitte Felderer, Martin Färber, Ruth Mateus-Berr, Barbara Putz-Plecko, Nina Pohler, Cosima Terasse, Herwig Turk, Ana Vasof


The Venue

The 4th International Social Design Summer School 2019 will be held in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Analysis. Our working space is located at the Hotel Obir, a modernist abandoned Hotel build in 1971 after plans by architect Ilija Arnautović.

The Hotel Obir in Bad Eisenkappel could be regarded both as a monument of geopolitical constellations that drifted apart with the end of Yugoslavia in 2003 State and the progression of rural depopulation of former mining areas in the area. Hotel Obir was regarded as an alien after its opening and it represented a success story for many years before a series of structural changes led to its closure. Since 16 years now the building is empty waiting for new functions.

The utopian potential of that modernist building located in the village center is still palpable and open to new narratives and concepts.


The Applicants

The Social Design Summer School is intended for students and young practitioners of various disciplines ranging from the arts, design, theory to architecture/urbanism or closely related fields who would like to explore Social Design and share skills and knowledge from previous projects. Applicants should have experience in artistic/urban projects. The course is open to about 15 international students.


The Application Procedure

Applicants are asked to submit a motivation letter including a short description of a project idea to build upon during the summer school (max. 1 page) and a short CV (max. 1 page) to:

Application Form


Application deadline: 20 May 2019

Applicants will receive notification of acceptance via email May 29, 2019.



July 6 - 13, 2019



Students will receive a certificate with 8 ECTS credits from the University of Applied Arts Vienna.



The Summer School fee is EUR 200 €, including a social welcome dinner. Students are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation. Affordable accommodation is available at the Pension Besser and their apartment house. Rooms will be reserved by the university.



Do not hesitate to get back to us for any further questions. Stefan will answer your questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Images of last years' Summer School at Steinhaus (by architect Günther Domenig) in Steindorf / Ossiacher See


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk


(c)Herwig Turk



6. -13 July 2019
Base: Eisenkappel/Carinthia
Points of action: Venice (Italy)
Social Design Studio