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Social Design - Arts as Urban Innovation

Call for Applications

Both our society and the art system are in transition. Therefore, it is imperative that a university of art must help to shape this paradigmatic process of transformation rather than suffer from its effects. With Social Design the "Angewandte" has gone on the offensive with a fresh approach - not producing human capital, but provoking change.

Today, more than half of the world population lives in cities, and according to UN reports another 200,000 people arrive each day. In the next 20 years, cities around the globe will expand by 1.5 million square kilometres and in 25 years two-thirds of the world population will live in cities. In this global development we can identify the triggering factors behind tremendous restructuring processes: the transformational power of the industrial and digital revolution. This development places cities as complex, self-generating environments under enormous pressure. Through the densification and concentration of the population, economy, capital, and media, as well as culture and knowledge in urban agglomerations, both their spatial and social fabric are subject to overproportional stress.

In order to account for this global development, new concepts are needed that address the overall process of knowledge production in society. Art universities especially are predestined to formulate these new, distinct perspectives on the inherent logic of cities and the corresponding dynamics of their processes. Artistic research can generate links between multifaceted disciplinary expertise and the problems posed by the urban realm.

The University of Applied Arts Vienna (Angewandte), in cooperation with the Konservatorium Wien University (KONS), has therefore implemented a new master degree programme dedicated to these challenges emerging within urban social systems and the broad spectrum of related issues. The shaping of reality viewed through the example of urban agglomerations and contrasted with the urban context of Vienna initially forms both the field of work and the scale for the realisation of the individual projects.

A new type of programme structure has been developed to realise these ambitious goals. The programme places the respective (study) project at the centre of an international teaching environment, constituted specifically for each project. Different artistic and scientific experts are assigned as teachers in diverse constellations, tailored to the respective project's requirements and are involved in its development. The objective of the programme is to integrate diverse disciplinary expertise when dealing with the complexity of urban systems. To this end, it is not theoretical discourse that serves as the pretext, but rather the direct reference to urban reality that underpins the project work.

The master programme 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.

Submission deadline is: 14 September 2012.

All information can be found at www.dieangewandte.at or by contacting socialdesign@uni-ak.ac.at