Theory Course

Christina Schraml
Arts and Society, Social Design
2018W, Seminar (SE), 1.0 semester hours, course number S02487


Theorizing Social Design – Reading and Discussion of Seminal Texts

LV Winter 2018/19 Brigitte Felderer, Christina Schraml



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


 “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.


Examination Modalities

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.


03 October 2018, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 10 , "Portraits of your cities at night"
10 October 2018, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 10 , "Sleepless Cities"
19 October 2018, 10:00–16:00 AIL – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory , "The City as Spectacle - Focus Donaukanal"
31 October 2018, 10:00–16:00 Hauptbücherei am Gürtel , "Who programmes the night? - Focus Gürtel Area"
07 November 2018, 10:00–22:00 Der transparente Raum / Valie Exports Kubus am Gürtel , "Social Design after Dark - Grande Finale"

Course Enrolment

via email:

co-registration: possible (2.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible (2.0 ECTS)