Theory Course

Christina Schraml
Arts and Society, Social Design
2022W, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S02487


Theorising Social Design - The Transformative Power of Deviance

Social Design Theory Course Winter Term 2022

Deviant behaviour is generally defined as actions that go against social norms and expectations, i.e. behaviour that is outside what society would consider “normal”. Although the term “deviance” often has negative connotations, by definition it is neither good nor bad. It refers to behaviour that is deviant, different, unexpected, unconventional. By questioning the status and challenging established norms and values, deviant behaviour creates a climate of ambiguity and can open up new spaces of possibility and action.

In this course we will explore the potential of deviant behaviour to drive social change - in relation to (co-)creating the city. The course offers the opportunity for critical reading and group discussion on relevant urban issues from a Social Design perspective. Key figures and positions in the field of Social Design will be introduced; the input is complemented by collective urban explorations. 


I - The Transformative Power of Deviance // 25. October 2022 // 10.00-12.00 (VZA7, FLUX1)

II - What Freedom does the City offer? // 15. November 2022 // 10.00-13.30

Special Guest: ASTRID EXNER (WUK)

III - (Co-)Existing in the City // 29. November 2022 // 10.00-13.30

Special Guest: ERNST GRUBER

IV - Re-Claiming the City // 13. Dezember 2022 // 10.00-13.30


V - Feedback Session // 20. December 2022 // 10.00-12.00 (VZA7, FLUX1)

VI - Commoning the City // 10. January 2023 // 10.00-13.30


VII - Grande Finale // 24. January 2023 // 10.00-14.00 (VZA7, SR23)

Examination Modalities

Requirements are regular attendance (at least 80%), preparatory readings and presentation of texts, active participation, as well as artistic contribution to the final output - a growing compilation of examples of deviant behaviour as observed in the city (further details in the first session).



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

Key Words

Social Design, Right to the City, Critical Urban Theory, urban commons, subculture, public space


25 October 2022, 10:00–12:00 FLUX 1
15 November 2022, 10:15–13:30 meeting point for city wallk: in front of Volksoper / Währinger Str. 78, 1090 Wien , "city walk I"
29 November 2022, 10:00–13:30 meeting point for city walk: Kardinal-Nagl-Platz , "city walk II"
13 December 2022, 10:00–13:30 meeting point for city walk: Spittelau (U4/U6 in front of Ströck) , "city walk III"
20 December 2022, 10:00–12:00 meeting point for city walk: U-Bahn Station Vorgartenstraße, Ausgang Mexikoplatz/ Lasallestr.
10 January 2023, 10:00–13:30, "city walk IV"
24 January 2023, 10:00–14:00 Seminar Room 23

Course Enrolment

From 08 August 2022, 20:33 to 20 November 2022, 20:33
Via online registration

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible