Institute of Design
University of Applied Arts

+431 71133 2442


Theory and History of Design

Design Theory and History is a research-driven department delivering a variety of academic courses to students throughout the University of Applied Arts Vienna, with the principle aim of enhancing the understanding of design as a critical practice. The department is framed by an international design research culture, offering students a range of critical perspectives on the objects, relations and processes of design.

From the design anthropology of everyday material culture, through to the politics of ‘things’, design is explored in an interdisciplinary context; considering form and aesthetics as just one of the many dimensions of the practice and its objects.

The department forms an integral part of the Institute of Design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and offers the sole academic, research-driven curriculum in the field of design theory, design history and material culture in Austria. The international faculty, and its collaboration with leading universities, design schools, museums, guest scholars and practising designers, lends the department a unique profile.

The Design Theory and History department is linked to the Papanek Foundation, further enhancing the overall critical design perspective of the university.

Home Cultures: Architecture, Design and Domestic Space (Berg: Oxford), an interdisciplinary journal, is based within the department and co-edited with Material Culture and Anthropology, University College London.