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June 8, 2017

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies. Applied Studies in Art, Science, Philosophy, and Global Challenges

University of Applied Arts Vienna

University of Applied Arts Vienna. Photo: Birgit und Peter Kainz.

The bachelor degree programme Cross-Disciplinary Strategies. Applied Studies in Art, Science, Philosophy, and Global Challenges conveys a broad spectrum of artistic and scientific skills, strategies and principles of artistic and scientific praxis, linked with the aspiration to promote a critical approach, cooperation skills and goal-oriented learning not just in individual areas of knowledge, but also beyond the arts.

The educational system‘s approach for this programme represents an answer to transformation processes that our globalized societies face today. To be able to deal with complex and global dynamics as well as differing realities, courses designed to give an overview offer interdisciplinary knowledge and provide insights into strategies and methods from a number of areas of knowledge. Basic principles of art, philosophy, natural sciences, engineering and the humanities are an integral part of the curriculum in order to familiarize students with various perspectives and epistemologies. In addition, basic knowledge regarding the challenges of an increasing fusion of man and machine will be imparted, with particular focus on the growing automation that is due to the refinement of artificial intelligence and progress in the area of genome editing.

The interdisciplinary approach of the programme aims at developing future-oriented work methods and the conveyance of new strategies designed to reach far beyond ordinary educational concepts, thus opposing the growing specialization and fragmentation of knowledge. This approach represents a contribution to shaping the future of our societies: Fragile social fabrics in a quickly changing world that are confronted with global challenges to an unprecedented extent are to be addressed: demographic change, migration, the protection of human rights, social injustices and poverty, climate change, or redefining human work in the era of robotics and digitalization.

Systematic and interdisciplinary courses provide students with insights into current strategies of relevant technological developments, into new economies and finances, as well as into political discourses of contemporary societies. The programme is supplemented by reflections accompanying the course of studies. Artistic strategies and practical knowledge are both significant learning objectives and basic work methods. These goals are conveyed in modular study units and enhanced through forms of complementary and collaborative teaching; they include artistic strategies like abstraction, ambiguity, alienation, destruction or performativity. The architecture of the study programme offers a new and innovative learning environment which combines theory and practice. It is supplemented by practical experience in various studios where students become familiar with a broad spectrum of media and materials.

In order to educate professionals who are able to navigate in a globalized and interconnected world and who possess the necessary qualifications to handle complex and global dynamics, the study programme offers new teaching and learning methods and action strategies. These promote collaboration and teamwork and enable the planning, creation, implementation, analysis and inspired leading of dynamic projects—an important contribution to providing critical and well thought out foundations for meaningful and sustainable decision processes.

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