Universities Brings of Art and Science Together: Transformation Studies. Art x Science

A joint degree program launched by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and JKU.

Art x Science Studierende am JKU Campus
Art x Science Students at the JKU

The Johannes Kepler University Linz and the University of Applied Arts Vienna are pooling each university’s strengths and expertise to create a future-oriented educational and research focus in the form of an inter-university program called Art x Science School for Transformation. The new Bachelor’s degree program Art x Science School for Transformation welcomed its first students in October in the heart of Vienna’s 1st District at the New House for Art and Science located in the Otto Wagner Postal Savings Bank building.

A total of 147 prospective students from around the world applied for admission to the English-language Bachelor's degree program Transformation Studies. Art x Science, and 31 students were admitted to the program. Of those admitted, 20% are from Austria, and approximately 40% are from EU and non-EU countries. The students will split their time between Linz and Vienna, taking classes in both cities to not only take advantage of each university’s resources and infrastructures, but also the innovative educational formats (on-site and online) that include project-oriented learning right at the start of the semester.

Kick-Off in Linz and Vienna
The first students enrolled in the new degree program began their undergraduate studies in October 2023 and took part in a tightly scheduled program of activities that included a visit to the port area in Linz and Lobau National Park in Vienna. They will work on projects in groups, focusing on the historical and geopolitical transformation of these two locations. They will apply cross-disciplinary methods in both the sciences and the arts to examine the role of the Danube in both cities as a river that has profoundly defined urban, economic, social, and ecological transformation processes in different ways. To introduce the first-year students to the program’s themes, they will engage in various group projects to explore potential methods of observation (including analyzing historical and contemporary transformations) to document the various use of technologies and media. The faculty in the program work closely together to support new, co-educational formats that include cross-thematic courses, core modules, blocked session courses, and joint excursions.

During the course of the program, the students will be introduced to a unique combination of artistic and scientific approaches, methods and strategies, enabling them to better understand and analyze current transformations (such as climate change or digitalization) and independently work towards solutions. Students will take classes in artificial intelligence, media theory and aesthetics, cultural studies, social entrepreneurship, robotics, artistic and creative strategies, social and economic sciences, and legal aspects of innovation. In addition to acquiring expertise and a broad contextual understanding from both the arts and sciences, the program focuses on conveying creative, social, and communication skills. Students learn to generate new ideas and approaches to solutions by using the transformative power of creativity, thinking "outside-of-the-box", and taking a cross-disciplinary approach.

A Joint, Inter-University School
Located in Vienna's first district, the New House for Art and Science in the Otto Wagner Postal Savings Bank is the geographical heart of this joint degree program. The JKU and the University of Applied Arts Vienna have both taken up residence in this building, along with other academic institutions, and the new joint degree program, Art x Science School for Transformation, will be based there.

Alternately managed by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the JKU, the School for Transformation has been under the management of Katharina Gsöllpointner since March 2023. Ms. Gsöllpointner has worked at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2005 in the area of developing and implementing interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary projects in education and research. In four years, she will hand over leadership of the School for Transformation to the JKU.

Off to a Good Start
JKU Rector Stefan Koch remarked: "Our modern age is undergoing tremendous transformation; just think of the climate crisis, digitalization, and demographic changes. We need new expertise, new skills, fresh talent, and new ways to build interdisciplinary bridges in an effort to effectively address these changes. I am delighted about the JKU’s alliance with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, made visible by offering joint degree programs and an inter-university school."

Petra Schaper Rinkel, Rector at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, pointed out that "… the arts and sciences can potentially unfold everyone's intellectual and artistic potential, especially by applying an explorative means of involvement in artistic and scientific processes, thereby giving everyone an opportunity to extensively master intellectual and technical skills."

Rector Koch and Rector Schaper Rinkel are both pleased with the new degree program's successful start and spoke about initial experiences in the Transformation Studies. Art x Science program together with new students and faculty.

Learn More: Art x Science for Transformation | JKU Linz or Art x Science School for Transformation - dieAngewandte, opens an external URL in a new window