Press kit

The view of young design­ers on the city of the future:

(Milan, April 2023) Stu­dents of the Indus­tri­al Design depart­ment led by Prof. Ste­fan Diez at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts Vien­na have been explor­ing utopias of sus­tain­able liv­ing in the city of Vien­na. They demon­strate why it is so impor­tant and urgent to rein­vent ele­ments of archi­tec­ture. From 18–23 April 2023, they will present their pro­posed solu­tions to an inter­na­tion­al audi­ence at Salone­Satel­lite in Milan.

It all start­ed with a ques­tion: what can our utopias of con­tem­po­rary urban liv­ing look like if we devel­op them from the ele­ments of archi­tec­ture? The impacts of cli­mate change are exten­sive and require new approach­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the build­ing sec­tor, which is a major con­trib­u­tor to the waste of resources. The stu­dents have spent the past two semes­ters rethink­ing archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments to reduce the envi­ron­men­tal foot­print of urban life. The design­ers’ approach is to pro­vide archi­tec­ture, which always relies on a kind of mod­u­lar sys­tem, with ele­ments that have been rethought from the view­point of indus­tri­al design. Around 20 projects will be pre­sent­ed in April in Milan at Salone­Satel­lite, the world’s most impor­tant forum for young design­ers. The ideas range from large-scale imple­men­ta­tion of pho­to­voltaics in pub­lic space as well as projects focus­ing on shad­ing and the cool­ing effect of green facades, to objects like fur­ni­ture or every­day prod­ucts that con­tribute to sus­tain­able liv­ing habits.

The top­ic is high­ly rel­e­vant. As Ste­fan Diez says: “The seem­ing­ly irrec­on­cil­able con­tra­dic­tions between the eco­log­i­cal and eco­nom­ic needs are the chal­leng­ing ten­sions that our stu­dents deal with. Their curi­ous search for real­is­tic alter­na­tives and the ques­tion of what this future could look like make this debate so excit­ing!”

Three top­ics:
Ener­gy pro­duc­tion, Urban over­heat­ing, New habits

In the con­text of the over­ar­ch­ing top­ic of “RETHINKING THE ELEMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE”, each stu­dent devot­ed them­selves to a spe­cif­ic area of focus.

For exam­ple, stu­dents in “Team Sonne“, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the man­u­fac­tur­er ASCA, focused on the appli­ca­tion of organ­ic solar cells to gen­er­ate ener­gy at var­i­ous loca­tions in Vien­na. The projects demon­strate the pos­si­bil­i­ties of using this inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy of col­or­ful, trans­par­ent and flex­i­ble pho­to­volta­ic films to have a pos­i­tive aes­thet­ic impact on the cityscape.

“Going South” addressed the effects of future tem­per­a­ture increase in urban areas due to glob­al cli­mate change, using Vien­na as an exam­ple. In this con­text, the stu­dents devel­oped projects for shad­ing, cool­ing and green­ing for exist­ing build­ings. The pre­dict­ed liv­ing con­di­tions were con­sid­ered an oppor­tu­ni­ty for inhab­i­tants to reimag­ine the use of pub­lic and pri­vate space.

In “Heat­ing Objects and New Habits”, every­day liv­ing habits were put to the test. The fun­da­men­tals of phys­i­cal con­di­tions were exam­ined, and social eval­u­a­tions were called into ques­tion.

Stu­dents opti­mized heat­ing, cool­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, and water use based on poten­tial­ly chang­ing habits and explored how design can change behav­iours and lead to more sus­tain­able liv­ing prac­tices.

The top­ics were con­ceived by the Indus­tri­al Design team at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts and assist­ed over a year by Ste­fan Diez with Chris­t­ian Stein­er, Katrin Sail­er with Jakob Illera, Elis­a­beth Wildling with Peter Mahlknecht, Sofia Podreka with Mar­cus Bruck­mann, as well as by the entire team, whose exper­tise sup­port­ed the design process.


Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts Vien­na
Salone­Satel­lite at the Salone del Mobile.Milano (Milan fair­grounds in Rho),
Pavil­lon 13/15, Stand G13

18 – 23 April 2023,
dai­ly 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.


Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Arts Vien­na
Depart­ment of Indus­tri­al Design 1
Oskar-Kokosch­ka-Platz 2 1010
Vien­na, Aus­tria
T : +43 1 711 33 2410
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