Our world is in a state of constant transformation due to political and economic globalisation, technological innovation, urbanisation, and vast social and ecological challenges. In the past twenty years, we have witnessed the emergence of socially engaged art, social design and community-driven creative practices. A great number of artists and designers are operating with an expanded notion of art and organising their creative practices beyond purely aesthetic functions. Social Transformation is centered on the transdisciplinary work with real-life cases in real-life environments including collaborations with the public and non-academic partners. Discovering and defining an own artistic practice is a key element of this theme. Also because the empowerment of both creative practice and practitioners encourages a lively, diverse and independent cultural scene which, in turn, strengthens civil society.

Two focus areas have been developed as part of Social Transformation. One centres around socially engaged art practices and the other one around social design. Two distinctive summer schools work on each one of the focus areas.

The Summer School „Social Design“ uses design thinking, design-methods and design-tools to tackle societal challenges as part of a common learning and creation process. It focuses on social innovation and -development at different level by building capacity offering solutions, fostering social-, technologic and economic empowerment.