InSEA Regional Conference Vienna 2016

Art and Design Education in Times of Change
University of Applied Arts Vienna
2224 September 2016

Looking back in history, we see that art education has repeatedly been exposed to all kinds of challenges brought on by political and societal changes. Today we face new historical challenges we never had expected. Starting with the crash of the financial markets in summer 2008, the current global economic crisis is the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 2015 the UNHCR counted more than a million migrants and refugees crossing into Europe driven by the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Kosovo. For 2016, Ericsson predicts more than two billion smart phone users worldwide; by 2020 smartphones will account for as much as 80 percent of all mobile data traffic. In response to these intertwined phenomena of global financial crisis, mass migration and the pervasion of new technologies in everyday life, the demand for new participatory approaches in governance, education and culture is growing fast.

Teaching and learning art and design in times of change require entirely new perspectives. Since the onset of the educational turn, we find that knowledge, competences and skills have become fragmentary. At the same time, young pupils’ understanding of content when reading texts appears to have suffered; they know how to play computer games but do not know how to use a computer in its diverse possibilities. They also unlearn empathic and social skills. Knowledge has become extremely complex and seems to be understandable just via transdisciplinary approaches, but schools and curricula do not reflect these interrelations sufficiently yet. Creative skills are needed to transgress disciplines and to open up chances for education and society. Social and cultural participation should be enabled, social cohesion strengthened, creation and innovation facilitated. Possible questions that arise within these challenges are: How to work with migration from an arts-based perspective? What about diversity in an educational and cultural institution’s team structure and program? How to confront the increasing volatility in art and culture funding and the effects of public-private partnerships? How to use new technologies for educational purposes in a meaningful way? How to address a diversified cultural audience with different needs and expectations by including all and without appearing to be arbitrary? And finally: What about the high expectations in art and culture to stimulate active citizenship and social cohesion?

The conference asks for contributions that give partial answers to these and other questions related to education in current times of change through theoretical reflections, historical and empirical analysis, case studies as well as hands-on activities in workshops. We invite theoreticians and practitioners from the fields of art and design education to share their research, expertise and knowledge at the very first InSEA regional conference in Vienna. Young professionals and (PhD) students are specifically encouraged to apply for participation with respect to the conference’s aim of being an open, all-including and supportive discussion space.

Research streams

1.     Early childhood education
2.     Primary school education
3.     Secondary school education
4.     Adult education, lifelong learning
5.     Museum education
6.     Leisure education
7.     Arts-based research, design-based research
8.     Community arts practice
9.     Open


Deadline for abstract submission: 23 May 2016
Double-blind peer review, notification on acceptance: by the end of June 2016
Registration: 27 June until 25 July 2016 (early bird), 21 September 2016 (prolonged),
Conference: 22 until 24 September 2016


A book of abstracts will be printed for the conference and will also be available online as pdf download. Following the conference, a selection of contributions will be published in a peer-reviewed anthology in the publication series of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Planned schedule:

Paper submission for anthology: 17 November 2016
Double-blind peer review, notification on acceptance: Beginning of December 2016

For further information please contact