Study at CDS 

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

The most significant challenge for higher education today is to provide students with state-of-the-art teaching that will broaden students’ horizons in terms of how to approach problems from a cross-disciplinary perspective. With CDS, we bring knowledge and teaching together that crosses disciplinary boundaries to confront global challenges that our societies will face in the future: The Bachelor degree programme Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Applied Studies in Art, Science, Philosophy, and Global Challenges (CDS) was launched in 2017 with enthusiastic support by the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Recognising the University of Applied Arts Vienna’s distinctive strengths, CDS will provide coordination and strategic leadership on cross-disciplinary teaching and learning. The curriculum draws on a broad spectrum of knowledge from various disciplines and covers basic principles from the fields of art, philosophy, science, engineering, and the humanities and includes strategies in art. There is also emphasis on exploring the foundations of contemporary global challenges, like the increasing merger of humans and machines, advancing automation in the world of labour, and the arrival of artificial intelligence and the rise of robotics in almost all facets of everyday life.

Mishka Henner
Coronado Feeders, Dalhart, Texas

Roy Harbisson
Source: National Geographic

Oman Oil Rig
Source: NASA

Photo by Alexandre Debiève

Photo by Karthikeyan K

Photo by Davidson Luna

Photo by Hermes Rivera

Photo by Patrick Lindenberg

Photo by Franck Veschi

Photo by Alessio Lin

The integrated CDS curriculum seeks to provide new strategies and develop future-oriented working and learning methods. It presents alternatives to the advancing specialisation and fragmentation of knowledge in conventional forms of teaching. It is thus a contribution to shaping the future of our societies: fragile social fabrics in a rapidly changing world that are currently facing unprecedented challenges and dynamics on a global scale such as demographic change, climate change, mass migration, scarcity of resources, violation of human rights, social inequality and poverty, mass unemployment, the re-definition of human labour, and participation of all people in the human community in the digital age.

Systematic and cross-disciplinary lectures and workshops given by internationally recognised experts in their fields introduce CDS students to current developments in research and technology, new economies and finance systems, and also political discourses. Artistic strategies and hands-on experience are at once essential learning objectives as well as basic working methods for the students. These are taught in modular units and reinforced through complementary and collaborative classes, accompanied by seminars and tutorials. The study architecture of this seminal Bachelor programme offers students a novel learning environment, which combines theory and practice in an innovative way to foster critical thinking, collaboration and engaged learning. It is supplemented by practical experience in workshops and laboratories, which offers students hands-on experience of engaging with a wide spectrum of media, processes, and materials.

(Text: Professor Ingeborg Reichle, PhD, CDS founding chair 2017-18)