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New Design University, Privatuniversität St. Pölten

Faculty of Design

Austria Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

The New Design University sees itself in continuous dialogue with societal developments, which should be observed and investigated. Social and technological developments, scientific knowledge and artistic achievements must be comprehended in their interaction in order to develop a conception of the social dynamics. As we are currently experiencing a dramatic social change in culture, ecology and economy, which does not only demand a change in policy, but also calls especially architects, designers and technicians to face up to the challenges involved with this change with a high degree of responsibility, sensitivity and courage. The New Design University perceives its task as structurally changing the teaching, research and training of a young generation of designers who are capable of creating and implementing innovative, ecological, social, aesthetic and sustainable solutions. 

International Role

The research at the New Design University happens on the one hand in the form of third-party funded EU research projects and national research projects, on the other hand from NDU's own research activities. Applied research takes place within the "Future Lab", where short-term development and research contracts of third parties are processed in interdisciplinary teams. There are also two special areas: the Materiautech® plastic materials collection, which was created in cooperation with the Lower Austrian Economic Chamber and ecoplus – Lower Austria's Business Agency GmbH, and the publisher of the ZfKE – Magazine for SMEs and Entrepreneurship.

National Role

As a hub of knowledge in design, technology, business, science and sustainability, the teaching and research of the NDU is equally committed to aesthetic, economic and social tasks as well as high scientific standards. Being located in St. Pölten in Lower Austria, NDU upholds close and innovative partnerships with companies and universities within the region of Lower Austria. These partnerships generate not only diverse cooperation projects, but contributes to a culture of vivid knowledge and artistic-creative exchange within the region.

Main Focus

As an international destination for high quality education, the New Design University trains creative thinkers who advance social change and explore tomorrow's design's practice by addressing the interplay of social an technological developments, scientific knowledge and artistic achievements. NDU's approach in teaching is posed by the aim to prepare students to act as intermediaries and translators of research findings into the language of practical developments as well as business solutions.

Faculties and Departments

Faculty of Design,

Faculty of Technology & Business

Bachelor Level Programs

Innenarchitektur & 3-D Gestaltung – Interior Design & 3D-Design

Grafik- und Informationsdesign – Graphic & Information Design

Design, Handwerk & materielle Kultur – Manual & Material Culture

Event Engineering

Management by Design

Master Level Programs

Innenarchitektur & visuelle Kommunikation – Interior Design & Visual Communication

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Research Activity and Main Areas

The New Design University combines the research areas of design, technology and business under the guiding principle of design. This approach applies not only to teaching, but also to the university’s research activities. In order to actively contribute to a positive change in society, the development of new models of both knowledge generation and collaboration of people from different professional disciplines is called for. It is precisely this need for new models of cooperation between the protagonists within these different disciplines that will present us with new challenges in the future.

The human being as an infinite source of inspiration for successful design forms the basis and starting point of the creation of information, products, spaces, technologies and economic models. To create an interdisciplinary research environment for the participation in the international research discourse, the New Design University initiated a cross-faculty Human-Centred Design: Research Hub. The research hub initiates and coordinates research activities in the three core areas of the university, design, technology and business, and aims to contribute specifically to the development of a holistic design process methodology including these areas.

Research area: Design Education & Research

The research area Design Education & Research is dedicated to the goal of contributing to the topic of the use of research-based learning in artistic-scientific teaching practice. Designers must critically reflect their practices, values ​​and the impact of their work on people and society. In the sense of a structured design process, this research area is dedicated on the one hand to the theoretical embedding of artistic-creative project work, the investigation of the human-product relationship, material usage, competition analysis of relevant practical examples on the market and the personal relation to the self-imposed design tasks of the students. On the other hand, this research area wants to present the possibilities of research-based learning and action during the development of design projects. In particular, the aim is to investigate how artistic-creative processes and methodological-scientific approaches can be synergistically combined in design practice.

Research area: Design & Technology

In order to successfully design for humans, it is essential for future designers to first and foremost deal with the people they are designing for. As this undertaking presents a multidisciplinary challenge, the collaboration of the disciplines design, architecture, graphic design, human-computer interaction, computer science, psychology, sociology, engineering and economics is needed. The aim of the research area ​​Design & Technology is the generation of knowledge about the wishes and needs of humans with regard to future product cultures. Among other things, the research work within this thematic area particularly addresses the development of methods for the inclusion of people in the design process. Students are encouraged to participate in this ongoing research in order to experience the habitus of inquiry-based learning as an integral part of design practice.

Research area: Technology & Business

In our Western society, statistically, every person owns 10,000 objects. The larger the number of objects in our personal possessions, the lower the emotional attachment to many of these objects. Nevertheless, some objects have positive emotional value for us. Within this research area, the aspect of the importance of positive user experiences has been discussed in recent years, because in our post-materialistic cultures subjective well-being is often placed over material possessions. Research within this area focuses on the one hand on the development of sustainable materials and their application in design projects, and on the other hand aims at generating solutions to the question which design and business strategies have to be developed to enhance a product’s usage respectively to design for product longevity. Research topics like Positive Design and Design for Wellbeing are also included in this research area since they provide inspiring approaches to reflect on how human well-being is shaped by product cultures.

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

The New Design University was founded by the Lower Austrian Chamber of Commerce and its Business Development Institute (WIFI) in 2004. As an international destination for quality education in the fields of design, technology and business, the NDU trains creative thinkers who advance social change and explore tomorrow's work and design practice today.

Our Bachelor programmes: Interior Design & 3D Design, Graphic & Information Design, Manual & Material Culture, Event Engineering, Management by Design

Our Master programmes: Interior Design & Visual Communication, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Application Deadlines

Winter Semester: 30th April

Summer Semester: 31st October

Teaching Languages

German, English

Semester Dates

Winter Semester: October to January

Summer Semester: March to June

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

appr. € 950


Bachelor: 458
Master: 45

Exchange Students

Incoming: 20
Outgoing: 20
Others: 2

Teaching Staff

Professors: 9
Lectures: 21
Part-time Teachers: 131

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