The Architecture Classes of the Salzburg International Summeracademy of Fine Arts


The architecture classes of the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts (Summeracademy or ISBKS for short), based in Salzburg, Austria, have had a significant position within the Austrian architecture scene for over half a century. During their existence, the classes formed a counterbalance to the traditional academic education in architecture and successfully established a position on socially relevant, urbanistic and urban policy agendas.

The Summeracademy is founded in 1953. Recognizing the need for cultural reform after the Second World War, Oskar Kokoschka, together with the Salzburg gallerist Friedrich Welz, founds the so called “Schule des Sehens” (“School of Sight”). Kokoschka wants to create a platform that enables the exchange of knowledge, methodology, opinions, views and perspectives among students and teachers across national borders. Even before the imparting of a certain ability or knowledge, it is about creating an awareness that overcomes the traditional forms of perception and reception. In the year of foundation, a class for each painting, sculpture and architecture is offered. Right from the beginning, the architecture classes of the Summeracademy participate in producing solutions for the challenges that city planning in Salzburg faces. Their approaches are most often successful, making them innovators and trailblazers. Although the architecture classes have left no concrete building, innumerable ideas have infiltrated the society sustainably.

It is one aim of this research project to examinate the connections between the institution’s value in the field of experimenting with different teaching methods, and its importance in the development and institutionalization of decision-making processes relevant to democratic policies.

The research group consists of Kristian Faschingeder (project coordinator), as well as Dietmar Bach, Andrea Kopranovic and Michaela Polak (PHD candidates).