The original idea behind the Library for Social Design, initiated by Friedrich von Borries at the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) of Hamburg, was to encourage students to tackle a book a month during their degree course—making 60 books in all over a regular study period of 5 years à 12 months each. But the booklist is intended to be neither canonical nor a numerically limited inventory to be mechanically worked through. For this reason, it is essential that an ongoing discussion over the books in the library take place—as is indeed the case. As a result, the library’s inventory is subject to a permanent process of change—the debate over social design has to be constantly updated and provided with new impulses.

Through discussion of thematically relevant books, the Library for Social Design confronts the design field with its responsibility towards society and at the same time generates ideas for developing new methodologies and innovative research initiatives. As an institution that is both temporary and mobile, the library is intended to show up in a whole range of different places and contexts—at the MAK in Vienna it will be presented to the public for the first time!

The Creation of the library was made possible by the Leinemann Foundation for Education and the Arts, Hamburg.