Dr. Gerald Bast (*1955) is rector of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria since 2000. After his studies in law and economics at Johannes Kepler University Linz where he earned a Doctorate in Law, he worked at the Federal Ministry of Higher Education and at Ludwig Boltzmann Research Society. He is member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, board-member of the European League of Institutes of the Arts, member at the pool of experts for the Institutional Evaluation Programme of the European University Association, member of the scientific Board of the “Journal for University Law, University Management and University Politics” and editor-in-chief of the book series ”Art, Research, Innovation and Society”.
His main fields of interest and activities are higher education policy, innovation strategies and the role of cultural knowledge for societal development. As university president Gerald Bast initiated various new programs focusing on cross-disciplinary teaching and research, like “Social Design.Arts as Urban Innovation”, “TransArts“, “Art and Science” and a PhD programme in art-based research. He founded the “Angewandte Innovation Lab” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, accentuating the role of the arts in innovation processes by facilitating cross-disciplinary intellectual and aesthetic intercommunication and he initiated an annual 2-million-€ grant programme for artistic research at the Austrian Science Fund. Gerald Bast published in the fields of university law, university management as well as educational and cultural policy and he held various invited lectures on the role of art, creativity, innovation and higher education, among them at Johns Hopkins University Washington D.C. (USA), Tsing Hua University Beijing (CN), Tong Ji University Shanghai (CN), University of Auckland (NZ), Dunedin School of Arts (NZ), City University Hong Kong (CN), University of the Arts Utrecht (NL), Lakit Kala Akademi New Delhi (IN) and the European Culture Forum Brussels (B).
Cornelia Bast is artist and social designer. She earned a Bachelor degree in “Applied Arts and Design Communication“ and a Master degree in “Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation”. Prior to that she completed a Higher Technical School for Biochemistry, graduated from the Academy for Midwifery and worked as a Midwife at the University Clinic for Gynaecology. She participated in artistic research projects on the situation of children in St.Anna Childrens’ Cancer Hospital Vienna and on the situation of women in Womens’ Shelters. Recently she is part of the research team working in an art-based research project focusing on the preconditions for enabling people with dementia to take part in public life for as long as possible.
Her artistic work oscillates between performative interventions in public spaces, multi-media installations and multi sensory, interactive objects allocated between fine arts, performance and design. She is particularly interested in the social impact of art and design and addresses these aspects also in her broadcasts, produced as editorial staff member at “Radio derive – Radio for Urban Research“.
She uses her skills as an artist, in order to take initiatives for changing existing situations in societal contexts, picking up people right where they are situated within the prevailing social system. Cornelia Bast appreciates working in interdisciplinary teams and she is used to collaborate with various institutions.