Art, design and innovation is paving the way to a more social Europe

Nov. 3, 2020

Key learnings from MAST – Master Module in Art, Science and Technologies

Nova Gorica, Graz, Madeira, Rijeka, Ljubljana, Brussels, 26.10.2020MAST Hybrid Interfacing Academy, a combination of cutting-edge symposium with acclaimed speakers, a showcase, keynote lectures, discussion round tables and debates was organized by the Master Module in Art, Science and Technology (MAST) consortium on 23-25 September 2020. Contributors from a variety of disciplines have jointly explored how interdisciplinary practices and art & design thinking can contribute to the future of Europe, identified the vectors of policy priorities and possible impacts as well as created alliances for forward-thinking future actions.

Diverse stakeholders have been brought together to ideate primarily with and in the artistic realm, but reaching out into several public (policy, education, culture) and private (industry, design) domains. In addition, an overview of best practices and experiments on how “art thinking” could empower future Innovation Catalysts were provided in an exhibition, presented by MAST students and mentors. The two policy-making workshops with strategically architectured lists of participants pivoted around burning matters of education on the one hand, and the realm of industry on the other.

Keynote speakers and participants included: Viviane Hoffman – Deputy Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission, Barbara Stacher – European Commission, DG EAC, Cultural Policy Unit, Michela Magas – Innovation catalyst who bridges the worlds of science and art, design and technology, Marko Peljhan – Media artist, professor and entrepreneur – new media arts and technology, Peter Purg – Assoc. Prof. PhD, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, MAST project leader, Milena Dragicevic Sesic – head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, professor of Cultural Policy & Cultural Management, Cultural Studies and Media Studies, Jan Fabre – Belgian multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer, Luk Van den Dries – dramaturg and full Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, Ivana Jozic – dancer and actress at Troubleyn, Belgium, Phil Griffin – artist, photographer and director, Barbara de Coninck, artist and art director, Lev Manovich, a world-renowned innovator in digital humanities and theorist of digital culture and media art, Jurij Krpan – Art Director at Kersnikova Institute, Peter Friess – Future Media, Social Network Innovation, Science-Technology-Arts / Media Policy, European Commission, DG Connect, Brussels, Belgium, Christophe De Jaeger – Director GLUON, BOZAR Programme Manager BOZAR Art & Research, Brussels, Belgium, Jana Javornik – Director at the Higher Education Directorate, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia, Olivera B. Sretenović – University of Arts in Belgrade, Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, Sašo Sedlaček – Vice-dean for R&D at Academy of Fine Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and others.

The event presented the pinnacle of the MAST module project, supported by Creative Europe, dedicated to developing an applied study module at the intersections of Art, Science and Technology, combining methodologies and practices that intertwine the academic sphere closely with the Culture and Creative Sectors.

More about the MAST project

University of Nova Gorica (Slovenia), Graz University of Technology (Austria), Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Portugal), Croatian Cultural Alliance CCA (Croatia), Kersnikova Institute (Slovenia) and Culture Action Europe (Belgium) developed an applied study Module in Art, Science and Technology (MAST) ( that combines methodologies and practices intertwining the academic sphere with the Culture and Creative Sectors.

Nurturing a critical and competent perspective on the historical, economical societal and above all cultural relevance of this interdisciplinary blend within the new digital shift, the MAST consortium developed innovative teaching and learning methods converging into the Challenge Lab framework, fit for both academia and the industry. Students from different countries and disciplines collaborated with artists, scientists and engineers in several workshops to understand and further develop methods of Art & Design Thinking and jointly tackle challenges emerging from the paradox between the obviously disparate agendas of Europe’s ambition towards innovation on the one side, and the need for social equity on the other.

The developed model for interdisciplinary and collaborative entrepreneurship as well as career-management will answer the needs of both public (academic entrepreneurship, specialized institutions) and the private sector (companies, NGOs). Therefore it rests on a cultural-management savvy approach, combining specific techniques of creative thinking and collaboration for innovation. The developed international study module, shared among three universities collaboratively builds a new career profile of the Innovation Catalyst.

Through its Unicult programme, the project also developed the guidelines for career-development within the Art-Science-Technology blend to engage employment partners into the final academic work and integrate mechanisms of direct work placement, internship or scholarship schemes, including realm-specific residency, incubation and mobility schemes.

The Associate partners of the MAST Module in Art, Science and Technology include: EQ-Arts (Netherlands), University of Madeira – UMa(Portugal), Stromatolite/ Music Tech Fest (Sweden/UK), The University of Arts in Belgrade (Serbia), Institute for Development and International Relations – IRMO (Croatia), Hakan Lidbo Audio Industries (Sweden), European Creative Business Network – ECBN (EU wide) and the European Digital Art and Science Network (EU wide).


To become a part of MAST module piloting in year 2020/21 or the full run of 2021/22, please consider enrolling to the Media Arts and Practices international master study programme at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Interested candidates are invited to consult the programme info package and the guidelines for international applicants at, and/or write to, where a consultation meeting (face2face or online) may be agreed. Or consider the International Master in Interactive Media Design study programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Exact Science, University of Madeira, Portugal; interested candidates are invited to consult the programme info package and the guidelines for international applicants at, and apply through

(Creative Europe / Connect/2017/3346110) REFERENCE NUMBER OF THE CALL FOR PROPOSALS Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology Media and Data (Audiovisual Industry & Media Support Programmes)

Slovenia – University of Nova Gorica School of Arts,,, +386 51 336 770
Austria – Graz University of Technology, Institute of Spatial Design,
Portugal – Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute,,, +351 291 705 000,,, +351 291 705 270
Croatia – Croatian Cultural Alliance CCA,,, +385 91 5522106
Belgium – Culture Action Europe,,, +32 (0) 2 534 4002


Further information

Andreja Leban
Public Relations
T: +386 5 620 58 27