With around 300,000 inhabitants, Graz is the second largest city of Austria and the capital of the federal state Styria. The city is situated at the river Mur and received its city coat of arms in 1245. Graz is a university town with approximately 61,000 students. It is also City of Human Rights and received the Europeprize. The old town and the castle of Eggenberg belong to the UNESCO World Heritage. In 2003, Graz was European Capital of Culture and since March 2011, it has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Design. Graz builds upon a strong common will for design, which is based on a lively creative scene and internationally renowned educational and research institutions. Additionally, there are many innovative and visionary companies which recognize design as a chance and have a creative attitude. The appointment as UNESCO City of Design has been a crucial milestone for the future development of Graz. Important impulses for the economic and tourist sector are expected for the metropolitan area of the city and for the whole region of Styria. However, the title also entails a great challenge – namely the task to understand design as an attitude within an urban and sustainable culture; a culture which acknowledges intelligent design of the living environment as a pivotal value. Design is supposed to be visible and sensible in all areas of life, not only as an aesthetic factor but also as a key element which facilitates the environment and the daily life of people and makes it more worth living.
The significance and benefits of design have been increasingly acknowledged over the last decades. As an independent discipline, design acts as a pace-setter for innovation and economical developments. This has been recognized in Styria, and especially in Graz, at an early stage. Therefore, endeavours were aspired to create an ideal climate for the competitive factor design, since the vitality of the city is expressed by the joy of living and the joy for design. For this reason, a prospering local creative industry is also an indication of a functioning environment. The networking association Creative Industries Styria GmbH (CIS) has been founded as a competence center for this purpose and initiated the application to become a UNESCO City of Design. With numerous projects, such as Graz Month of Design, which presents the achievements of design to a broad audience, the CIS functions as a point of intersection for the creative industry. It expedites further development and enhances the interconnection with companies from classic economical branches. In a close co-operation with the city, the CIS strives to support and extend the local design potential as well as to push the internationalisation forward. Especially the membership in the UNESCO Creative City network offers many opportunities and chances to implement these endeavours successfully and on a long-term basis.
around 300,000 people
(2nd largest city in Austria)
4 universities, 2 universities of applied sciences and 2 universities of education (approximately 61,000 students)
Capital of the federal state Styria
City of Human Rights
Old town and the castle of Eggenberg belong to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage
European Capital of Culture in 2003
08 May - 06 Jun 2021 |
Design Month Graz gives insights into various creative disciplines and points of contact to the most diverse designers. Events such as exhibitions, workshops or lectures…
02 - 03 Jul 2019 |
Design is a key element in the development process of products; it has a sustainable impact on either success or failure. Design is not just…
06 - 07 Jun 2019 |
Designed for those who never stop learning. In 2019, the Fifteen Seconds Festival is extended by the new areas of science, mobility, and technology.
23 - 26 May 2019 |
ASSEMBLY, a 2-day journey into the world of Design, Fashion, Shows, Accessoiries and Art.
12 - 29 May 2019 |
The exhibition exhibits fashion, art, industrial design, graphic design and handicraft products from different times and different fields in Istanbul.
11 May - 09 Jun 2019 |
The exhibition World Wide Things Collection displays about 120 products from seven UNESCO Cities of Designs: Detroit, Graz, Istanbul, Mexico City, Puebla, Saint-Etienne and Singapur.
10 May - 09 Jun 2019 |
Design Month Graz will bring the performance spectrum of the design scene to the fore for a month, promoting global networking.
09 - 11 May 2019 |
In 2019, the special meeting of the International Council for Design (ico-D) takes place in Graz.
19 - 24 Mar 2019 |
The Diagonale is conceived as a forum for the presentation and discussion of Austrian cinematic production.
Candidate Application (PDF)
City Profile (PDF)
10 things to know about Graz (PDF)
Graz_COD_Monitoring Report_2011-2016 (PDF in English)
Graz_COD_Monitoring Report_2011-2016 (PDF in German)
Graz UNESCO City of Design
City of Design – Coordination Office
Head of Department
Burggasse 15/1, A- 8010 Graz
T: +43 316 872-2171
M: +43 664 60872 2171
T: +43 316 872 2172
M:+43 664 60872 2172
Creative Industries Styria
Marienplatz 1, A-8020 Graz
T: +43 316 890 598
Graz City of Design