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 (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
06.06.2019 - 07.06.2019 |
Designed for those who never stop learning. In 2019, the Fifteen Seconds Festival is extended by the new areas of science, mobility, and technology.
10.05.2019 - 09.06.2019 |
From 10 May until 09 June 2019, the UNESCO City of Design Graz will become a stage for creative and design enthusiasts from all around the world, putting the city into a state of exception in which design dominates everywhere. The festival has a dense and diverse programme embracing the various fields of design, including a great number of individual initiatives by
16.10.2018 - 18.10.2018 |
Is the fifth time that the World Usability Congress takes place in Graz focussing on the relevance of usability in numerous fields. Topics such as Usability, User Experience & Customer Experience Management will be discussed.
In 2018, the European Creative Industries Summit will be held in Vienna on October 4 and discuss the topic BEYOND: Cross-Innovation as driver for Growth in the European Digital Single Market. The summit welcomes experienced experts and decision makers for the creative industries, among them Eberhard Schrempf from Graz.
Europe’s leading interdisciplinary business festival is coming to the States. Join 2,000 visionaries in Detroit at Cobo Center.
01.08.2018 - 25.08.2018 |
2 interns – for 6 months – at 6 agencies – in 6 cities around the world. The full gamut of creative services. The software agency PARKSIDE in Graz is part of it.
Graz-based creative people of all design fields get the opportunity to work in a company in a UNESCO City of Design and thus widen their horizon.
13.06.2018 - 17.06.2018 |
Once again, springfestival Graz will turn the entire city into a buzzing centre for electronic art and music.
07.06.2018 - 08.06.2018 |
100 international speakers from the fields of marketing, advertising, media, technology, digital, HR, and leadership, 12.000m² of expo area featuring product launches and DACH premieres: Discover stories worth telling.
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)
City of Graz
City of Design – Coordination Office
Head of Department
Mariahilferstraße 2/2, A- 8020 Graz
T: +43 316 872-2106
M: +43 664 60872 2106
Creative Industries Styria
Marienplatz 1, A-8020 Graz
T: +43 316 890 598
Graz City of Design