Research & Studies

A New Space Odyssey - UNESCO MOST Winter School by iASK


6th UNESCO MOST Winter School

A New Space Odyssey: Creating Livable Spaces for Social cohesion, Change and Adaptation in Critical Times

26th February – 1st March 2024

Zwinger (Old Tower) Chernel u. 16.

Kőszeg, Hungary

Organized by iASK in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair for Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainability, Institute for Social & European Studies (ISES) and the University of Pannonia under the patronage of the Hungarian National Comission for UNESCO.

From ancient amphitheaters and agora to modern-day art galleries, co-working spaces, and online communities, social, cultural and creative spaces have played a pivotal role in facilitating human expression and interaction. Always adapting to the needs of society, they have served as crucibles where individuals come together to explore, create, and celebrate the richness of culture, creativity, and social connections. Thus, they have been intertwined by technological and economic changes. While they encompass a diverse array of physical and virtual environments, their shared objective is to nurture a sense of belonging, preserve and manage tangible and intangible cultural heritage, encourage innovation, and promote social change.

Social spaces serve as vital hubs for interpersonal connections and community building. Parks, cafes, community centers, and digital platforms provide venues where people gather to converse, form relationships, and create a sense of shared identity. These spaces facilitate not only social interaction but also political activism and the exchange of ideas, contributing to the formation of public spheres and the vitality of democracy. Cultural spaces encompass museums, theaters, libraries, and other institutions that preserve, present, and interpret culture, history, and the arts. These spaces act as stewards of heritage, providing opportunities for education and cultural enrichment. Furthermore, they contribute to the diversity and pluralism of societies, fostering an appreciation of different worldviews and traditions. Creative spaces, such as art studios, design workshops, and innovation hubs, are hotbeds for human ingenuity. These spaces encourage experimentation, collaboration, and the development of novel ideas. The innovative output of creative spaces drives economic growth, shapes industries, and adds vibrancy to communities. They also serve as platforms for artists and entrepreneurs to engage with the public, enhancing the accessibility of culture and creativity.

The synergy between these spaces is often underestimated. Cultural spaces can inspire creativity by exposing individuals to diverse artistic expressions. Likewise, creative spaces can promote cultural understanding by engaging artists and innovators from various backgrounds. Social spaces often serve as bridges between cultural and creative realms, facilitating the exchange of ideas, skills, and resources. These spaces face a host of challenges, including financial constraints, accessibility issues, and the need to adapt to evolving technological landscapes. However, they also represent opportunities for fostering inclusivity, innovation, and social change. Collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors, along with community involvement, can help address these challenges. By recognizing the interconnections and shared objectives of these spaces, we can better appreciate their profound impact on our identity, diversity, and social cohesion. As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, these spaces continue to evolve, adapt, and remain indispensable to our collective experience.

The 6th UNESCO MOST Winter School offers insight into the processes and interactions among different spaces, the social contexts they grow out of and construct, the values they convey, and the memories they are filled. The scope will move from the general global arena to the smallest local contexts. Panels focus on cultural institutions as repositories of great works of art, heritage items and knowledge centres, well as spaces of microheritage. We ask how they can promote shared values and the reworking of historical traumas and cultivate collective albeit diverse identities. We will tackle the challenges and possibilities for social spaces, and free creative spaces where artistic creativity and communal activities regenerate social cohesion. We also ask how our built environment can contribute to an enjoyable quality of life for individuals, and how we can use different methodologies to design and create spaces where citizens feel comfortable and at home.

The 6th UNESCO MOST Winter School will take place from the 26th February to 1st March 2024 in Kőszeg (Hungary). We welcome applications from master and doctoral students, junior and senior scholars, from the fields of arts, architecture, engineering, design, and all disciplines of humanities and social sciences, especially cultural studies, history, social psychology, spatial and regional sciences. We also welcome professionals and activists from governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Each year, the UNESCO MOST Winter School attracts top scholars from across Europe and the world, fostering education for the future, unorthodox thinking, and the dynamic exchange of ideas through transdisciplinary and transcultural dialogue. The discussions at the 6th UNESCO MOST Winter School will address following topics:

  • Communities in times of peace and war
  • Urban and rural spaces burdened by memory and liberated by art
  • From formal institutions of culture to informal micro-sites of heritage
  • Placemaking, Place branding and contemporary social design
  • Peace and security and belonging to a community in times of war and conflict
  • Communities of Care and Solidarity: how well-being is to be achieved
  • Community building through arts and culture
  • Emotional Mapping for liveable spaces
  • Social innovation in the face of growing inequalities: creating accessible and free; spaces for diverse social groups and individuals
  • Connecting ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ in spaces and their inhabitants


Monday, February 26th

 09:30 – 10:00 Participants’ introductions

10:00 – 10:10 Ferenc Miszlivetz, General Director, iASK

10:10 – 10:20 Gábor Soós, Secretary-General, Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO

10:20 – 10:30 Béla Básthy, Mayor of Kőszeg

Video message from Gustavo Merino (Director of Social Policy at UNESCO)

10:30 – 12:30 Panel

Peace, Security and Belonging to a Community in Times of War and Conflict

Communities are rapidly changing in our current times. While they are seemingly stable in times of peace, war radically changes alliances and senses of belonging. Communal ties, family relations, past experiences, religions and other factors inform collective identities, which may become threatened overnight. In this sense it is not possible to develop, design or analyze political, social or cultural communities without their immediate and larger contexts. This session proposes to critically discuss the larger geopolitical contexts of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the armed conflict in Gaza from the perspective of the integration and disintegration of communities in the heart of the conflict zones as well as in those parts of the world that are indirectly affected.

10:30 -10:50 Keynote Address: Mária Herczog (President of Missing Children Europe, Chair of Family, Child, Youth Association) Participation of children in peacemaking activities 

10:50 – 12:30 Panel Discussion

Chair: Jody Jensen (iASK)


  • Kármán Mariann (Hungarian Red Cross)
  • Kıvanç Ulusoy (Istanbul University)
  • Klaus Wölfer (Former ambassador, Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs)
  • Lakatos István (Ambassador, human rights adviser of the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro at Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary) online

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 Panel

Urban and Rural Spaces Burdened by Memory and Liberated by Art

Marc Augé wrote about “non places”, which are characteristics of our postmodern, neoliberal, globalizing world: they are spaces the carry no identity, non-belonging and alienation (airports, train stations, shopping malls), while their appeal correlate with the disappearance of real sites, and actual places of ethnographic significance, sites which carry meanings from communities’ pasts, and sites which are reminders of earlier cultures. Sites which are subject to conflicting and difficult memories, often lack commemorative monuments punching their heritage to oblivion. How can we use art, architecture, urban planning, and cultural initiatives to transform these non lieux so they can become meaningful sites of facing the past and forging communal cohesion? Panelists are invited to showcase positive examples of such transformations.

Chair: Izabella Agárdi (iASK)


  • Rozita Dimova (iASK)
  • Emiko Gejic (artist, activist, board member at Clubcommission, Berlin) online
  • Mary Taylor (City University of New York)

18:00 Musical performance

19:00 Reception


Tuesday, February 27th

Registration and login: 9:30 – 10:00

MORNING SESSION: 10:00-12:00

Placemaking, Place Branding, Emotional Mapping. Exploring and recognizing the “genius loci”, source of identity and inspiration

 The first part of this session is a facilitated discussion about ‘place’ as a concept, of ‘place brands’ as limited forms of geographical representations, and of ‘place branding’ as a highly selective process. 

In the second part we introduce Emotional Mapping, a methodology that can that be used for shaping, redesigning the places, mapping the spaces where we live. In this extremely challenging, changing and uncertain world, we need places and spaces where we can feel secure, and comfortable. Home is a place where this safety needs to be found while it is also an environment for reflection, recovery, self-regulation processes, individual and relational coping, and well-being. Through this method, people imagine their homes, choose the place of security in their homes, and evaluate their personal experiences.

Chair: Ferenc Miszlivetz (iASK)


  • Tamás Fejérdy (iASK, ICOMOS)
  • László Gönczi (President of FIABCI-Hungary)
  • Mónika Mátay (iASK, ELTE)
  • Dániel Ongjerth (managing director, Centre for Culture and Urban Design): Culture, community and communication – tools to revitalize Kőszeg.

12:00-14:00 Lunch break


Social Innovation in the Face of Growing Inequalities: Creating Accessible and Free Spaces for Diverse Social Groups and Individuals

This session is about designing cities, and the requirement to create physical environments which serve the needs of residents. In solving thus far unresolved housing conditions characteristic of cities and providing quality-living, civil initiatives fill a much-desired gap. CoHousing is one of the methods, well-known in Western-European countries, which is known for tackling the problem of city housing while at the same time being engaged in community building, i.e. forging communities of care and solidarity.

Chair: Katalin Galambos (iASK)


  • Mary Taylor (City University of New York)
  • Zsófia Pátkai-Kiss and Petra Horogh (CoHousing Budapest Association)
  • Annamaria Kovacs (H52 Youth Office Budapest (FESZGYI), Chance Lab Association)

 16:00 – 18:00 AFTERNOON SESSION 2 (group activity):

Social Design as a Form of Collaboration – presentation and interactive workshop lead by Bori Fehér


Wednesday, February 28th

Day trip to Veszprém

Thursday, February 29th

Registration & Login: 9:30

MORNING SESSION: 10:00-12:00


This session will focus on discussing lessons learnt on the field trip and analyzing best examples and practices from participants’ own national and local contexts.

Chair: Ivana Stepanovic (iASK)

12:30-14:00 Lunch break


Topic: Connecting ‘Outside’ and ‘Inside’ in Spaces and Social Groups. Designing a Community Café

 Interactive Workshop lead by Éva Fekete (Labor Café Nyíregyháza)


Friday, March 1st

Registration & login: 9:30

MORNING SESSION: 10:00-12:00

  • Sean Cleary (Future World Foundation)
  • Kıvanç Ulusoy (Istanbul University)


The Art of Sustainability and Storytelling

How is it possible to recognise different forms of narrative and the human need to create stories in order to recalibrate societal attitudes towards sustainability and its normative dimensions? This session will playfully discuss creativity and the art of storytelling to benefit our thought patterns and (indirectly) our attitudes towards the issue of environmental change and sustainability.

Workshop lead by Ilan Chabay (Arizona State University)

Wrap-up, Closing remarks and Feedback


Service & Facilities

Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg features premium research facilities located in breathtaking historic buildings. We have a newly refurbished library located in the heart of the city at Jurisics Square along with three breath-taking office buildings: Europe House, Festetics Palace and Szemzo House in the tranquil Chernel Street which connects the stunning Sacred Heart church and the famous Jurisics castle. The Institute also services the premisses of the iconic Zwinger tower dating from the 13th century where we will host the 6th UNESCO Most Winter School. Our Synergy Campus with state-of-the-art labs is currently under construction. During your stay, you will have exclusive access to our premium facilities, including the library where you will be able to print and download books and articles from subscription-based journals and digital archives. You will also be able to enjoy coffee and refreshments in all 5 buildings located in the centre of the city. iASK is collaborating with the University of Pannonia, offering an MA program in International Relations. We also offer research fellowships on a rolling basis.



The deadline for applications: 9th of February, 2024

The application process has 2 steps:
Step 1: Applicants send the following application documents to [email protected].

A completed Application Form downloadable at

Plus CV

Step 2: Having been registered, applicants receive payment guidelines for the registration fee


Advanced MA and PhD students and young researchers, as well as social entrepreneurs, who have a keen academic or professional interest in the topics.


The deadline for payment: FEBRUARY 16. 2024


The full fee is 350€ and it includes the following:
·Registration fee
·5-day catering (lunch + coffee and refreshments)
·Free use of iASK facilities (including the library)
·Admission to cultural events
·Hotel accommodation in Kőszeg, Hotel Harangtorony 

·Double room with breakfast


The full fee is 420€ and it includes the following:
·Registration fee
·5-day catering (lunch + coffee and refreshments)
·Free use of iASK facilities (including the library)
·Admission to cultural events
·Hotel accommodation in Kőszeg, Hotel Harangtorony 
·Single room with breakfast


The full fee is 370€ and it includes the following:
·Registration fee
·5-day catering (lunch + coffee and refreshments)
·Free use of iASK facilities (including the library)
·Admission to cultural events
·Hotel accommodation in Kőszeg, Hotel Írottkő
·Double room with breakfast


The full fee is 460€ and it includes the following:
·Registration fee
·5-day catering (lunch + coffee and refreshments)
·Free use of iASK facilities (including the library)
·Admission to cultural events
·Hotel accommodation in Koszeg, Hotel Írottkő 

·Double room with breakfast

Day Pass

You can purchase a single-day pass or pay for as many days you wish to attend.
The price of the daily pass is 50 € We are unable to issue certificates to those who do not complete the full 6-day program.
Online participants
The registration fee for online participants is 100 €. We will issue the certificates to those who complete the full 6-day program. (Day Pass-20 €)