Starting 4 May 2020 the Kunstgewerbemuseum is open regularly from 10 to 18 (except Mondays).
WerkStadt Vienna. Design Engaging the City
This exhibition showcases an extraordinary collection of curated collaborations between young designers and small to medium sized manufacturers in Vienna. Here it is not the product that is at the center of interest, but people, knowledge, attitudes, and the process of working together. As a result, many of the works that emerged from these collaborations have a poetic depth and degree of narrative richness, not to mention quality of craftsmanship, that is often missing from so-called “design objects” today.
In 2006, inspired by their city’s rich heritage of local manufacturers and craftspeople, the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK founders Tulga Beyerle, Thomas Geisler, and Lilli Hollein began a special project, called “Passionswege”, which matched young designers with traditional workshops, manufacturers, and retailers in Vienna. By focusing on the transfer of knowledge and skills between the invited partners and carefully guiding the process – yet leaving the potential for re-sults quite open – they generated a series of encounters that worked quite differently from usual design collaborations.
The projects in this exhibition, curated by Sophie Lovell, serve as a template for reconnecting design with local industry in a very real way for designers, entrepreneurs, and consumers. They mix centuries of craft skills with new design thinking and show that design can be inspiring to everyone – both producers and users. This show is about the soft and hard values of design as a facilitator for bringing people together and enhancing the commercial and creative profile of a city at the same time.
Designed as a traveling exhibition by Studio Makkink & Bey, “WerkStadt Vienna” was first presented on the occasion of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. Shortly after Helsinki the show was on display at the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, at Salone del Mobile Milano (Ventura Lambrate), and at The New Institute in Rotterdam.