Star designers and newcomers, theory and experiment, fun, sincerity and an enthusiastic audience: With all this, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK confirmed its pre-eminent status within the international festival scene. After ten busy festival days, the organizers, Neigungsgruppe Design (Tulga Beyerle, Lilli Hollein, Thomas Geisler) sum up: “Our efforts to conceive a festival with thoughtfully curated contributions that atmospherically connect to our city have been rewarded with an impressively large attendance as well as high international media attention.”
The VIENNA DESIGN WEEK started on September 30, 2010, with a sumptuous party at Vienna’s Palais Liechtenstein. With the opening of the show “Baroque Splendour and Stainless Steel”, it also saw a first festival highlight: Comprising works by renowned studios Claesson Koivisto Rune (SE), Makkink & Bey (NL) and Olgoj Chorchoj (CZ) the Liechtenstein Museum hosted its very first exhibition of contemporary design. With Stefan Sagmeister, Gijs Bakker, Inga Sempé and Konstantin Grcic as speakers at “VIENNA DESIGN WEEK Talks”, the following festival days continued with big names of the international design scene.
The festival format “VIENNA DESIGN WEEK Carte Blanche” – giving young designers a free space to show their ideas – proved to be another good crowd puller: Swiss designer Antoinette Bader enchanted with her brilliant “LacesLamp”; Austrian architects bindermayer opened a temporary “Heuriger”, a traditional Viennese wine pub which was very popular within the neighbourhood; the Institute of Design Research vienna developed new platforms for adventurous experts; Dutch designers Rikkert Paauw and Jet van Zwieten transformed a construction site container into a cosy public meeting place. The festival “classics”, the “Passionswege” – a curated design course through Vienna – again connected national and international designers with traditional local businesses.
The “VIENNA DESIGN WEEK Laboratory” – curated by Neigungsgruppe Design together with Austrian graphic designer Erwin K. Bauer – was especially successful this year. The studio, which was open to the public, had been enlarged by daily talks: “The teams of ‘Kueng Caputo’ and Philippe Malouin as well as ‘Merz und Hess’ and Wagner/Wipplinger have managed to depict the different processes behind graphic design and product design in a very descriptive, vivid way, from the first idea to the final product. Seldom before, the audience has had the chance to observe this in such a direct way”, as “Neigungsgruppe Design” explains.
This year, public space was especially important, with the public as active participators: Milan-based collective esterni invited to commonly build “everybody’s bench”, while IKEA, which was festival partner for the first time this year, held public competitions. Further international enterprises who held invited competitions were Rado and Nespresso. The festival also experienced some very well attended exhibition openings, such as “2000-2010. Design in Vienna” at the Wien Museum.
Again, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK proofs to be of immediate economical benefit: Out of the cooperations between designers and entrepreneurs emerged several commissions; products produced during the festival find great response with buyers; last but not least the festival brought young, design aware visitors to the city and therefore also contributed to the city’s tourism. Next year, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK will be held from September 29 to October 9, celebrating its fifth anniversary with some very special events.
The following exhibitions opened during VIENNA DESIGN WEEK are still accessible:
- ak7, quartier21/Museumsquartier: The Art of Design (through Nov. 21, 2010)
- designforum: Take risks, solve problems. The Dyson design process (through Dec 22, 2010)
- Hofmobiliendepot: Aqua Mobile (through Jan. 23, 2011)
- Liechtenstein Museum: Baroque Splendour and Stainless Steel (through Nov. 9, 2010)
- MAK: DESIGN CRIMINALS. Or a New Joy into the World (through Nov. 14, 2010)
- WAGNER:WERK Museum Postsparkasse: Finnish Glass Design (through Nov. 13, 2010)
- WIEN MUSEUM: 2000-2010. Design in Vienna (through Jan. 9, 2011)