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Up Next: Vienna Design Week

The upcoming twelfth edition of Vienna Design Week tackles urgent contemporary issues and asks what design can contribute beyond aesthetics and function

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From the political, to the social, to the commercial, Vienna Design Week 2018, presents a broad and extensive program that explores what design is and what it can achieve. Festival Director, Lilli Hollein states that “design is the creative configuration of our everyday life; it serves society, it is also a political act and far more than what many people associate with the word “design”.”

The eclectic mix of works on display, from a wide range of design disciplines, reflect the curators’ emphasis on the prevalence and importance of design in the 21st century. Different elements of the festival will be spread throughout the city, encouraging visitors to explore every nook and cranny of Vienna alongside design. The pieces that will be exhibited are a mixture of commissioned projects–produced especially for the festival–as well as contributions from local and international designers.

The festival is tackling an array of urgent topics and global problems. Themes that will be explored through the lens of design include urban food production and consumption, design as the expression and tool of protest, experimental approaches to architecture, pioneering aspects of production systems and the opportunities presented by virtual and augmented reality. This diverse selection will be accompanied by a range of exhibitions, workshops, participatory projects, talks and events.

A notable example of one such event is Studio Illustration, which sits on the border of a demonstration and exhibition.  Curated by Erwin K. Bauer, this project will experiment with crowd-sourced briefs and a growing gallery. Succinctly put, the exhibition will unfold as: Ten days. Ten designers. Ten posters. Visitors will be invited to vote on the themes that they would like the illustrators to explore who will then respond to this popularly-voted brief live, in the exhibition space, producing posters.

The scope and scale of the twelfth edition of the Vienna Design Week aims to create a platform that both reflects upon design and encourages it to move in different and original directions.

Vienna Design Week will run from September 28 to October 7

Cover image: City work – Ewa Rudnicka – collage © Ewa Rudnicka

Vienna Design Week
Stadtarbeit - IDRV - Institute of Design Research Vienna Institute of Design Research Vienna © Ottonie von Roeder
Vienna Design Week
Stadtarbeit - IDRV - Institute of Design Research Vienna Institute of Design Research Vienna © Branko Popovic
Vienna Design Week
NEW / TEST makes porcelain shine © NeuZeug
Vienna Design Week
Programmpartner - Schloss Hollenegg for Design © Leonhard Hilzensauer
Vienna Design Week
Passionswege Honey & Bunny © Stummerer | Hablesreiter | Akita | Koeb
Veinna Design Week
Programmpartner - designaustria - Ausstellungsansicht GOWEST © Jana Madzigon
Vienna Design Week
Programmpartner - BIO/SKICA - Countryside Reloaded © DSL Studio

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“Gritty, wild stuff”, is how Schloss Hollenegg for Design and mischer’traxler studio describe the presented investigations of the role of design and its relationship with our natural environment in their exhibition during this year’s Vienna Design Week.