Research at the MAK

The MAK is an internationally renowned competence center for the applied arts, contemporary art, design, and architecture. Its engagement with current artistic and art-theoretical perspectives and movements make it a progressive, versatile research institution promoting social awareness. At the same time, the MAK’s research into new approaches to design and the applied arts also frequently focuses on sociopolitical and environmental issues.
Academic research is a prerequisite for all sound curatorial work; it facilitates an understanding of historical processes, aesthetic perspectives, and cultural and intercultural contiguities. 
This academic approach constitutes the institutional identity of the MAK and is the necessary foundation both for its exhibitions and publications and for developing concepts for preserving, extending, and mediating the museum’s collection. 

The MAK’s distinguished library of specialist literature and its extensive collection inventory form a solid basis for its research activities. Above all, the digitalization of the museum’s collection and its gradual publication on the MAK’s homepage opens up new opportunities for well-informed debate. 
On the one hand, objects not freely accessible because they are kept in the museum’s depot can thus be made available to the general public. On the other, the online databank constitutes a virtual platform that allows experts and laypeople throughout the world to access detailed information.

A staff of qualified experts who make a significant contribution to the MAK’s international research work are responsible for carrying out these important tasks. The results of their endeavors-often completed within the framework of externally financed research projects in cooperation with internationally renowned colleagues-bear fruit in exhibitions and publications and permit the MAK’s historical collection holdings to be placed in contemporary contexts.