Project Duration: 2017–2019 Project Partners: MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and the City of Brtnice
The consortium of the project Bilateral Design Networks: Design Innovation from Early 20th Century Modernity to Digital Modernity consists of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and the City of Brtnice.
The MAK and the Moravian Gallery both have a strong focus on central European Modernity (1890 – 1938) and maintain a significant
cultural and historical legacy of this period in the form of a jointly administered branch, the Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice. The museum was the childhood home of Josef Hoffmann and served as a “testing ground” for his design ideas. Hoffmann’s
designs and architectural ideas had a significant influence on developments in this period.
The goals of the project are to communicate central European Modernity to as wide a public as possible, to communicate cultural
heritage in the context of the present and the future, to motivate creativity and handicraft sectors in the program area,
and to introduce improvements to the Josef Hoffmann Museum, including optimizing accessibility for researchers and visitors.
A broad awareness of this common cultural heritage fosters the cohesion of the program area, which has been divided not only
by a national and linguistic border but also by the calamitous political and military events up to 1948, and afterwards until
1989 by the Iron Curtain. But in fact central European Modernity was so successful in its development and internationally
so long-lasting precisely thanks to the transnational exchanges that took place between artists and architects from Austria
and the Czech Republic.
The project aims at rekindling cross-border cooperation. Design camps and innovation workshops will be held in Southern Moravia
and Vienna to this end. “Handicraft Labs” will aim to link up creative cooperation with the region’s growth potential. This
aside, attractive exhibitions and accompanying programs within the project provide occasion for visiting the museums and their
collections. Here it is important to reach out to the regional, national, and international public and motivate it to pay
such visits. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the transnational relationship between our cultural heritage and the
present and to connect the historical Modernity of the previous century with the present revolutionary age of Digital Modernity,
which is bringing irreversible changes to all aspects of our lives and will continue to do so in the future.
Nevertheless, the main focus of the project remains the cultural heritage of Modernity: smaller exhibitions in Brno and Brtnice,
and an overhaul of the permanent exhibition in the Governor’s Palace in Brno complement an exhibition cycle in the MAK (to
include exhibitions on Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser).
The project has a total budget of almost 1.2 million euros and will be 85 % financed by funds from the European Union (Interreg
V-A Austria-Czech Republic) as well as by state budget of the Czech Republic.
Project Manager for the MAK: Rainald Franz, Curator, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection Project Assistant: Klára Prešnajderová