The 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wiener Werkstätte provides an ideal occasion for a fundamental study of this arts-and-crafts cooperative which so greatly informed the self-conception of Austrian design. The lasting quality of its designs, which could be seen as outstanding proposals for solutions to an early 20th century environment, will be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated in the exhibition. In accordance with the encompassing design approach of the Wiener Werkstätte, its entire range of products - from architecture and interior decoration to fabrics, fashion, tableware, and picture postcards - will be presented in the show.
The Wiener Werkstätte Archives - reposited at the MAK and never before presented on such a scale - will play a central role in this, with the exhibition design by Heimo Zobernig providing a vantage point. The exhibition was accompanied by a methodical series of lectures titled "Design or Design." International fashion designers and theoreticians of design did contrast the contemporary trend towards specialization with the comprehensive "WW" approach and discuss the dogmas of early 20th-century modernity in regard to today's forces global play.
MAK curator Christian Witt-Dörring, MAK curator Furniture and Woodwork
Research supervisor Elisabeth Schmuttermeier, MAK curator Metal and Wiener Werkstätte Archives
Co-curator Gabriele Koller, University of Applied Arts Vienna / Angela Völker, MAK curator for textiles / Paulus Rainer, chronology
Research board Ingrid Gazzari, Oswald Oberhuber, Martina Kandeler-Fritsch
Artistic intervention Heimo Zobernig
Exhibition design Heimo Zobernig, Peter Noever
Catalogue Edited by Peter Noever, with contributions by Siegfried Mattl, Paulus Rainer, Christian Witt-Dörring, as well as an conversation with Heimo Zobernig. Verlag Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit MAK, 2003, German/English448 pages, b/w and full color illustrations. MAK Design Shop