In their installation LeveL – the fragile balance of utopia, designers mischer’traxler studio (Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler) analyze the bipolarity of utopia as a complex construct
of individual and social ideals: a fragile system as a balancing act that takes into account the needs of both individuals
For their large-scale installation LeveL, mischer’traxler studio make use of the metaphor of a mobile as a model for the utopia, that simultaneously functions as
a chandelier. The hanging object only generates its full radiance in a state of equilibrium. Every movement in the room, whether
caused by visitors, a draft of air or vibrations, is transformed in the object and thus in the luminescence of the object.
The intensity of the light also fluctuates as long as the structure is in a state of imbalance. LeveL is an interactive installation that invites visitors to reflect on the many factors, including themselves, that can transform
ideal systems into dystopias.
Moreover, the poetic and playful nature of the installation relies on design’s essential and increasingly important role as
an intercultural mediator. Abstracting the complex theme of utopia within an object addressing both people’s emotions and
senses will open up various levels of access for visitors, regardless of age or background. Play and contemplation will facilitate
identification with their own sociocultural ideas of utopia without patronizing visitors.
Designers: mischer’traxler studio (Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler)
LeveL – the fragile balance of utopia, developed by mischer’traxler studio in cooperation with the MAK (Curator: Thomas Geisler) as Austrian contribution for the
London Design Biennale 2016, will be presented for the first time in Austria in the context of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017. The
Austrian contribution for the London Design Biennale 2016 was organized on behalf of the Arts and Culture Division of the
Federal Chancellery of Austria by Austria Design Net, with support from the Austrian Economic Chambers and the Austrian Cultural
Concept and Production: mischer’traxler studio Team: Elisa Polner, Maria Bauhofer, Theresa Ohm, Benedikt Steiner Electro-technical Development: Simon Laburda / DKIA Austrian commissioner for the London Design Biennale 2016: Thomas Geisler, MAK Organization: Austria Design Net Supporting Partner: Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria, Austrian Economic Chambers/go international,
Austrian Cultural Forum London
VIENNA BIENNALE 2017 Guide VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future, edited by the MAK, German/English, 160 pages with numerous color illustrations, MAK Vienna/Verlag für moderne Kunst, Vienna
2017. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at MAKdesignshop.at for € 9.80.
Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine Catalog edited by Mateo Kries, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Amelie Klein; with contributions by Rosi Braidotti, Douglas Coupland,
Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby (Dunne & Raby), Christoph Engemann, Paul Feigelfeld, Gesche Joost, Amelie Klein, Carlo Ratti, Bruce
Sterling, Marlies Wirth i.a.. Cover illustration: Christoph Niemann. Softcover, English, 328 pages, ca. 250 images, mainly
in color. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at MAKdesignshop.at for € 49,90.
Artificial Labor – e-flux
Artificial Labor is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and the MAK, Vienna within the context of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future.