A book on ten years of the festival and a special city guide for exploring Vienna for designers, architects and people who love cities.
About this project
The Powers of Ten
This year is year ten, the first anniversary of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. We thought it’s time to take a look back – but in an unsentimental way.
So it’s time for a book, and after ten years of festival making and almost a thousand projectsit will be comprehensive…
What’s in the book?
“Stadtarbeit” is a compendium that sheds light on some of the leading designers’ careers and the design development in Europe over the past ten years.
It is a manual on strategies for urban development via design.
It is a very special city guide for exploring Vienna.
It is a great read featuring texts by some of the most influential figures in today’s design world, including Alice Rawsthorn and Deyan Sudjic.
It’s also a great book if you just want to enjoy looking at beautiful pictures – we promise there will be many!
Why do we launch a book?
Great stories belong between the covers of a book.
One of the main objectives since we founded VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is to develop strategies on how to activate a city by design. Our city, Vienna, especially. Full of cultural heritage and a great past as it is, we found it important to put that in relation to the contemporary.
What has always been important to us is for visitors from abroad to see different faces of the city and for residents to get to see a new side of their hometown, too.
That’s why, every year, we focus on a different district of Vienna to be highlighted during the festival. Every part of the city has different atmospheres, issues, problems and advantages.
One of our main goals is to make design accessible to a broad based public. That’s why almost all events in the festival’s program are for free. We invite visitors of all ages to get informed, entertained and inspired. VIENNA DESIGN WEEK offers numerous opportunities for people to investigate design in workshops and participatory projects.
With the book “Stadtarbeit”, we are again trying to convey something. It is presenting the results that of what we locally worked on for over ten years. We are convinced that those strategies can be transferred to other places as well.
Chapter one – Design into the City
Linking the city and design, looking at the creative scene and the founders of the festival
Chapter two – Where it all comes from…
Local production and manufacturers as well as processes and the link between design and economy
Chapter three – Yes, we can!
Design for positive change: social design projects and concepts for urban mobility for the present and future
Chapter four – Tell me about it!
Design education: guided tours, workshops, university based projects, design talks
Chapter five – Making design visible
Exhibitions, presentations at other festivals, tribute events and the question of display
Chapter six – Joined forces: together we are more
A whole city with its institutions, studios, shops and workshops shows the full range of what design can do and be
What is VIENNA DESIGN WEEK?
VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is Austria’s biggest design festival. For ten days in fall, Vienna gets to be the scene of design. Ten days, in which the spotlight is on the international exchangebetween designers. The whole team of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK has been striving to involve young talented Austrian and international designers, to provide a platform for experiment and to help make new ideas come into being.
In 2006, we founded the festival as three individuals, my friends Tulga Beyerle and Thomas Geisler, and myself, Lilli Hollein. Back then we conceived a conference for the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Afterwards we were determined to reinforce the design scene of Vienna. We resolved to either found a design festival now or to never complain again that there was nothing going on in Vienna. We opted for the former.
All three of us – with different focuses – were somewhat established as experts in design, but were lacking exchange. And what was lacking most of all was recognition of and respect for design by entrepreneurs in the city in which we lived and worked.
We were also seeing all the fascinating, highly specialized workshops and shops disappearing and making place for big brands. We knew that the skills of many manufacturers were vanishing.
We initiated the format “Passionswege” with the aim to activate this knowledge and to create an international platform. Many of the shops and makers participating know they might be the last generation of a business that has lasted for over a century. Their excellent skills lacked attention.
Working together with designers, their situation has changed radically. Everyone – designers, manufacturers and producers – profits from their skills being valued, from being challenged and from a whole new public discovering the possibilities of design and of the workshop-next-door.
For instance, a leather manufacturer with a small hidden shop in the red-light district took part in VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. Using the manufacturer’s computer numerical control leather cutter,Adrien Rovero conceived of a project that used leather scraps and resulted in little toy animals to be clipped together. Adrien’s project was picked up by the luxury brand Hermès. We do not profit directly from the success of the many Passionswege outcomes, but it is satisfying to follow the story from the red-light district to luxury heaven.
VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, for sure, has managed to bring international designers to Vienna,foster a design debate in Austria and put the city and country on the map of international design happenings. Every year, we try to reinforce that status by cooperating with one European country. This year, we invited the Czech Republic as our guest country to showcase their unique design scene.
We are not only spending time on the past and present, the things yet to come are also on our mind. What will the city of the future look like? What are the effects of urbanization and climate change? With the format Future Urban Mobility we try to develop concepts for urban mobility in the post-carbon age. Together with international and local experts design teamswork on developing new urban concepts by using Vienna as a case study.
“Stadtarbeit” does not exist as a word. We invented it as a title, not only for our book – it is also the name of a festival format that offers designers the opportunity of participating with projects from the field of social design.
Stadtarbeit for us is about engaging the city, working and playing with it and its possibilities and actively taking part in creating the urban future. The projects within the Stadtarbeit format showed yet again that design is not only a question about designing objects for use.
The task of social design is to spaces for interactionand exchange and to encourage that we rethink our everyday live.
Why we need you to do this
So many people have been contributing to the success of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK over the years: designers with their projects, manufacturers, shop owners, museums, design curators and scholars and many more. This book is a way to carry these encounters and experiences back into the design world, a way to say thank you and to share.
But first of all the book needs authors, editors, photographers, graphic designers, a publisher, printer and other supporters to come to life. By supporting this project you can help this manual find its way to university libraries, museums and other places as a valuable documentation on the development of European Design over the past ten years.
By pre-ordering the book, you can not only help us to realize it, but you can also join the ever growing VIENNA DESIGN WEEK community in its numerous activities and take part in the future of the festival. We have so far fundraised about half of the budget and we now need your support to catch the goal!
The Book Team
Co-founder, editor and director of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. She grew up surrounded by books, contributed to a couple of publications over the years as author and works as a critic for architecture and design. As much as she enjoys being out there in the design world, she is dreaming of sitting with the book “Stadtarbeit” on her lap (and maybe a glass of champagne in the other once it is published!) showing her daughter Ada what kept her busy over the past ten years.
Tina Thiel Tina is the co-editor, deeply involved in the conception of the book and in the editorial work. She knows the festival in depth and has been editing pretty much everything that the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK published over the years. She also works as a freelance editor for some of the leading design museums in the German-speaking world. Her desk is standing in the beautiful landscape of the Black Forest. That’s why she is not in the video but yet very present.
Founding a publishing house today needs quite a bit of idealism. We sure find that with Brigitta. “Stadtarbeit” will be her first book as „umstaetter publishing“, but she is not a newbie in this business. The future promises contemporary books by a publisher with a heart for design.
For the book design it was the intention to collaborate with someone who is not involved in the yearly festival but really develops a vast overview on the content. Alexander’s studio is based in Graz but no one is shuttling faster between Vienna and Styria. Having realized a number of awarded books with a great sensitivity as to content, driving time sometimes gets him to listen to a book rather than holding it in his hands.
Anna Rose Ableidinger
Anna Rose joined VIENNA DESIGN WEEK as an intern and without fear jumped in at the deep end as coordinater of the Kickstarter campaign, which she does with overwhelming commitment and indestructible good spirits!
The Kickstarter Videos
were made by Vanessa Walitsch, Deepa Antony and Nicole Stigler and we think these terribly young girls did a great job – we are already recruiting them for the next one!
The Team of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK
Marlene has a bird’s-eye view on all the activities of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. As she oversees all questions of Corporate Identity, she looks after the sponsors and the finances and at the same time she is in charge of our social design format, „Stadtarbeit“, that also lends its name to the book. Room left for a life? Yes! If she’s not at the office you will find her either in the woods or on a flea market, maybe her dream is the connection of both …
Julia is responsible for the communication with all our public partners, for coordinating our exhibitions and the “Passionswege” format. She has been with VIENNA DESIGN WEEK since a couple of years and we hugely profit from her strategic thinking and accuracy but also knowledge of human nature. If you are neither a bug nor a worm you will get along with her very well.
Elli is a graphic design expert who has been running a festival of her own and she is a maker and organizer in full. Even though her origins are in the wonderful landscape of Salzburg she is the prototype of the urban girl and an excellent ambassador of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK towards our program partners. She is also responsible for graphic design issues and the Festival Headquarters.
We love the southern Tyrolean accent that we hear in the office when Anna speaks to her boyfriend! Anna came as an intern and proved to have just missed in the team! Now she is responsible for the education program, the guest country and many more.
Ana is a force. When she packs a group of journalists on bikes and makes them cycle through the festival for the whole day, everybody is cheerfully joining. As head of PR and boss of her ABC communications team a large part of VIENNA DESIGN WEEKs success goes back to her excellent PR work.
Doris has been our advisor from the start. Her intelligence, her knowledge of the creative industries and her strategic thinking have helped us through the years of building up the festival. She is the external program manager, but really much more than that.
Tulga Beyerle, Thomas Geisler and Lilli Hollein
The three founders of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. Even though they are spread all over Europe today, they remain loving parents to their baby VIENNA DESIGN WEEK.
Risks and challenges
Of course, there could happen some minor delays with the print service or the delivery, but neither a hurricane, nor an earthquake can stop us from launching the book once we get funded!