VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020 Starts Today! Virtual Tour + Press Material

Norbert Kettner
Director of the Vienna Tourist Board

Hats off to the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK for the fact that this year's 14th edition is taking place, despite COVID-19 and all the accompanying complications! Right now, such signals are very important. Right now, we need exactly those things that make Vienna so special: art, culture and design – anchored in a close-knit international network. A global signal that Vienna's social life is continuing – and that there are many reasons for visiting our city. The VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and all that it represents offer a good recipe for avoiding this. The Vienna Tourist Board has been supporting the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK as a partner for many years, underlining its conviction that the attractiveness of a city is also closely related to contemporary design and creative potential. I wish the organizers a successful festival in both the virtual and the physical realm and trust that it will continue to feature the brilliant and creative ideas that offer visitors an exciting and surprising Vienna experience!

FOCUS DISTRICT MEIDLING

“Get rich or try Meidling”, is a tongue-in-cheek way of referring to the affordable price of property in Vienna's 12th district. Mind you: Meidling is no longer only highly sought-after among apartment seekers. Meidling is booming! But this is not the only reason why the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is using its Focus District label as a means of casting a spotlight on the district, which is also well-known for its phonetic characteristics (greetings from the Meidling L!). With its mixture of traditional structures and dynamically developing neighborhoods, of residential, transport and industrial usage and densely and less-densely built areas, the district appears almost predestined to be a design laboratory. Its history as a traditional working-class district is just as tangible as the influence of the industry that continues to be based here, the identity of former village centers and the presence of a range of communities. From the Wien River to the Schöpfwerk, from Hetzendorf to the Gürtel, from the Festival Headquarters in the Amtshaus Theresienbadgasse via the Festival Branch Solarium to Meidlinger Markt – the festival program of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK can be seen as an invitation to local and international visitors to (re)discover the district. And one thing is certain: You should definitely try Meidling!

FESTIVAL HEADQUARTERS

It’s a short step from doing things bureaucratically to chilling out completely! This truism, which could just as well be interpreted as a reference to this year’s festival organization (but no – it isn’t), is an apt description of the experience of visitors as they immerse themselves in this year's festival. By establishing its geographical centerpiece – the Festival Headquarters – in the Amtshaus in Theresienbadgasse, the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is positioning itself not only close to what is probably Vienna's oldest existing bathing establishment, but also inside one of the Vienna City Council's former administrative buildings. For ten days, two stories of the previously unassuming, but thoroughly charming building will be flooded with a selection of high-quality design projects. With its proximity to Meidlinger Hauptstraße and the metro, the historic location – Maria Theresia built an exclusive spa for the imperial family here in the 18th century – offers a fitting platform for the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. From here, visitors can dive (and immerse themselves) into not only the City Full of Design and its Focus District, but also this year's special feature, our Virtual Festival Headquarters. Splash! The doors to the Festival Headquarters have been kindly opened to us by: Vienna City Council – Department of Construction and Building Management

VIRTUAL FESTIVAL HEADQUARTERS

The VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is opening a portal into another world! In architecture, portals constantly offer opportunities to access new spaces and discover new things. This is the function of the Festival Headquarters of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, whose location changes every year: It welcomes the public and helps to find the way through the program. The fact that this central physical place now has a digital counterpart may well have been triggered by COVID-19, but this is far from being the only reason. The decision to create a setting that is specially designed for experiencing digital content is much more a result of the respective focuses of the festivals in 2018 (Virtual & Augmented Reality) and 2019 (Game Design). Hence, together with a working group of experts and a wide range of external partners, the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK has created a virtual space that regards a digital presence not as an emergency solution but as an autonomous form of expression – an experiment full of immersive encounters, which visitors can experience on their own smartphones, computers, or VR glasses and the platform Mozilla Hubs, independent of their location. A portal to this virtual world, in which design tools are just as urgently needed as they are in our tangible reality, can also be found in the physical Festival Headquarters. The Virtual Festival Headquarters has been developed in cooperation with Wilhelm Scherübl (Architect and artist), Martina Menegon (Artist) and Eva Fischer and Angie Pohl (sound:frame, Area for Virtual Art).

FESTIVAL BRANCH SOLARIUM

The sun rises in Meidling. In a former solarium on one of the main routes into the city, the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is bringing together the rising stars of this year's edition of the festival: Alongside Austrian educational institutions New Design University St. Pölten (NDU) and TU Wien, we are particularly pleased to welcome the Academy of Fine Arts and Design from Bratislava in Slovakia and ZHdK – Zurich University of the Arts, from this year's Guest Country, Switzerland. The latter is visiting Vienna as part of the format Debut, in which the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK traditionally turns the spotlight on exceptional international educational institutions. In light of this, the Expositur Meidlinger Sonnendeck invites you to visit a shimmering cosmos where, alongside vitamin D, you can also get your full of a little vitamin B.

GUEST COUNTRY SWITZERLAND

Grüezi, Ciao, Salut, Allegra! Alongside the Focus District and the Festival Headquarters, the Guest Country is a further thematic cornerstone upon which a considerable part of the festival program is built every year. With this changing focus, each year's VIENNA DESIGN WEEK offers a richly detailed insight into the creative life of a different European country. This year's guest is our western neighbor, Switzerland, which is celebrated worldwide for its rigorous design culture and the uncompromising commitment to quality of its industrial production, as well as for a range of innovative educational and training institutions. On the basis of these principles and across all the festival formats, the Guest Country of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020 a diverse program that – just like a panning shot – promises enlightening insights into and an overview of the present and the future of the Swiss design landscape. Special attention is being paid to highlighting new possibilities for cooperation. To mark Switzerland's appearance as Guest Country, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia – in cooperation with Design Prize Switzerland – is presenting the exhibition DESIGN

GUEST COUNTRY SWITZERLAND Exhibition DESIGN SWITZERLAND Pro Helvetia

Switzerland is the Guest Country at the 2020 VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. To mark the occasion, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia – in cooperation with Design Prize Switzerland – is highlighting young and innovative Swiss design with the exhibition DESIGN SWITZERLAND. Located at the heart of the festival, the exhibition presents nine studios and startups that share a common vision of impactful design, be it ecological, social, or cultural. The participating studios and startups were selected through a call for participation. They share an innovative vision of design and propose smart solutions in the shape of a range of products: adaptable typography, interactive replicas, smart textiles, connected heating systems, functional sleepwear, ingenious spectacles, distinctive tableware, powerful data visualization and multidisciplinary services. In addition to their presentation, the participating designers will benefit from a targeted matchmaking program and networking with potential business partners. prohelvetia.ch Alongside the DESIGN SWITZERLAND exhibition, the Guest Country program is enriched by the participation of renowned Swiss brands, institutions and design professionals all of whom highlight the characteristically responsible and entrepreneurial Swiss approach to tackling the profound transformations that we are undergoing: the Embassy of Switzerland in Austria, the ZHdK – Zurich University of the Arts, which is appearing as part of the festival format Debut, and QWSTION, FREITAG, Rado and LAUFEN. GUEST COUNTRY SWITZERLAND

Exhibition SWISS CRAFTLAB NOV Gallery / Okro

On the occasion of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, the NOV and Okro galleries from Eastern

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