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Conceived to celebrate the tenth anniversary of departure, “Tomorrow Is...” is a multimedia installation specific to Vienna which deals with the present and future of freelance creative work.
The “Tomorrow Is...” multimedia exhibition/installation on independent creative work in Vienna was produced by departure – the Creative Center of the Vienna Business Agency – as part of celebrations for its tenth anniversary and opened during Vienna Design Week.
After citing the cult show “This Is Tomorrow” (Whitechapel Gallery, London 1956) and with a declared exhibition reference to Ken Isaacs’ Knowledge Box (ca.1960), “Tomorrow Is...” showcases research ideas and takes stock of creative works developed in the last decade and that act as an added draw to the Austrian capital.
The selected and presented works are organised in four categories: “Resources”, “Social Matters”, “Urban Fabric” and “Communities” although these are all open to the cross-pollination that is intrinsic to the subject.
Instead of being merely an empty celebration, the research tackles the principle of reality, which makes results measurable, highlighting innovation and drawbacks. Having also moved beyond the Euro-bureaucratic lexicon of best practice via interactive maxi-screens that undermine the body’s normal relationship with touch-screen devices, the MAK takes us towards the world of change. A world that, we must stress, in this case presumes a number of very site-specific actions, meaning that historical experiences such as the Wiener Werkstätte resurface on more than one occasion – e.g. with J. & L. Lobmeyer.
The world of fashion gives us Springer/Mizobuchi’s rosa mosa – with a return to tradition and an updating of work practices in a cultural crossover – and (A&C) Awareness & Consciousness by Christiane Gruber, who believes her unique pieces are evoking “a personal wish to lead an informed life.”
misher’traxler studio’s The Idea of A Tree brings innovation that reverses the importance of object and production process, which ends up having greater conceptual importance than the object itself. A solar machine weaves hollow cylinders in 24 hours and the brightness of their colours is dictated by the intensity of the sunlight. A machine – originally created to liberate humans from work – produces objects more for recycling (e.g. a lampshade, a wastepaper bin etc.) than for use.
Of course, some design is starting to expand and disappear, distancing itself from the object. Studio Dankl’s programmatic LESS! I Love Brot is a work on the unsustainable ecology of disposable objects, based on the fact that a quarter of the bread purchased every day is thrown away. The Institute of Design Research Vienna (IDRV) focuses on transitional design with thoughts on the economy of repairing and sharing as an alternative to products with a planned lifespan.
A well-structured social state is the premise of GoodGoods by dottings, an output allowing people with physical disabilities or mental illness to produce locally and distribute globally. VinziRast-mittendrin looks at intergenerational dialogue: the building – heroically refurbished by gaupenraub+/- along with homeless people, students and activists via an advanced form of extremely low-cost shared housing – is a reminder that Vienna has more to offer than Zaha Hadid’s “posh-style” in the Angewandte, right behind the MAK.
In its own way, the already familiar installation add on. 20 meters high by the students of Design.build studio led by Fattinger, Orso and Rieper evokes event-works such as the Guerrillawalks organised by Oliver Hangl and Landsiedl and Akdogan’s Worldclass-Wieden-Tour. Also fascinating are the more immaterial medium-term projects such as the Cycling Public app developed by feld72 (Flieth, Obrist, Paintner, Scheich and Zoderer) to encourage cycling by way of kilometres covered/points accumulated for cultural services, museum tickets etc. A truly alternative meaning, role and vision is provided by Hackbus Team’s Hackbus, which travels around the suburbs sharing software, hardware and network skills.
Browsing through the touch-wall brings up excellent research by Angelika Fritz and Michael Rieper poured into the film How to Live in Vienna, followed or preceded by Modelling Vienna by Expanded Design-Andreas Rumpfhuber.
“Tomorrow Is...” conveys its contents live via an installation by Lochner, Pawlik and Roedelius with Redaktionsbuero Ost, as well as on the Internet and in the printed catalogue Something Special – Vienna the Creative City, featuring the projects considered most striking by the two curators Martina Fineder (a scholar of the peculiar Viktor Papanek and recently appointed professor at the Bauhaus-Weimar) and Eva Kraus (former director of the Kiesler Foundation and current director of the Neues Museum Nuremberg). The catalogue also contains other essays – by Lotter, Rauterberg, Reiter and Weber – as well as a complementary study by Brigitte Felderer The Viennese Way.
Over this ten-year period, Departure has paid out € 27.2 million and prompted private funding of € 93.8 million, in support of 438 of the 2,020 projects presented, and stabilized or created 1,937 jobs.