Mobility in urban agglomerations is a hot topic. Alongside a functioning public transport network, individual mobility also plays a significant role. The cityscape of the 21st century seems to be undergoing a transformation: the tried-and-true bicycle is experiencing a recurrence as a cheap means of transportation, a way to do ones body good, an expression of sustainable behavior, and a fashionable lifestyle product. TOUR DU MONDE. Bicycle Stories uses iconic bikes from the 20th and 21st centuries to tell of the quality and diversity of the designs exhibited by this classic mode of transportation. Selected examples from the EMBACHERCOLLECTION® will draw visitors into a journey through the history of the bicycle, this cult object which successively transformed technology and form allow one to trace the recent history of innovation and design in general. The collection of Viennese architect Michael Embacher includes legendary mass-produced models, one-of-a-kind custom creations, and curiosities ranging from childrens bikes to athletic and leisure bikes, cargo bikes, and folding models. These masterpieces of design, normally housed in a Viennese attic and not accessible to the public, continue to serve the architect as objects of daily use. The stories embodied by these objects are a significant component of the exhibition. An app developed specifically for the collection facilitates chronological and technical cross-referencing between the objects and their stories. In Bicycle Diaries (London, 2009; Frankfurt am Main, 2011), the musician, all-round artist, and bicycle activist David Byrne describes the bicycle as a machine of perception for the city, for the country, and for people. Tales of his cycling experiences on trips to metropolises like New York, Berlin, Istanbul, and Buenos Aires accompany TOUR DU MONDE as a subtext of sorts and convey a sensual view of the collections items, which are organized according to their origins.
Curator Thomas Geisler, Curator, MAK-Design Collection
The exhibition TOUR DU MONDE. Bicycle Stories is accompanied by MAK/ZINE #1/2013 with contributions by Michael Embacher, Thomas Geisler et al., as well as an interview with David Byrne, German/English, app. 120 pages, MAK/Volltext, Vienna 2013. Available at the MAK Design Shop
A cooperation of MAK & departure The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna
The MAK Design Collection was established in 2005 and represents a broad spectrum of design output from Austria. The design concept in question encompasses a multifaceted range of aspects, from industrial production and handcrafted manufacture to unique art objects and prototypes, from utility objects and fashion to graphic arts and media design.