Austrian philosopher Otto Neurath (1882-1945), a founder of the Vienna Circle and the Unity of Science movement, was a collaborator with the leading planners, architects and artists of his time: Adolf Loos, Rudolf Carnap, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Josef Frank, László Moholy-Nagy and Le Corbusier. Involved in housing development and museum exhibitions, Neurath promoted participatory forms of democratic exchange, eager to create what he termed a 'global polis.' His inclinations and efforts had a profound influence on a range of disciplines, including architecture, philosophy, economics, urbanism, and design.
The MAK Asia Collection consists of around 25,000 objects from China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam dating from between the Neolithic period and the present; these represent a wide range of artistic and artisan output from Asia and simultaneously provide insight into the centuries-long reciprocal relationship between Asia and Europe. Like other collections of its kind, the MAK Asia Collection is itself a work of Orientalism: all of the objects collected here were selected by Europeans and thus represent European tastes.
In a way that is virtually unparalleled by any other institution, the MAK stands for the fruitful combination of the past with the future, something which can be clearly sensed and experienced when visiting its extensive collection, large exhibition halls, themed special exhibitions and discourse-centered program of events. Bringing together applied arts, design, architecture, and contemporary art is one of the museums core competencies, in light of which it becomes apparent just what contribution the interplay of these areas is capable of making to overall cultural development.