The cooperation of the MAK and departure, the Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, concentrates on the potential of design as a strategy for economic innovation and societal transformation.
The MAK, with its historical mission as a place where art and industry meet, and departure, as a creative agency with the objective of integrating cultural and creative work into the local economy, have joined together to activate the exchange between creativity and business in order to react to the complex social, economic, and ecological issues of our day. As part of this effort, the program series design> new strategies is intended as a platform for the initiation of new collaborative relationships in which borders between disciplines and traditional conflicts of interest can be overcome. Strategic partnerships between the areas of creation, research, and production represent pioneering models. Here, design itself is understood to be a strategy that helps to create, communicate, and realize new products and services by way of an intercreative practice.
In the newly developed formats departure/MAK d>link, d>lab and d>nite, design experts of international renown engage in exchange with individuals from Viennas creative industries in order to question, challenge, and help shape the interrelationships between design, industry, and society. The various events represent an offer to join together in search of new opportunities, new interfaces for cooperation, andultimatelynew fields of activity.
Since 2009, the tried-and-true cooperation between the MAK and departure has been opening up a continuous and interdisciplinary discourse based on innovative artistic strategies and their implementation in presentations and exhibitions such as How to React to a City (2010). In order to sharpen the perception of designs cultural and economic relevance while also strengthening Viennas status as a growing center of the creative industries, the cooperations initial project was a series of lectures and accompanying presentation of objects. This series focused on the axis consisting of London, Milan, and Vienna. The series individual events have seen world-class designers and businesspeople, artistic directors and visionary thinkers including Ron Arad, Omar Vulpinari/Fabrica, Sam Jacob/FAT, and Andrea Branzi lay out their respective approaches and concepts in detail. Additionally, prototypes and new ideas of young Austrian designers have been curated and presented in exhibitions at the MAK DESIGN SPACE adhering to the motto START_UP: Designers New projects. These have included Cute Puppies. Young Austrian Designers (2009), Firing Cells. About Having a Moment (2010) and Design Criminals. Or a New Joy into the World (2011). Under the research direction of Viennese architect and designer Gregor Eichinger, 2011 saw The Great Viennese Café: A Laboratory carried out in multiple phases. This project gave rise to an experimental design, realized in the form of a temporary test-café in the MAK Columned Main Hall which proved wildly popular among the museums visitors.
departure/MAK d>link Under the motto of design> new strategies, the MAK and departure will be holding a series of so-called design links. In five evening events all in all, personalities from the areas of design, the economy, and research from all over the world will be entering into a dialogue with the local creative community. Brief keynote statements will be followed by a discussion of methods and strategies before the panel opens into a broad Questions & Answers knowledge market. To put the central issue of the evening in different perspectives and to activate the knowledge transfer, representatives of Vienna-based institutions and research programs will be specifically invited for each event.
departure/MAK d>lab Aside from the public d>link events, two-day design labs (application required) that are informed by the focal themes of the design> new strategies cooperation will be held. MAK exhibitions will provide the spatial and thematic environment for the interdisciplinary d>labs. The goal of the workshops will be the development of a toolbox of methods and practical approaches to help the design process. The workshops are intended for interested interdisciplinary workers from the design and creative areas, particularly third and fourth year students and young professionals. Attendance is free. Cost of materials, unless provided by the MAK, is to be covered by participants. Workshops are held at the MAK during regular opening hours.
departure/MAK d>nite The d>nite will be the highlight of the half-day MAK Design Summit held in the context of the annual Vienna Design Week. This evening event will take place under the banner of professional networking, featuring as a special attraction a public design performance developed especially for the occasion.
The past few years of cooperation between the MAK and departure have seen the presentation of material including contributions by Milan-based Recession Design (2009) as well as the performance Eyes Wide Shut. Design & Crime (2009), which featured a multitude of up-and-coming young designers from Vienna and was curated by London architect and critic Sam Jacob (FAT).
In the newly developed formats departure/ MAK d>link, d>lab, and d>nite, renowned international design experts will enter into an exchange with representatives of Viennas creative industry to interrogate, challenge, and shape relations between design, industry, and society. Different events will provide an opportunity of looking out together for new possibilities, interfaces, cooperations, and, eventually, fields of activity.