Missing Link – The Architecture Group

Project Manager: Sebastian Hackenschmidt, MAK Curator, Furniture and Woodwork; Editing: Anna Dabernig
Missing Link was founded in 1970 by Angela Hareiter, Otto Kapfinger, and Adolf Krischanitz at the College of Technology in Vienna. The group argued that shaping the environment was a complex and responsible task and that architecture could not be limited to constructing buildings. Consistently, the group, which split again in 1980, didn’t construct a single permanent building in the ten years of its existence and instead developed other architectural strategies that were critical to contemporary culture as well as socio-politically conscious. Taking up the criticism of functionalism stated by numerous Viennese architecture manifestos in the 1960s, the group searched for missing links between people, architecture, urbanity, art, and social fabric in their interdisciplinary projects. They created a highly diverse oeuvre which in addition to artistic objects, paintings, drawings, and texts also includes actions, performances, and experimental films. 
The scientific recording of Missing Link’s premature legacy, which is located at the MAK, was the foundation for revisiting their oeuvre. The majority of the archive was acquired in 2014 and was almost completed by additional purchases and an extensive donation between 2020 and 2022 (only a few works of the group are located in other institutions such as the Albertina, Artothek des Bundes, AzW – Architekturzentrum Wien, Landessammlungen Niederösterreich, mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Salzburg Museum, Wien Museum, or in private collections). The majority of the archive of Missing Link at the MAK was assigned to the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection and was inventoried there: paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, posters, publications, manuscripts, typescripts, and other documents were registered in more than 1 000 data sets between 2019 and 2022. Six large sculptural works became part of the Contemporary Art Collection. 
The Missing Link Archive at the MAK therefore consists of the following positions: 
  • Main part of the oeuvre, acquired in 2014 (KI 23091)
  • Six sculptural objects, acquired in 2014 (GK 704-709)
  • Sketch-pads, acquired in 2020 (KI 23555)
  • Drawings from the context of the Wiener Typen [Viennese Types]/ Wiener Studien [Viennese Studies], acquired in 2021 (KI 23582)
  • Drawings from the context of the Wiener Typen [Viennese Types] and studies and diverse projects, donation in 2022 by Missing Link (KI 23677). The visual digitalization of this recently acquired compilation is still missing but the data sets can already be accessed.  
  • Posters by Missing Link from the exhibition Austrian New Wave (PI 22049-2, -20 to -24, -29), acquired 2022. 
The Missing Link Archive in the MAK Collection Online makes it possible to research the context of the group’s works in detail. The data bank allows for searches filtered by interests and provides an overview of individual groups of works or topics—for example, searches for specific media (gouaches, photographs, typescripts), dates (based on years), or also projects (project titles). As the archive is online, specific results can be accessed anytime. 
Project Manager: Sebastian Hackenschmidt, MAK Curator, Furniture and Woodwork
Editing: Anna Dabernig


The exhibition is accompanied by the publication MISSING LINK: Strategies of a Viennese Architecture Group (1970–1980), MAK Studies 29, by Anna Dabernig and Sebastian Hackenschmidt, edited by Lilli Hollein and Sebastian Hackenschmidt. German/English, 332 pages with a comprehensive catalogue raisonné and numerous illustrations, most of which are published here for the first time. MAK, Vienna/Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2022. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at MAKdesignshop.at for € 42.