START_UP: Designers' New Projects
Susanne Bisovsky Christine Fink/Blumenkraft Glock Ges.m.b.H. Marco Dessi Megumi Ito Vandasye
The exhibition curated by Gregor Eichinger for the MAK DESIGN SPACE places contemporary Austrian product design in dialogue with the MAK Collection. Viennese architect and designer Eichinger is not concerned with employing obvious analogiessuch as comparing old furniture or clothing with newbut rather, with tracking down elective affinities throughout the disciplines, and revealing ambitious design strategies.
The exhibition title is a reference to the neuronal storm of brain cells triggered by designs qualitative featuresregardless of space and time and across all centuries. At the same time, Eichinger recalls the history of the museum, which was based on the idea of presenting local craftspeople, manufacturers, and producers of artisan objects outstanding national and international examples to serve as models and motivation. The confrontation with contemporary product design also offers, last but not least, a fresh look at the museums historical holdings and updates the relevance of the collection.
In choosing the items of contemporary design, Eichinger gave full control to his keen sense for solid, unusual, and innovative design. His selection includes Lobmeyrs most recently produced glass, Grip, by Marco Dessi; two pieces of furniture made of prefabricated standard construction elements and laser sintered synthetic components by the designer group Vandasye; erotic fashion accessories by Susanne Bisovsky; a lamp made of traditional kimono material by the Vienna-based Japanese designer Megumi Ito; the latest model of the Glock 17 pistol; as well as weekly changing floral arrangements by Christine Fink/Blumenkraft. Alongside these six positions, Eichinger now arranges objects selected from the MAK Collection: glasses from the Wiener Werkstätte and porcelain cups from Biedermeier, three engraved knives and a wrought-iron tavern sign, drawings by Wenzel Hollar and a chair by Josef Hoffmann, as well as three bronze herons from the Asia Collection. Decisive in these pairings are not obvious relations in terms of genre or material, but rather background design strategies, historical correspondences, the love for and attention to detail, and analogous manufacturing processes. For the beholder, the carefully selected oppositions also harbor a surprise effect-based freely on the surrealist credo of "the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table."