The MAK exhibition handiCRAFT: Traditional Skills in the Digital Age reflects on the significance and status of handicraft as an integral component of material culture and cultural identity. 
Upper Exhibition Hall
In six sections, this comprehensive MAK exhibition encompasses handicraft from historical times to current European perspectives, examines how handicraft can help preserve natural resources, explores new developments on the interface to digital technologies, and presents masterpieces from a range of craft disciplines.

Currently the terms “handicraft” and “handmade” are used in an inflationary manner in advertising and lifestyle media. The Maker Movement and DIY culture are enormously successful, creating a worldwide hype. Globally operating luxury labels explicitly foreground handicraft as a mark of quality and distinction, in contrast to the reality of locally operating craftspeople struggling for recognition and a fair wage.

In the introductory exhibition section, “Past and Present,” a wide range of exhibits—from Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths, to personal objects owned by the Hapsburgs, to the Chanel outfits of the 2014/15 Métiers d’Art Collection—discursively illustrate the social status of handicraft over the centuries.

Under the title “Perspectives,” the second exhibition section presents European initiatives and institutions active in the fields of apprenticeship and marketing, to include the Crafts Council and the Compagnons du Devoir.

The section “Materials and Tools” presents a wide range of material samples and 99 work tools, mostly originating from the 16th and 17th centuries. A walk-through installation offers visitors the haptic experience of handling different samples of natural materials.

In a “Live Workshop,” the fourth exhibition section, a total of 20 craftspeople demonstrate their skills to the public daily.

Craftspeople in the Live Workshop >>
Tue–Sun, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–6 p.m., Craftspeople in the Live Workshop
Tue, 6–10 p.m., MAK Conservation live

The fifth exhibition section, “Quality and Excellence,” juxtaposes historical objects from the MAK collection with contemporary handicraft products from 18 European countries. Exhibits include furniture, wallpapers, tiles, carpets, clothing, hats, gloves, glasses, cutlery, and tableware made by 50 craftspeople.

The final exhibition section is devoted to the key factor of “Sustainability.” To raise consumer awareness of product biographies, six handcrafted products made in Vienna are presented together with comprehensive information on the materials used and the manufacturing process. This section is complemented by a research lab set up by the Vienna University of Economics and Business and a video interview with the sociologist Richard Sennett, whose book The Craftsman provided significant inspiration for the exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication of the same name, containing contributions and interviews with handicraft experts and craftspeople. Available at the MAK Design Shop.

Guest Curator: Tina Zickler
Curator: Rainald Franz, Curator, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection

Guided Tours

Sat, 2 p.m.
Sun, 3 p.m.

Curator-Guided Tours

Thu, 12.1.2017, 5 p.m., with Rainald Franz, Curator of the exhibition and the MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection
Thu, 23.2.2017, 4 p.m., with Tina Zickler, Guest Curator
Sun, 19.3.2017, 4 p.m., with Tina Zickler, Guest Curator

Artist's Tour

Sun, 15.1.2017, 4 p.m., with Marie Janssen, within the framework of the Shrouded Furnace project presentation

Special Tours available on request: T +43 1 711 36-298,



MAK Design Kids

The MAK Design Kids are gaining hands-on experience—“materials science” for digital natives! You’ll learn about lots of different materials, including how tell them apart by their feel, their qualities, and their uses—and you’ll also learn all about such topics as resource conservation, product biographies, and material awareness. After you’ve been introduced to some interesting handicraft techniques, you can try your hand at making something yourself.
Workshop for 8- to 12-year-olds (unaccompanied) 
Participation fee: € 8

Sat, 17.12.2016, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 
Sat, 04.02.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Cheek by jowl I – Metal

Sat, 21.01.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Sat, 18.02.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Sat, 18.03.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Cheek by jowl II - Wood

Sat, 04.03.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 
Sat, 01.04.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Cheek by jowl III – Textiles


Workshop for the whole family (ages 4 and older)
Attendance fee: € 4,50 per child
reduced admission for accompanying adults

Sat, 14.01.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Measuring and adjusting - a challenge in precision

How big is your foot? How many legs does a table need? How round is your head? What thing has the fattest belly? We measure and count, we rhyme and write, we stick and tear. Everything is made to fit—just exactly as you need it. MINI MAK puts you in the middle and makes you a perfect world.

Sat, 11.02.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Working with a pencil - time to draw!

On your marks, get set, go! We draw, and draw, and draw! We draw freely, we draw furiously, we draw finely! The pencil is the most important tool in the world, and we’ll tell you why. MINI MAK draws a line right through the handiCRAFT exhibition—scribbling is allowed too!

Sat, 11.03.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Rock-paper-scissors: it's all material

We search out the hardest and softest materials in the handiCRAFT exhibition. Are there such things as soft metal and hard cloth? Can wood be soft as satin and glitter like gold? Must glass always be transparent? With your help, MINI MAK “illuminates” the characteristics of materials and tries to change them—anything goes!

Sat, 08.04.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

The ultimative tool

Dr. Figdor collected a whole bunch of tools—very old ones and just old ones—which ones did what? Which are the best tools, and which ones can’t be used anymore these days? Earlier, craftsmen made their own tools—with MINI MAK you can invent the ultimate tool for everyday use.

Silberlocke und Pfitschipfeil – Kids und SeniorInnen im MAK

With the help of historical tools and exhibits, we take a look at the (recent) past together. Afterwards, we design a tool using cardboard, wire, and drinking straws for the dream profession – then and now.
Workshop for 6- to 10-year-olds accompanied by seniors
Participation fee: € 8, reduced admission for seniors.

Thu, 26.01.2017, 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm 

Thu, 23.02.2017, 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm 

Thu, 23.03.2017, 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm 

An Awl for Wilhelm, a Magic Wand for Hannah?


Guided tour for the whole family (ages 4 and older)
Attendance fee: € 3,50 per child
Reduced admission of accompanying adults (no attendance fee)

Sun, 15.01.2017, 11.00 am 

A whole bunch of tools - which does what?

Sun, 19.03.2017, 11.00 am 

An hour of wonder with MINI MAK

Research project with smartwatches

What’s my craft?
In this exhibition, students currently going through occupational orientation get to know a range of handicraft professions with the aid of smartwatches and at the same time participate in a research project on digital cultural mediation strategies. For high school and polytechnic students.
personal.curator—a project of Fluxguide GmbH and the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Institute of Art Sciences and Art Education: Department of Art, Design, Textile Didactics), in cooperation with whatchado and the MAK.

Tue, 14.02.2017, 6.00 pm - 10.00 pm

What’s My Craft?

Cultural Mediation Using Smartwatches
Come by and try it out
Admission free, no registration necessary

Vacation Activities

in the context of wienXtra
Workshop for children 6- to 13-years 
Fee for materials € 2.00 per child and day, reduced admission for accompanying adults

Tue, 07.02.2017, 10.15 am - 12.30 pm 

Wed, 08.02.2017, 10.15 am - 12.30 pm 

Thu, 09.02.2017, 10.15 am - 12.30 pm 

Fri, 10.02.2017, 10.15 am - 12.30 pm 

What can happen WHEN HANDS THINK?

We are opening the MINI MAK Workshop for you!
From time immemorial, they have been our primary and most immediate set of tools. We use them to grasp, touch, and hold things—and to let things go. But can hands also think? In the exhibition handiCRAFT: Traditional Skills in the Digital Age, we take a look together at all the things we can create with and for our hands. Afterwards, we discover the talent that lies in our hands by holding a materials festival, unleashing our creativity and seeing what happens—a real fingerplay!
We are opening the MINI MAK workshop for you!



Guided tour through the exhibition, followed by further discussion at the restaurant Salonplafond im MAK. 

Wed, 18.01.2017, 3.00 pm 

handiCRAFT: Traditional Skills in the Digital Age

part 1

Wed, 15.02.2017, 3.00 pm 

handiCRAFT: Traditional Skills in the Digital Age

part 2


Workshop Special

Sun, 26.02.2017, 2.00 pm 


Curator-Guided tour of the exhibition with Tina Zickler (Guest Curator), followed by a visit to two Viennese handicraft companies: Usa von Stietencron, Master violin maker, and Nicole Übelacker, Master shoemaker
Meeting Point: MAK Columned Main Hall
Price: € 24

Sun, 26.03.2017, 2.00 pm 


Curator-Guided tour of the exhibition with Tina Zickler (Guest Curator), followed by a visit to two Viennese handicraft companies:
Ida Divinzenz, Master decorator, and Karin Anna Ordelt, Master dressmaker
Meeting Point: MAK Columned Main Hall
Price: € 24


Sat, 17.12.2016

Laniato – the Vienna wool café in the MAK Columned Main Hall

Bonnet-knitting Workshop: Let's Spread Love – One Stitch at a Time!
Searching for that last minute present? Knit or crochet your loved one a bonnet in the MAK.
Presentation: Burning Love
Traditional knitted socks as billet-doux – a forgotten handicraft!

Sat, 17.12.2016, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

What can happen WHEN HANDS THINK?

MINI MAK in Advent
Workshop für the whole family (ages 4 and older)
Fee for materials € 2.00 per child and day
reduced admission for accompanying adults

Sat, 17.12.2016, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm 

Cheek by jowl I – Metal

Sat, 17.12.2016, 4.00 pm

Presentation of the Shrouded Furnace project by Marie Janssen

Under the motto “invisible warmth—the oven as place of mystery,” three shrouded furnaces by Marie Janssen and a documentary by Andrea Cozzi will be presented.

Sun, 18.12.2016, 4.00 pm 

Everything you always wanted to know about wood,

but were afraid to ask
Dialogue Tour with Katja and Werner Nussbaumer, furniture makers (werK Möbelbau)


Sat, 04.03.2017, 2.00 pm - 6.00 pm


Presentation of a project by students of the New Design University, St. Pölten
Director of Studies Stefan Moritsch introduces the degree course “Design, Handicraft & Material Culture.” Afterwards, students present selected projects created at the university.

Sat, 04.03.2017, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Cheek by jowl III – Textiles

Sun, 05.03.2017, 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm

Country Wardrobe 2.0—Traditional handicraft in a modern world

“Watch and Join in” workshop, staged by the Werksalon Co-Making Space in the MAK FORUM
Design: Werksalon Co-Making Space, 

Sun, 05.03.2017, 3.00 pm - 6.00 pm

SOHO in the MAK—stool-making with bockwerk

For a donation of € 20 to bockwerk, you can replicate a SOHO stool designed by Mostlikely Architecture, paint it in a color from Le Corbusier’s color keyboard, and take it home with you.
No registration required

Sun, 05.03.2017, 4.00 pm 

Everything you always wanted to know about porcelain,

but were afraid to ask
Dialogue Tour with Sandra Haischberger (prozellanmanufaktur feinedinge*)
Costs (plus admission): € 3,50
Invented in the 7th century AD in China, the composition of porcelain and the methods for its production long remained a secret. The “White Gold” could only be manufactured in Europe as of the beginning of the 18th century. After Meissen, the second European porcelain manufactory was founded in Vienna in 1718.
 What is porcelain made of? How is it produced? What is behind terms like bisque or bone china? Sandra Haischberger, founder of the Vienna porcelain manufactory porzellanmanufaktur feinedinge*, tells you everything you always wanted to know about porcelain in this dialogue tour.



Media Partner

Kindly supported by 
aws Creative Industries / Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH >>
Association of the Austrian Wood Industries >>