To some extent unheard and unseen, robotics—driven by Digital Modernity—has already fundamentally altered our working and daily lives. Yet people’s relationship to new technologies is often ambivalent. 
Upper Exhibition Hall
An exhibition of the MAK, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Design museum Gent

As the first comprehensive exhibition about the opportunities and challenges surrounding robotics, Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine broadens its scope to include the ethical and political questions arising from these enormous technological advances.

Subdivided into four chapters (“Science and Fiction,” “Programmed for Work,” “Friend and Helper,” “Becoming one”), Hello, Robot. tells the story of a convergence of human and machine, while being organized in an interdisciplinary fashion. More than 200 exhibition objects from the realms of art, design, and architecture, as well as examples from technology, film, literature, fashion, science, and pop culture examine the inexorable hype around intelligent machines and the crucial role played by design. In addition to providing a leitmotif through the exhibition, 14 questions illuminate dealings with robotics. They invite visitors to reassess their own stance towards new technologies and convey that there is a fine line between opportunities and risks.

In the discourse swirling around robotics, design bridges seemingly insurmountable contradictions. While the debate about robots and artificial intelligence swerves back and forth between enthusiasm and criticism, between utopia and dystopia, between hopes for a better, high-tech world and fear that humans will be marginalized, design delivers concrete solutions as well as thought experiments demonstrating that often the truth lies in both extremes simultaneously.

Curators of the VIENNA BIENNALE
Amelie Klein (Vitra Design Museum), Marlies Wirth (MAK)

Curators of Hello, Robot
Amelie Klein (Vitra Design Museum), Thomas Geisler, Marlies Wirth (MAK), and Fredo de Smet (Design museum Gent, curatorial advisor)

The curators were supported by an international team of advisors which includes such luminaries as Sci-Fi author Bruce Sterling, design researcher Gesche Joost, Turin architect and head of the MIT Senseable City Lab Carlo Ratti, media art specialist Sabine Himmelsbach, and cultural and media studies scholar Paul Feigelfeld.

Participating artists (a selection)
Woody Allen, Archigram, Asmbld,, Hanna Barbera, Philip Beesley, Wafaa Bilal, Francis Bitonti, Björk, Julius Breitenstein, Bureau d’études, Sander Burger, Edward Burtynsky, Dan Chen, Jan De Coster, Douglas Coupland, CurVoxels, Daft Punk, Disney/Pixar Animation Studios, Dunne & Raby, ECAL, Tal Erez, Flower Robotics, Vincent Fournier, Yves Gellie, Gramazio Kohler Research/ETH Zurich, Kevin Grennan, Vicente Guallart, Susanna Hertrich, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Zan-Lun Huang, Ted Hunt/Luke Sturgeon/Hiroki Yokoyama, ICD University of Stuttgart, Interactive Architecture Lab, Alfredo Jaar, Spike Jonze, Joris Laarman Lab, Floris Kaayk, Frederick Kiesler, Elizabeth King/Richard Kizu-Blaire, Dirk Vander Kooij, Kraftwerk, KRAM/WEISSHAAR, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, Greg Lynn, Keiichi Matsuda, MIT Senseable City Lab, Shawn Maximo, Moth Collective, NASA, Next Nature Network, Christoph Niemann, Tatsuya Matsui, Gonçalo F Cardoso/Ruben Pater, Johanna Pichlbauer/Mia Meusburger, Eric Pickersgill, Joseph Popper, Gerard Ralló, Carlo Ratti, Alexander Reben, robotlab, Rafaël Rozendaal, Philipp Schmitt/Stephan Bogner/Jonas Voigt, Takanori Shibata, Masamune Shirow, Hajime Sorayama, Ismael Soto, Bruce Sterling/Sheldon Brown, Superflux, Jacques Tati, Kibwe Tavares, Osamu Tezuka, UCL, Anouk Wipprecht i.a.

Supporting Program on the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017

Regular guided tours:
Overview tour – in German
Tue, 6–7 p.m.
admission free, € 3,50 attendance fee

Sun, 10:30 a.m.–12 noon
MAK admission ticket + € 5 attendance fee

Overview tour – in Englisch
Sat, 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.
MAK admission ticket + € 5 attendance fee

Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine
Sun, 3–4 p.m.
MAK admission ticket + € 3,50 attendance fee

Further tours and events at the VIENNA BIENNALE Calender at


Artificial Intelligence—Genuine Emotions.
How Robots Shape Our Lives

Sat, 30.9.2017, 2–6 p.m.
MAK Columned Main Hall
Closing event of the exhibition Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine in context of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future.


VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future, edited by the MAK, German/English, 160 pages with numerous color illustrations, MAK Vienna/Verlag für moderne Kunst, Vienna 2017. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at for € 9.80.

Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine
Catalog edited by Mateo Kries, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Amelie Klein; with contributions by Rosi Braidotti, Douglas Coupland, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby (Dunne & Raby), Christoph Engemann, Paul Feigelfeld, Gesche Joost, Amelie Klein, Carlo Ratti, Bruce Sterling, Marlies Wirth i.a.. Cover illustration: Christoph Niemann. Softcover, English, 328 pages, ca. 250 images, mainly in color. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at for € 49,90.

Artificial Labor – e-flux

Artificial Labor is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and the MAK, Vienna within the context of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future.

After being presented at the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017, the exhibition, which was conceived as a travelling exhibition, will travel internationally for several years.

11 February – 14 May 2017: Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein
21 June – 1 October 2017: MAK, Vienna
27 October 2017 – 14 April 2018: Design museum Gent
12 May– 4 November 2018: Gewerbemuseum Winterthur
Further venues are planned.


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