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Vienna Showcase from the MAK

Like virtually no other institution, the MAK is synonymous with forging a tangible link between the past and future. As an interface between design, architecture and contemporary art, it devises new approaches to its comprehensive collections, different eras, materials and disciplines. Innovations from the world of applied arts are covered – from Josef Hoffman and the Wiener Werkstätte to contemporary design projects – as well as the fresh perspectives initiated by the new director

On September 1, leading design expert and cofounder of the Vienna Design Week Lilli Hollein took up the reins as director of the museum on Vienna’s Ringstrasse boulevard. Her personal vision is strongly informed by subjects such as diversity, innovation and feminism. Besides making it accessible to a broader audience, her mission for the museum includes promoting a new form of intercultural exchange that transcends European borders. 

In its current exhibition SHOWROOM WIENER WERKSTÄTTE. A Dialog with Michael Anastassiades, the London-based designer sheds light on the diversity of the Wiener Werkstätte collective. His innovative exhibition concept delivers contemporary perspectives on the seminal era of Viennese Modernism. The central design element of his showroom is the ball, which was often incorporated into Wiener Werkstätte furniture as a foot element. The MAK has a long tradition of collaborating with designers who approach the museum’s collections and objects from a fresh standpoint.

JOSEF HOFFMANN: Progress Through Beauty

On December 15, the MAK will open its largest exhibition to date on the work of Josef Hoffmann. After a pandemic-induced delay (the show was originally scheduled to debut in December 2020 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of his birth), this exceptionally talented designer’s Gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art will finally be given the recognition it deserves. Hoffmann was one of the cofounders of Wiener Werkstätte and worked as an architect, designer, teacher and exhibition designer. His unique approach to aesthetics and beauty in modern design will be in the spotlight at the MAK until June 19, 2022. The era defined by his visionary creations spanned almost 60 years.

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