The Great Viennese Cafe: A LABORATORY

Wed, 05.10.2011–Sun, 04.03.2012MAK DESIGN SPACE

What do we expect of coffeehouses of the future? Since March of this year, selected members of Vienna’s creative industries have studied these most essential cultural and social nodes of Vienna on the invitation of the MAK and departure, the City of Vienna’s agency for the creative industries. Directed by coffeehouse expert Gregor Eichinger and guided by raumlaborberlin, Antenna Design New York and Studio Andrea Branzi, Milan, new approaches were developed in the course of three design labs. A concomitant and constantly growing research exhibition by Julia Landsiedl, the 2011 MAK Designer in Residence, supplied valuable input (Phase I).

In Phase II, eight of the 21 conceptual ideas developed are tested in an experimental design—a coffeehouse in test operation in the MAK Columned Main Hall—till October 16th. By means of a Web application, you can access and comment on all the ideas here at the “museum lab” using the devices provided or your own smartphone*, and even compile your own selection of favorites. The visualized pool of ideas comes with an overview clustered by keywords such as “overall concepts”, “furniture” or “withdrawing” and “being seen”. Join in and share your opinion to become part of the experiment and the development process!

In addition, the exhibition at the MAK DESIGN SPACE shows the work done in the laboratory so far and evaluates the test operation of the Experimental Design and the eight prototypes. The mix of traditional and innovative elements, such as novel communication furniture and alternative education systems, demonstrates the broad range of the projects developed, which do not explicitly propose any radical rejection of typical Viennese coffeehouses. In all projects, the focus of exploration was the social and communicative potential of the spaces. The preliminary results are as diverse as the team members of this short-term, but close-knit research community.

With works by Patrycja Domanska, Ines Fritz, Mario Gamser, Felix Gieselmann, Lena Goldsteiner, Andrea Hoke, Eva Kees, KIM+HEEP, Tanja Lightfoot, Stefan Rozporka, taliaYsebastian, Magdalena Vogl et al.

Research direction
Gregor Eichinger
Project management  Thomas Geisler, MAK Curator Design
Designer in Resdence Julia Landsiedl

Special thanks for the kind support and collaboration to Fachgruppe Wien der Kaffeehäuser / Wirtschaftskammer Wien, fluxguide, Klub der Wiener Kaffeehausbesitzer, Neue Wiener Werkstätte, Julius Meinl Austria, Wiener Wasserwerke.
MAK Columned Main Hall

In this Experimental Design, eight of the twenty-one conceptual ideas developed as part of The Great
Viennese Café: A Laboratory are tested in a temporary trial run. In addition, a Web application allows you to access and comment on all the projects while you are in the Experimental Design, using the devices you can get from the „lab assistants“ or your own smartphone (fluxguide); you can even compile your own selection of favorites.

The fluxguide allows you to explore the Experimental Design at your own pace and to actively contribute to its development. It provides you with explanations, images and interviews with the designers, as well as an opportunity to post feedback. Or you can just go to a coffeehouse-in the museum. Either way, you are part of the experiment!