No prizes for guessing the topic of this event, which celebrates its 13th year in 2019. The Vienna Design Week does what it says on the label, with an eclectic array of events across the city.
- Annual international festival of design held throughout Vienna
- Features both regular themes and one-off tracks
- 10 days or so of events for both professionals and the curious layperson
- 2019 dates are Sep 27 – Oct 6
- See also: Museum of Applied Arts
What’s the DESIGN WEEK all about?
The festival showcases design projects, innovations, processes, and approaches through a wide range of exhibitions, workshops, lectures, tours, and more throughout the city. In doing so, it presents design as an interdisciplinary endeavour, where aesthetics, sociopolitics, and practical application meet. (Phew.)
A strong international flavour always runs through the programme.
Regular tracks include, for example:
- A guest country: Finland is the 2019 choice, represented through such events as the Wild at Heart exhibition of contemporary Finnish design
- A guest Viennese district: Alsergrund carries the baton in 2019. Vienna’s 9th district is just north of the old town and was home to Sigmund Freud, for example
- The Path of Passion: a track that brings together design and industry
The main location changes each year: the 2019 HQ is the Althan quarter, specifically the building above Franz Josephs Bahnhof railway station, site of an ambitious and ongoing urban development project. But events take place throughout the city, with dozens of programme partners contributing with everything from major exhibitions to one-off talks.
I don’t have full details of the 2019 event, yet, though the Urban Food & Design track mentioned below will make a return and the organisers have already announced a Game & Graphic Lab.
Here’s a look back at 2018 – there were many highlights to choose from, but my curious eye alighted on some intriguing themes:
- A channel of events full of opportunities to experience (and interact with) virtual and augmented reality, for example…
- a journey through the creative legacy of the Polish painter, Zdzisław Beksiński
- a trip around the plush interiors of the Bavarian State Opera House
- a drive in a Peugeot 508 car
- a flight over the Viennese skyscape
- Events around design and activism, such as…
- a talk on protest architecture
- a workshop on liberating yourself from toxic masculinity through dance
- A track exploring urban food production, nutrition and future hospitality, where you could, for example…
- treat yourself to a spot of lichen
- view the tabletop as a reflection of its locality
- explore the modernisation of more traditional gastronomic environments
For full details of the festival and the myriad of associated events, visit the official website.
The 2019 dates are Friday, September 27 to Sunday, October 6.
How to get to the design week
Events take place across the city. To get to the main location and headquarters:
Subway: the Friedensbrücke station on the U4 line is around a 5 minute walk away
Tram/bus: there’s a large tram stop (Franz-Josephs-Bahnhof) outside the building, which is on the 5, 33 and D lines. The latter is a useful line, since it skirts around the edge of the old town, should you be staying in the centre
Address: Althanstraße 4, 1090 Vienna