Passion next to the Hofburg
by Nina Reetzke | 10/5/2011

It can take up to a hundred hours to make an elaborately decorated glass object by hand. That's just as long as the hour glass in the "Time Elapsed" installation created by Canadian designer Philipp Malouin in collaboration with Austrian glass manufactory J. & L. Lobmeyr that is on show at the moment at the Vienna Design Week. In fact, sand is the material used to make glass, and here its trickle accompanies the course of time. But the hour glass does not only create a heap of sand, but draws a pattern in the process, thus visualizing the effort that can be behind a decor. It remains a very trenchant statement precisely in Vienna, the city of the Habsburg monarchy, with its Baroque palaces, not to mention Adolf Loos' "Café Museum".

The collaboration between Philippe Malouin and J. & L. Lobmeyr is a perfect example of what the "Paths of the Passion" at the Vienna Design Week are all about. In each case, a young talent has joined forces with an established crafts company. In many places, visitors to the exhibition venues encounter the thoroughbred Viennese tradition: silver cutlery, candelabras, borders and the like. Countless viewers will no doubt respectfully admire the incredible degree of craftsmanship while others may perhaps critically deem what they see as "musty" and "over-frilled". All the more remarkable is the commitment the entrepreneurs show to contemporary design and all the more important the way the young designers have stimulated things. For instance, Tomás Alonso has come up with a tea service with wave-shaped surfaces, the female designers at Bezaproject have dreamt up upholstered swings, and Konstantin Schmölzer places a raised hide next to a vertical garden. What is striking is that the designs tend to be shaped by craftsmanship or artistry and there seems little indication of mass production being on anyone's mind.

The "Paths of the Passion" form a major element in the Vienna Design Week program, which is taking place for the fifth time this year. Mainly structured in terms of formats such as "Carte Blanche", "Debut" and "Laboratory", there is also a broad range of exhibitions, panel discussions and other activities to choose from – one of the focal points this year is Poland, the guest of honor. The two directors Lilli Hollein and Tulga Beyerle are evidently moving their project forward with great zest and determination. In future, the Vienna Design Week intends to be present with "Embassies" at events abroad. Good on you!

Vienna Design Week
Sept. 30 - Oct. 9, 2011

Philippe Malouin’s installation “Time Elapsed” at J. & L. Lobmeyr, all photos: Nina Reetzke, Stylepark
Philippe Malouin’s installation “Time Elapsed” at J. & L. Lobmeyr, all photos: Nina Reetzke, Stylepark
Philippe Malouin checks that the mechanism is functioning correctly
Sand actually serves as the basis for making glass
Alongside the large machine, handy hourglasses are part of the “Time Elapsed” installation
The glasses in the "Alpha" series serve not only as drinking glasses but also to construct some hourglasses
Molds for cutlery
The surfaces on which the items rest are decorated with a grooved pattern
The grooves are reflected in the smooth surfaces and form an iridescent pattern
Silver-box on sand
Series products by Wiener Silber Manufactur with glasses by J. & L. Lobmeyr
Sometimes, the red chairs of Vienna Design Week are actually used as seating, too
Swings by Anna Koskiewicz and Zofia Strumillo-Sukiennik at Atelier Telliez
Anna Koskiewicz and Zofia Strumillo-Sukiennik of Bezaproject
The red Vienna Design Week chairs also serve as places of rest and as places on which to drop your heavy bag for a moment
Coat of arms above the entrance to jewelers A.E. Köchert
The unfolded shape of a diamond as a piece of golden jewelry
Shimmering candelabras and decorative flowery vines
Historical brochure of Mühlbauer, hatmakers
Tomas Kral
Sketches of hat objects
DJ at Palais Liechtenstein
Different glasses at Theresienthal
The glasses in the “Small Words” series stack, one fitting into the other
Christian Haas
The raised hide reflected in the glass façade of Stilwerk, Vienna
The “Time Elapsed” machine runs its first lap
The pattern drawn appears on the floor and in the course of the next day the sand aggregates and forms dunes
Philippe Malouin
Leonid Rath of J. & L. Lobmeyr presents hourglasses by Philippe Malouin
The entrance to Wiener Silber Manufactur
Presentation of Tomàs Alonso’s tea service for Wiener Silber Manufactur
The pot and other parts of the service interlock with the tray, which is all the more stable thanks to the grooves
The tray rests on a stand that fits the grooves
Tomàs Alonso
Red chairs mark the different stops of Vienna Design Week
Historical chair models at Atelier Telliez
A visitor finds it comfortable on the swings
Tulga Beyerle, Director of Vienna Design Week, looking through a sign panel created by Hermann Trebsche for party wholesalers Ballons & Ballons
Another sign on which Hermann Trebsche has a balloon burst
“Unfold” by Ulli Bude for A.E. Köchert
Ulli Bude in front of a jewelry display case
Sculpture by Lucidi Pevere for luminaire manufacturer Woka
Hat object by Tomas Kral for Mühlbauer
Design models by Tomas Kral
Insights into Tomas Kral’s drawing book
“Wisdom is a good companion” by Christian Haas for crystal glass makers Theresienthal
Detail of an animal pattern
The glasses in the “Small Words” series stack, one fitting into the other
Installation with raised hide by Konstantin Schmölzer for the gardening and greenery expert Verdarium