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Back to Programme '21

Postapocalyptic Kaffeehaus

Austrian Design Exhibition

The Austrian Exhibition — © Cielo Alejandra | ADORNO

Curatorial Statement by Gabriel Roland, Vienna Design Week

“When the end of the world comes, I’ll go to Vienna. Everything happens ten years later there."

The writer Karl Kraus is said to have fired this shot of vitriol at the backwardness of Vienna, his home of many years. There might be a kernel of truth to it. Could it be that the veil of lethargy, morbidity, and misanthropy which Vienna is so joyously cultivating has immunised the city against the apocalypse? That, like a vaccine, there’s enough flirtation with fictional death to scare real death away, if only for a while?

It’s no coincidence that Vienna’s most popular era, the fin-de-siècle of the 19th century, seems to be a time that eagerly (albeit passively) waited for its own end and all the further horrible ends of the 20th century. Even its name has an ‘end’ in itself. Of course, by now Vienna is a lively and diverse city thriving on its social consensus, its hospitality and its creative industry. Still, notwithstanding their brutal cousins, here the polite shadows of the past might brush past you with a gentle “Memento mori” on their pursed lips more often than elsewhere.

So, you better get a dose of decadently raw beauty straight from the best Viennese workshops to prep against any coming small apocalypses. And where better to celebrate our heated ennui as the world around us goes under than the famous Viennese coffee houses. That’s an institution that will surely survive the world’s end. In fact, they will be better than ever, once ‘Wien ohne Wiener’, the Vienna without the Viennese desired by every real Viennese person, is achieved.

Jokes aside, the objects of our Postapocalyptic Kaffeehaus are poetic interventions contemplating what remains of our rituals when circumstances change. As sensitive observers the designers open a variety of windows: radical, humorous, intuitive or conceptual, raw or refined, they all strive not to wallow in cynic dystopianism but to reimagine, build, and focus on what we cherish.

Participating Designers

Onka Allmayer-Beck
Michael Anastassiades with J. & L. Lobmeyr
studio bonpart
Gregor Eichinger with Wiener Silber Manufactur
studio högl borowski
MADAME Architects
Anna Paul with Laufen
Peter Sandbichler with LDDE
Katrina Schneider
studionero. (Gregor Titze)
Daniel Stuhlpfarrer


Advantage Austria is the Austrian trade promotion and innovation agency with more than 100 offices in 70 countries. Through consulting, financial support and the organization of events, the aim is to generate international business opportunities for Austrian designers and manufacturers, fashion labels, the film and music industry and other entrepreneurs from the creative industries.

VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is Austria's largest curated design festival and has been taking place in Vienna since 2007.

Spezerei | KIM+ HEEP — © Leonhard Hilzensauer

Dry Bodies | Daniel Stuhlpfarrer — © Marie Haefner

Kaffeehaus | Onka Allmayer-Beck

Babylon | P. Sandbichler | LDDE | Liquid Frontiers

Strijp T+R area, Piet Hein Eek, Halvemaanstraat 30 , Map No. A2
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Wheelchair accessible
Wifi available
Toilets available