Design Discourse: Austria-South Africa

Curation of the Austrian exhibition during Cape Town World Design Capital 2014

How can Austrian and South African designers inspire each other and benefit from one another? We curated an exhibition that was first presented in Cape Town, the 2014 World Design Capital, in late 2014 and travelled to Vienna’s designforum in 2015. In order to promote a direct exchange between designers of both countries, a series of workshops was created, which involved Austrian designers going to Cape Town to develop contextual, simple objects together with South African designers. This exchange was continued in Vienna, where two South African designers, Atang Tshikare and Renée Rossouw, joined Valentin Vodev und Julia Landsiedl within the framework of the show to develop and realise new objects. The exhibition Design Discourse: Austria – South Africa, presented social and material innovations, self-initiated production processes, and traditions of craftsmanship in a juxtaposition of some 40 Austrian and 30 South African design projects. The exhibition focused on how young designers realise their own products and how they reflect the history of craft and design of their respective countries, be it the beginnings of industrial production or artisanal techniques. The exhibition highlighted numerous examples illustrating overlaps and resemblances between the design worlds of these two countries and promoted the dialogue between Austrian and South African designers.

Year: 2014
Location: Cape Town and Vienna
Graphic design: Alexander Egger
Exhibition design: NoFrontiere
Curation: chmara.rosinke