Top, mischer'traxler's automated cake decoratorfor their 'till you stop - how much is enough' exhibit and bottom, one of its finished cakes. Photo: mischer'traxler
Curated by Sam Jacob, British architect, designer and director of FAT, the Design Criminals Or a New Joy Into The World exhibition is situated in the Design space of the MAKVienna and co-organised by Thomas Geisler, one of the founding members of Neigungsgruppe Design.
A selection of young designers from Austria were invited to create new works based on the Adolf Loos' 'Ornament and Crime' discourse written by the Austrian architect in 1908. In his essay, Loos explains that ornamentation can have the effect of causing objects to go out of style and become obsolete. Loos saw it was a 'crime' to waste the effort needed to add ornamentation, when the ornamentation would cause the object to soon go out of style. The exhibition title refers to this ambivalent debate about ornament and decoration and how the surface has become a form of cultural expression that conveys personal and social agendas.
As a way to explore this debate the selected graphic designers, product designers and architects focused on exploring the potential for ornament in more everyday and anonymous design activities such as cake decorating, hair dressing, tattoing and floristry.
Design Criminals show at the MAK Vienna - exhibition graphics by Andreas Pohancenik. Photo: fischka.com
As Sam Jacob explains:
Designers were challenged to probe into the tradition of decoration and to place it in a social context where the issues are identity, morality and truth
The exhibition is distributed across 3 floors within the MAK Design Space and selected designers included breadedEscalope, bkm, DANKLHAMPEL, Guerra Vanzetti, Nina Levett, Sebastian Menschhorn, mischer'traxler, architects Katja Nagy and Bernadette Krejs, Andreas Pohancenik and Patrick Rampelotto.
Each exhibit was individually discussed by Sam Jacob and printed on edible paper as used in the cake industry and placed alongside each installation. A unique exhibition catalogue was also made for the show using the edible paper and sheets of icing.
New works included:
DANKLHAMPEL's inclusive cake template that caters for everyone's own taste and desired portions.
Cake cutter template by DANKLHAMPEL Photo: fischka.com
Guerra Vanzetti's Loos Tribal project that humorously creates a superfiction suggesting Loos took care to hide a tattoo throughout his lifetime in order not to compromise his credibility as an opponent of the ornament.
Loos Tribal superfiction by Guerra Vanzetti. Photo: fischka.com
Nina Levett's partly autobiographic world based on her recent wedding with designed tableware, wallpaper and home textiles decorated with ornaments and patterns containing clues to real and fictitious events.
Nina Levett with her installation. Photo: Wolfgang Woessner/MAK
mischer'traxler's automated cake decorating machine that explored the question How much ornament is permissible? They created an automatic gadget to decorate cakes somewhat similar to a Spirograph machine and installed it alongside three portraits of different people proudly presenting their automated cake decorations.
Architects Katja Nagy and Bernadette Krejs's installation playfully explores the differences between private and public by installing a range of traditional carpet samples that create a cozy home decoration element outside of the MAK building around the cut-out facade element by James Wines/SITE on Stubenring.
The carpet installation outside the MAKVienna design space
Patrick Rampelotto's totem-like sculptures that seemingly offer a unique and valuable aesthetic but are made entirely from mass produced vacuum metalised trophy cups.
Patrick Rampletto's Totems. Photo: Patrick Rampelotto
bkm working design group's range of 'living' porcelain vessels each with their own hairstyles and, as is customary in some cultures, apparently grow at the same rate as the person who owns them.