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Vienna Biennale for Change 2019 – at the MAK Vienna

Great new Values. Shaping our Digital World

Would you like to have a glance at the near future and get to know what our city life could soon look like? Then visit this year’s Vienna Biennale at the MAK Museum of Applied Arts – and be astonished, because the future is ever so constant in different places and areas of our daily life.

For the third time now the MAK, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Kunsthalle Wien, Architekturzentrum Wien and the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien, the Slovak Design Centre as Associate Partner and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology as extra-university research partner, organise a range of nine exhibitions on different topics as well as an overarching conference and further projects. These address the values of an economic and socially just and ecologically sustainable future. Artists, designers and architects from all over the world show their visions of the future, one which we actually want to pursue under the influence of digitalization and artificial intelligence, two elements that are already now our constant companions.

Exhibition Topics at the Vienna Biennale

Exhibition View
CLIMATE CHANGE! From Mass Consumption to a Sustainable Quality Society
from left to right: EOOS, Greenfreeze 2, 2019; EOOS, Kitchen-Cow, 2019

UNCANNY VALUES. Artificial Intelligence & You
(an exhibition of the MAK, at the MAK)

The centrepiece of the VIENNA BIENNALE is dedicated to one of the most important topics of the immediate future, which has a serious impact on all areas of our life: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Multimedia installations of 18 international artists and designers are entering into a dialogue with different examples of recent application areas of AI.

(a project of the MAK in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research, at the MAK)

By repositioning the Design Lab, for the first time the topics and approaches of the Biennale transform into a concept of a permanent exhibition. The newly interpreted MAK DESIGN LAB presents selected projects based on multi-faceted perspectives, demonstrating that design serves more and more as an engine for change.

CLIMATE CHANGE! From mass consumption to a sustainable, ‘high-quality’-society
(a cooperation with the MAK and the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, at the MAK)

Five design installations present pictures and stories of a new life style through which we can contribute to stop the exploitation of resources, reduce damaging emissions and hence alleviate the impact of the time bomb ‘Climate Change’. The range goes from an energy-efficient kitchen of the future up to cars (or extended bikes) with solar cells on the roof.

FUTURE FACTORY. Rethinking Urban Production
Exhibition view © Peter Kainz/MAK

FUTURE FACTORY.  Rethink urban productions
(a project of the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien in cooperation with the MAK and the brewery ‘Brauerei Ottakringer’, at the MAK)

More and more people push to the centres in search of jobs and future perspectives: cities have to face the challenge of offering its citizens a living space, a job and recreational areas at the same time. Based on future visions and already implemented changes and innovations in business, the following question is analysed: How much does the Future Factory matter in a Future City?

SPACE AND EXPERIENCE. Architecture for a better life
(an exhibition carried out by the MAK in cooperation with Wienerberger, at the MAK)

Architecture as a concept is always an expression of social and cultural structures, standards and values. If values are in the process of change, this has an impact on our ideas of life quality and the requirements on architecture. A selection of already implemented projects shows which added value architecture is able to offer already today for improving our quality of life.

Exhibition View
Architecture for Better Living in the middle: ecoLogicStudio (Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto)
H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g, 2019
MAK Works on Paper Room © Peter Kainz/MAK

Change Was Our Only Chance
(a project of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, at the AIL Applied Innovation Lab)

The artist collective ‘Time’s Up’ created the world in 2047 with the eponymous installation and the participation of the University of Applied Arts. This accessible place of new experiences speaks of a possible future. Furthermore, the interactive installation ‘Noise Aquarium’ demonstrates the change in our eco-system and creates an audiovisual adventure by giving life to plankton and making loud noise audible as a threat to sea dwellers.

(an exhibition of the Kunsthalle Wien, in the Kunsthalle Wien)

Deals with material worlds that we create through technology as well as the meaning of technology in the generation of local and global power, forms of identity and forms of life.

Further exhibitions/projects:

Human by Machine / MAK Forum

City of temperaments / Seestadt Aspern

Human by Design / Designgalerie SATELIT, Bratislava

My conclusion:
At this year’s Vienna Biennale art, design and architecture are connected with the goal to contribute to a better world and future by being creative and full of ideas. It is really impressive to see how many projects have already been realised here and it is exciting to see what is still possible and what we still have to work on. It is daunting and a bit alarming how artificial intelligence already interferes in all areas of our lives and may cause risks and at the same time benefit human beings – depending on how we deal with it in the future. The exhibition offers impressions and previews that open the horizon and document the opportunities for a worthwhile future. Really worth seeing.

TIP 1: Participate in a guided tour – for example:
“Insights: Vienna Biennale”
every Sunday at 2.00 p.m.
€ 5,- (excl. entrance to the museum), Duration: 1.5 hours


Late Night-combined guided tour Kunsthalle Wien and MAK
Tuesday, 9.7.2019, Tuesday, 10.9.2019
€ 16,- (incl. entrance fee
Start: 07.00 p.m. at Kunsthalle Wien MQ, from approx. 08.30 p.m., guided tour in the MAK


Combined guided tour MAK and AIL
Friday, 12.7. and 27.9.2019, respectively at noon
€ 3.50 (excl. entrance to the MAK)
Start: At noon at the MAK, subsequently visit to the AIL

Tip 2:
After your exhibition visit we suggest enjoying a fine meal just a few steps from the MAK at the award-winning restaurant “Das Schick”. Indulge in top level creative Austrian and Spanish specialities. The view of Vienna from the ‘Das Schick’ on the 12th floor of the Gartenbauhochhaus is simply breathtaking.


Vienna Biennale 2019
until 6th October 2019
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
Stubenring 5
1010 Vienna

Opening hours
Tuesday 10.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Wednesday – Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m.
Monday closed.

Entrance fees
Regular: € 12,-
Every Tuesday 06.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.:  € 5,-
Children and youth under the age of 19 are free of charge


Data and image source: © MAK – Museum für angewandte Kunst
Many thanks for the great tour and the support.

Head image:
Exhibition View
UNCANNY VALUES: Artificial Intelligence & You
Some Place Studio, display of the exhibition UNCANNY VALUES, 2019
MAK-Exhibition Hall © Some Place Studio


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