Werkraum Exhibition: GASTGEBEN
Photo: Roswitha Schneider
GASTGEBEN – Room(s) for hospitality
June 21, 2019 – January 11, 2020
What do craftsmanship and hospitality have in common? The history of mankind suggests that the two developed simultaneously. Building a cult site like Göbekli Tepe in the eastern part of today’s Turkey around 10,000 BCE, for example, was a gigantic endeavour that required cooperation across different clans and tribes. So rituals of hospitality were introduced to forge bonds and join smaller groups into larger unions.
While craftsmanship led to hospitality thousands of years ago, the two are interactive partners today. In the Bregenzerwald, the practice of hosting guests, in private and professional contexts, is a vital catalyst for innovative craftsmanship. The trades and crafts, on the other hand, have a lot to offer to hosts – at least when you interpret and practice them like the members of Werkraum Bregenzerwald. Their handcrafted products are sustainable, durable, timeless, functional. They tell stories of place and time, they are authentic, personal, one-of-a-kind, an added bonus for guests looking for something honest and real, something they can relate to and identify with.
GASTGEBEN – Room(s) for hospitality presents more than 45 members of Werkraum Bregenzerwald in a narrative sales exhibition. Based on the idea of turning a visit to the Werkraum showroom into a special hotel experience, the exhibition highlights the contribution of local craftsmanship to the creation of atmospheric room(s) for hospitality.
There are several aspects to hosting people, represented in separate rooms. The exhibition invites visitors to spend some time exploring them and see what can emerge from a solid partnership of outstanding craftsmanship and authentic hospitality.
Around the exhibition
In addition to guided tours by Werkraum members and hotel partners, “The GASTGEBEN Experience” offers several special events such as a cooking night, a pop-up hotel tailor service, a picnic in the vegetable garden, an evening with tips and tricks from the bartender or the presentation of a cookbook.
Each event begins with a guided tour by a Werkraum member and a host from one of our Werkraum partner hotels. Besides providing information on all rooms and objects they will talk about the challenges of hospitality, about the qualities that crafts can add to it and about what matters to them as hosts and craftspeople.
Among the highlights will be the “After work. Have a glass and hear a story.” events. Every other Friday from September to December, a host of one of our partner hotels will pour participants a glass of their favourite wine and share some inside stories.
For children, there are workshops for playful first steps into the field of hospitality and hidden objects games in all rooms of the exhibition.
Also, students of the region’s hospitality management school GASCHT will present an installation of photos from “behind the scenes” of their internships, offering another perspective on hotels as places of hospitality. They will also support the service team at the opening night and at other special events.
An accompanying magazine, produced by our media partner, regional newspaper Vorarlberger Nachrichten, and created by Atelier Andrea Gassner, will be published on July 13, 2019 (in German only).
Werkraum Exhibition (Werkraumschau) is a special exhibition format for members of Werkraum Bregenzerwald, curated by different designers. Replacing more traditional presentations in the Werkraum shop windows, the Werkraumschau invites craftspeople to explore questions of design in a specific topical context.
But now, let us welcome you to Werkraum Bregenzerwald!
Press release Werkraum Exhibition GASTGEBEN
Werkraumdepot: public guided tours
Study Collection of Contemporary Crafts and
Design in the Bregenzerwald
Guided tours: every first Saturday of the month, 11 am–12 noon or on request
The set-up Werkraumdepot as permanent study collection in the Werkraumhaus provides an in-depth view of contemporary crafts and design from the region. It gets its name from the first showroom of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald operating from 2004 to 2013. Even then, acquisitions of the vorarlberg museum were on display in the werkraum depot in Schwarzenberg – an important forerunner of the Zumthor building in Andelsbuch as exhibition venue and educational facility. The present new installation was made possible through the financial support of the Friends – Freunde des Werkraum Bregenzerwald and can be viewed every first Saturday of the month or on request in a special guided tour option organised by the vorarlberg museum and Werkraum Bregenzerwald.
The impetus for the new installation was triggered by the exhibition shown in summer 2017, Archiv der Formen. Handwerk und Design im Bregenzerwald (Archive of Forms. Crafts and Design in the Bregenz Forest, 1 July – 7 October 2017). This overview, with more than 200 exhibits selected from hitherto 632 submissions to Handwerk + Form, conveyed an overall impression of the developments and the creative richness of the Bregenz Forest craft workshops since the first edition of the design competition in 1991. The exhibition, in its a dense presentation of furniture and objects on room-high shelves, was acclaimed by visitors from home and abroad. Many of the exhibits were loans from the collection of the vorarlberg museum, which were in part stored already in the basement of the Werkraumhaus. The idea therefore seemed obvious to show – at least at certain times – this otherwise invisible “treasure chamber” in a permanent presentation to the interested public.
Treasure chamber and place for learning
The newly set-up Werkraumdepot is spread out on around 200m2 of floor space in the basement of the Werkraumhaus and includes about eighty objects from the collection of the vorarlberg museum, also a few loans directly from the craft workshops. The collection pieces stem mostly from the purchase of exhibits from the exhibition möbel für alle (Everyone’s furniture), also purchases from prize-winning projects from the competition Handwerk + Form from 1991 to the present day. The resulting study collection thus provides an excellent view of the works and influence of the regional craft workshops and manifests the superlative creative standard and quality of their products.
The design team of Robert Rüf (Robert Rüf Industrial Design, Vienna) and Christof Nardin (Büronardin, Vienna), who were also responsible for the summer exhibition, subtly adopted quotations from Archiv der Formen for the setting of the depot. Another specified assignment for the two men from Alberschwende (a village nearby) was to re-use the existing store shelves made of saw-rough, grey-painted wood and thus keep the reconstruction within economic and ecological limits – financing has mainly been provided by the Friends – Freunde des Werkraum Bregenzerwald. Moreover, the shelves are a reminiscence of the Schwarzenberg depot, where they were once in use.
The installation of the objects doesn’t keep to an explicit scheme, but is oriented on the available space – it allows objects or groups and ensembles (shelves, tables, chairs, stools, etc.) to be re-arranged or compacted if necessary. The study collection is not finalised and will offer space for further acquisitions. The object captions are attached with Velcro strips and easily positioned; they are kept to a minimum, since the information and educational options – in part with demonstrations of the way the objects function – are communicated in the guided tours. Guide and visitors wear gloves so as to protect the museum collection items. An introductory video interview made for Archiv der Formen provides a view of the starting situation before the organisation of the design competition and the founding of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald; it includes the “founding fathers” of Handwerk + Form, among them members of the Handwerkverein (Crafts Association) Andelsbuch and the graphic artist Harry Metzler. The competition and the collection möbel für alle supplying the exhibits form the background for the stories behind the individual objects.
Handwerk + Form
For the 200th anniversary of the Handwerkerverein Andelsbuch, in 1991 a design competition titled Handwerk + Form (Crafts + Form) was organised for the first time. The competition’s goal was to develop technically and aesthetically perfected products through the collaboration of regional craftspeople from home and abroad, all on an equal basis. However, only craft workshops and other enterprises from the Bregenz Forest were qualified to submit. The results and this collaboration were adjudicated by an expert jury according to specified criteria and presented to the public in a special exhibition tour through workshops and farm buildings. The competition has been organised by the Werkraum Bregenzerwald in a triennial rhythm since the year 2000 – in 2018 the competition is taking place for the eighth time.
Möbel für alle – Everyone’s Furniture
Vorarlberg is internationally acclaimed for its contemporary building culture. To have this access to architecture, craft enterprises with innovative initiative are needed that are creative and competent partners for the architects. Besides the conventional tasks involved in (interior) architecture, the approach to the kinds of objects and furniture demanded by these spaces is becoming increasingly important. Roland Gnaiger and Adolph Stiller curated the exhibition möbel für alle. designinitiative werkraum bregenzerwald for the Ringturm in Vienna (17 April—18 June 2002). Around forty everyday, functional and aesthetically exceptional objects by Werkraum craft workshops showed the standards of modern furniture construction in the Bregenz Forest – among them many objects that were created for the competition Handwerk+Form. The exhibition and the catalogue made the Bregenzerwald culture of everyday home living accessible to a broad-based public for the first time in contemporary form, and with the highest possible standard of craftsmanship.
The Werkraumdepot is thus an important place for education – not only for the crafts and creative qualities and skills in the regions – but also for the young history of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald and its narrative of change. It supplements and provides an in-depth enhancement to the rest of the presentation in the Werkraumhaus, including special exhibitions and the Werkraumschau (annual members only exhibition). The study collection and depot is a central place for training and learning in crafts and design for the Werkraum school, which will motivate and foster the pupils’ creativity through the example of superlative collection items. Besides the digital and universally accessible collection www.archivderformen.at, the Werkraumdepot offers the opportunity to learn about the physical object, hands-on and in depth.
The Werkraumdepot will be the starting point for the educational and guided tour programme within the framework of the competition Handwerk + Form, which is being held again this year, and the exhibition tour in autumn (13/14/18/19 October 2018).
Study Collection of Contemporary Crafts
and Design in the Bregenzerwald
Opening: February 2, 2018
Guided tours: every first Saturday of the month, 11 am–12 noon or on request
Admission (incl. guided tour): €12 / concessions € 9.- for pupils, apprentices and students
Concept: Thomas Geisler
Exhibition Design: Robert Rüf Industrial Design, Vienna
Graphic Design: Büronardin, Vienna
Film Interviews: Karin Guldenschuh
Educational Programme: Verena Dünser
Photos by Roswitha Schneider
Special project: MADE IN
Made in – Craft and Design Narratives
October 1, 2018 – September 1, 2020
Made in is a research, design and heritage initiative encouraging collaboration and knowledge exchange between traditional craftsmen and contemporary designers. The aim of the project is to revitalize crafts tradition and educate designers about material and immaterial heritage, thus creating new, authentic and more sustainable face of contemporary design.
The Made in project aims to promote European craft heritage and innovative contemporary design to general public. The goal of the project is to establish knowledge exchange platforms, constructive dialogue, and ultimately, new collaborative practices between craftsmen and designers.
Made in emerged from the heightened awareness of the crucial role that traditional crafts and manufactories play in creating and sustaining local and European identity. Particularly in this age of globalization, the crafts – tightly woven into the fabric of local communities – present a way to preserve local identity and local distinctiveness. Furthermore, the craft production supports sustainable practices using locally sourced materials and encouraging re-usage / repair of existing products and thus promoting slow consumption (versus today’s age of excess).
However, craft workshops and craftsmen are disappearing from urban environments, expelled by overwhelming quantities of cheap “made in China” products. The craft and small manufacturing productions do not find a place within the contemporary designer practices. This is mostly due to the lack of direct exposure of new generations to the values, specifics and histories of these crafts, which present an essential part of any culture.
WHO (THE PARTNERS)
Austria: Werkraum Bregenzerwald
Croatia: Museum of Arts and Crafts (leading partner), Oaza Studio
Serbia: Nova Iskra – Creative hub, Mikser
Slovenia: Museum of Architecture and Design
Supported by CREATIVE EUROPE – CULTURE
Media information MADE IN
MADE IN in the Bregenzerwald region
Workshop: Crafting, Cleaning & Caring with Rianne Makkink
May, 2019 – Werkraumhaus
Crafted objects and items gain beauty over time simply by using them. Repairing and maintaining them add layers of patina. A long lasting relation between the object and the subject. The workshop Crafting, Cleaning & Caring by Dutch designer Rianne Makkink and partner of Studio Makkink & Bey explored the materiality and immateriality of this relation. In collaboration with local craftspeople, producers and makers the participants worked with traditional techniques and experimentation.
Photo: Matthias Dietrich
MADE IN Seminar: Design&Crafts on Display #3
May, 2019 – Werkraumhaus
The third MADE IN Seminar took place in the scenic Alpine setting of Bregenzerwald. Werkraum Bregenzerwald – a collaborative of around 100 regional craft and trade companies – hosted the partners and invited guests for a two day experience in the Werkraumhaus and its surrounding workshops at the end of May, 2019. Designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor the building serves as a showcase and community centre of the regional craftspeople. The seminar discussed modes and places to display contemporary crafts and design.
Photo: Matthias Dietrich