Werkraumschau LIGHT

21 October 2017 – 26 May 2018


Adults: EUR 7,50

Reductions (Students, Apprentice, 15 People and more): EUR 5






The second Werkraumschau has products on show from various workshops of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald – among them several new members – in a spotlit scenario.


The Werkraumhaus designed by Peter Zumthor as a multi-functional building becomes the stage and the handicrafts the actors in a continually changing play of daylight and artificial light. Stage flood- and spotlights generate an immaterial and atmospheric architecture of light, mount the objects in the space, infuse life into their surfaces and forms, and trace a graphical shadowplay on the floor of the building.



The first Werkraumschau developed by the Vorarlberg graphic artist Roland Stecher was devoted to the theme of colour, receiving high praise and the award of  ”Distinction” in the category of spatial design of the Austrian State Prize in Design; following on from here, the design bureau of the Atelier Gassner (the team surrounding Reinhard Gassner and daughter Andrea Gassner) has opted this time for a further design tool. In accordance with the studio’s line oriented on reduction, additional exhibition architecture is being dispensed with and shaped almost exclusively with the media of light, space and exhibit.


Light Architecture

Inspired by a quote of the famous architect Le Corbusier stating that light and shade reveal the form, the craftspeople’s exhibits are being shifted proverbially “into the right light”. The exhibits’ forms, colours, materials, structures and surfaces communicate with the constantly changing light incidence, making us aware of them anew, hour by hour, day by day, and season by season. The temporal periods of the Werkraumschau are pervaded by all the seasons, autumn, winter, spring until early summer, exploiting their natural light atmospheres in combination with an ingeniously effective scenario designed with theatre flood- and spotlights. For the technical management of the concept, the Werkraum collaborated for the first time ever with the professionals for lighting effects employed at the Festspielbühne (Festival Theatre) and Kongresshaus Bregenz.


Besides the handicrafts as actors in this drama of light, the Atelier Gassner primarily works with the existing architecture and its elements. Peter Zumthor conceived the Werkraumhaus as “display case” and “shop window” of the Bregenzerwälder Craft Industries. The circumscribing glass façade floods the exhibition hall with daylight. Only the room-high, black Loden drapes regulate the light during the day and structure the space. The striking ceiling grid acts as “theatre flies” for fixing the stage lights and the technical equipment for the artificial lighting. To make the immaterial light architecture and its room-high light beams visible on occasion, the concept includes a hazer for spreading a misty effect. The haze that is so typical of the Bregenz Forest thus drifts through the building, intensifying its transparency and accentuating the architecture with constantly new aspects for the beholder.


So we recommend coming to see the Werkraumhaus during the show not just once – quite different scenarios can be experienced also during the day and night situations.



Light Phenomena

We cannot imagine everyday life without light, but devote little attention to its phenomena and qualities. Good lighting design makes an essential contribution to out feeling of well-being in our homes and workplaces and can endow enhancing shape to spaces and furnishings. Visitors are invited to sharpen their own perception at entertaining interactive stations, to test qualities of light and acquire practical knowledge for themselves: how is light output evaluated? What effect does the light temperature have? How can we make things disappear with coloured light?


The exhibition includes several stations where people can try out experiments. The light-learning workshop curated by Reinhard Gassner was developed together with lighting experts – among them Werkraum members Georg Bechter (Georg Bechter Licht) and Anna Claudia Strolz (Strolz Leuchten) – also after consultations with Vorarlberg firms such as Zumtobel Lighting and Neulicht. While handling the traditional light bulb has been tried and tested plenty of times, new light technologies (LED, OLED, etc.) are opening up new possibilities, but also bringing greater complexity with them. By means of a lux meter and dimmable light source, visitors can experiment in the show with the luminosity of light, likewise what it means to speak of “warm” or “cold” light temperature.


Light is energy in the form of electro-magnetic radiation stimulating sensations of brightness and of colour. White light is the sum of all colours. This phenomenon was discovered by the universal scholar Isaac Newton as early as the seventeenth century and is visualised in the exhibitions through the additive mixture of coloured light sources in red, green and blue. A further station splits light into its colour spectrum using a prism (as did Newton). This is exactly what happens in the formation of a rainbow by the refraction of light in water drops. A shadowplay with different light sources in the Werkraumschau makes us aware that colour is involved here as well. Other stations in the Werkraum show demonstrate that differently focused light sources can variably accentuate – more strongly or more weakly – the structures of materials and surfaces. Therefore the rich range of “light handicrafts” has to be learned and tested.



The Werkraumschau is a special exhibition format for the member industries of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald, which is held every year from mid-October until the end of May of the following year and is developed each time by alternating designers. It replaces the previous shop-window presentations and offers craftspeople an opportunity to tackle a thematic approach to questions of design. It is divided into two periods and interrupted in January by the Werkraum Ball (20 January 2018) – oriented thematically on the Werkraumschau. The flexibility of the exhibition display allows the exhibiting firms and exhibits to be changed during the run. The spring period is accompanied by a specialist discourse, lectures and workshops for the public and members (programme details follow with the annual programme 2018).


The Werkraumschau LIGHT was realised in cooperation with the Kulturkongress Bregenz. A journal to accompany the exhibition is being published in November, produced and distributed in cooperation with our media partner the Vorarlberger Nachrichten, and available in the Werkraumhaus.




Atelier Gassner

The works emerging from the Atelier Gassner never simply result from the production of subsequently delivered, aesthetically perfect graphics. Design starts with clarification of contents: only when the thing itself and the intentions of content are recognisable and conceptually and verbally concentrated do the approaches to design take shape.  “The aim of their work is the communication of a value and not the communication of aesthetic results” – this statement by the Zurich architect and theorist Alberto Alessai characterises the studio’s work method like a programmatic leitmotif. The Atelier Gassner celebrated forty years of existence in 2016 and works in a selective team of employed and freelance specialists. The studio’s works have long been acclaimed beyond the national borders. It is directed by Reinhard Gassner with his daughter Andrea Gassner.


A short time ago a book was published on the studio’s outstanding projects at the intersection of spatial and visual design. The well known architecture critic Otto Kapfinger ends his essay in the book on the “creative work with the Atelier Gassner” with the following words: “This small ‘biotope’ on the Waldrain was, and is furthermore, an exemplary microcosm of what has become renowned since 1990 – also across Europe and throughout the world – as the regional, sustainable ‘culture miracle of Vorarlberg.’”


Atelier Gassner – Visuelle Geschichten, 288 pages, Sonderzahl Verlag, 2017,

ISBN 978-3-85449-468-3




awa Installationen, Kunstschmiede Figer, Filzkiste (new Werkraum member), Georg Bechter Licht, Goldschmiede Gassner, Handwerkholz Anton Bereuter, Himmelgrün, Holzig Küchen & Möbel, Ina Rüf, Kaufmann Zimmerei und Tischlerei, Mohr Polster, Schmidinger Möbelbau, Schneiderstüble Manuela Maaß, Schuh Fröwis, Schwarzmann Fenster, Simeoni Metallbau, Strolz Leuchten, Tischlerei Bereuter, Tischlerei Dür, Tischlerei Feurstein Jürgen, Tischlerei Geser (new Werkraum member), Tischlerei Mohr, Tischlerei Wolfgang Meusburger, Tischlerei Rüscher, Tischlerei Übelher, (t)raumtischler metzler (new Werkraum member), Unikum-Metallwerkstatt (new Werkraum member), Wälderspielzeug (new Werkraum member).





Educational Programme



Children’s Lighting Workshops

The exhibition also provides a setting for smaller visitors to experience light. They explore the show and then experiment. For children aged 6 and over (or younger if accompanied).


Registration: info@werkraum.at, limited number of participants

Fee to cover costs: EUR 5

Workshop teacher: Verena Dünser


Fr 15.12.2017, 2—4 pm

Light and Shadow

A do-it-yourself shadow theatre and Christmas play. Stage, props and figures are made out of cardboard.


Do 28.12.2017, 10—12 am

Light and Lantern

Coloured light cylinders are formed out of coloured glassine paper to light up the dark winter nights.


Do 8.2.2018, 10—12 am

My Lamp

Do it yourself – choose various materials to design and make your own cool lamp shade.




School programme, expert guided tours and workshop visits for groups on request

Registration: info@werkraum.at 























Hilda Simma

Werkraum Bregenzerwald

Hof 800, A-6866 Andelsbuch

Vorarlberg, Österreich

Telefon +43(0)5512 26 386

info@werkraum.at, www.werkraum.at