Vienna Design Week 2021: Austria’s biggest design festival

During ten days in autumn from 24.09 to 03.10 the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK shows once again that Vienna is a “City Full of Design”. As Austria’s largest curated design festival, it occupies the city of Vienna with around 200 events.

Vienna Design Week
Vienna Design Week Team

Viennas corners turn into stages for design

The city becomes a pedestrian zone for both critical and playful approaches, entry-level communication and professional discourse explore new perspectives on the objects around us and design as well as manufacturing processes are revealed often in experimental ways specific to their location. Creation and production processes are often revealed experimentally and directly on site. This year, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is placing its special focus on Vienna’s 20th district, Brigittenau. This year’s festival headquarters is located there as the gateway to VIENNA DESIGN WEEK.

Vienna Design Week
Campaign 2021, focus district Brigittenau

The focus of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is on the diverse creative output that makes up the qualities of the local design scene: product, furniture and industrial design, architecture, graphic and social design, as well as experimental and digital approaches. The festival works specifically to network local potential internationally, which is also reflected in the program.

VIENNA DESIGN WEEK team, which is made up of dedicated employees with different fields of knowledge and diverse approaches to design, conceives, curates and implements the festival under the direction of Gabriel Roland. In addition, the work at VIENNA DESIGN WEEK relies on a strong network of people involved.

The goal is to make design, innovations, concepts and design processes behind the products and systems that surround us accessible to a broad audience as well as to the local population and visitors to Vienna, while at the same time addressing an international audience of experts. Nearly all program points of the festival are also accessible free of charge. VIENNA DESIGN WEEK deliberately has no trade fair character and is not a direct sales event. Rather, the aim is to make accessible the processes and discourses that lie beneath the commercial surface, as well as to reflect on our “business as usual“.

Vienna Design Week

Festival program


Stadtarbeit is an open format that was developed as part of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and offers everyone the opportunity, via an open call, to participate in the festival with a project in the area of social design. Every year up to five concepts, which are notable for the high quality with which they address societal and social issues, are selected by an expert jury and realized during the festival.

Vienna Design Week
Artisans of Public Psyche (Maximilian Scheidl)

The Stadtarbeit format is supported by the MehrWERT sponsoring program of Erste Bank. In addition, the Erste Bank MehrWERT Design Prize has been awarded annually since 2015 by a jury to a selected winning project in the Stadtarbeit format. This year, not one but three MehrWERT Design Prizes will be presented.

„This year, the Stadtarbeit focuses on the topic of “Resilient Neighborhoods”. Just last year it became clear that design has to be part of social solutions and that social design can show concrete options for action, how networking can bring together different actors in the social space and how this can enable resilience in the Grätzl. We are very much looking forward to the Stadtarbeit Projekte 2021!“

Hanna Facchinelli, Project management Stadtarbeit

The three winning projects from 2021:
Artisans of Public Psyche (Maximilian Scheidl)
– “missing-link – ein Versatzstück der Stadtbahn” (Marlene Lübke-Ahrens & Wolfgang Novotny)
– (IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna)

online >> more about Stadtarbeit Projekte 2021


Bereits zum vierten Mal in Folge arbeiten die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien und die VIENNA DESIGN WEEK eng For the fourth time in a row, the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien and VIENNA DESIGN WEEK are working closely together to create the Urban Food & Design format. As an extension of the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien’s key theme “Let’s talk Lebensmittel” (Let’s talk Food), the creative and innovative potential of the food industry is brought to the table.

This year, food sources, consumption patterns and forms of presentation as well as social contexts in the field of food will be examined in an exhibition specially curated by Katharina Dankl. Based on the themes of the past three years of the Urban Food & Design Challenges, design positions around the topic of food will be discussed and made tangible at the festival headquarters of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK.

In addition to the exhibition, the studio mobil / think tank station will stop in the focus district of Brigittenau on three days of the festival: In the course of the Creative Challenge “EAT LOVE” of the Vienna Business Agency in cooperation with the MAK, a jury selected five projects on ecological and socially sustainable solutions around the topics of food and eating spaces of tomorrow. The winners’ projects can be experienced during the Vienna Biennale and VIENNA DESIGN WEEK.

„We’ve been looking at the future of food for some time now and, together with the city’s creative people, we’re always coming up with new ideas. One of them, for example, is caviar made from algae harvested from the mowing boat on the Old Danube. And this year we are also taking these ideas out into the city. Namely with the refueling station of studio mobil. Look forward to pleasurable inspirations.“

Gerhard Hirczi, Managing Director of the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien
Vienna Design Week
Occupation of the public space by the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK


The „Guest Country” format has been a fixed component for many years. In pandemic and hopefully soon post-pandemic times, we are expanding this concept. In 2021, with the support of the Federal Chancellery, the EU will be the focus of festival attention as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Topics such as sustainability, digitalisation, the creation of inclusive identities, the promotion of interdisciplinary as well as cross-border cooperation and the establishment of participatory processes are not only core tasks of the EU, but also fields of activity for many designers.

Vienna Design Week

„”Europe is always created in the discourse of people from the most diverse backgrounds and cultures. An examination of this discourse is more important today than ever before. Especially now, when the population of the EU is called upon to contribute their ideas for the future shaping of our coexistence within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe. I am pleased that the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is making a contribution to this.“

– Karoline Edtstadler, Federal Minister for the EU and the Constitution
Vienna Design Week
Skica/ The Museum of Architecture and DEsign (MAO)


The exhibition DESIGN EVERYDAY – DESIGN FÜR DEN GEBRAUCH 2021 shows for the fifth time outstandingly designed everyday objects from the Austrian design scene. Whether it’s seating furniture, tableware or a lamp – it’s precisely the objects that we use daily and extensively that deserve special attention from innovative, sustainably-minded product designers and will receive it again this year at an exhibition at our festival headquarters on Sachsenplatz. The DESIGN EVERYDAY format is conceived and curated by the Viennese design studio Vandasye (Georg Schnitzer and Peter Umgeher) in cooperation with VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and sponsored by KAT – Kreativwirtschaft Austria.


Talking about and experiencing design are constant aims of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. In this regard, the education and discourse program is one of the main pillars of the festival. It accompanies and contextualizes all other events, but sometimes also sets completely independent impulses. The focus is on two central goals: the creation of a forum for exchange within the design scene, as well as opening up the discussion of design to people who would not consider themselves to be part of the core layers of the design world. An approach to a better understanding of design festivals and their concept of design brings, for example, the presentation of the work of Rosa Rogina, who observed the 2020 festival as “curator in residence.”

Vienna Design Week
Exhibition view MAK Museum Vienna – climate care

In addition to the discussion events that frame the rest of the festival program and emerge with the thematic settings, there will be, as usual, a wide range of tours that open up the festival headquarters, the architecture of the focus district (conducted in the tried and tested manner by Marion Kuzmany), specific themes or unorthodox perspectives. The extremely successful format of the Beisltours will be continued and VIENNA DESIGN WEEK team will again be involved in the educational program. There is also a special focus on work with young people and children, as well as in the offer for school classes. The mediation is supervised by Helena Schmidt and Sophie Lingg.

Vienna Design Week