VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is Austria's most important multidisciplinary and curated design festival. Beyond the preoccupation with the design of products, it poses the question of what role the work of designers* plays for coexistence in the city and worldwide. Since 2007, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK has been a defining part of Vienna's design landscape. Organized by an independent association, the festival comprises around 200 events and welcomes 40,000 visitors each year.
How can design contribute to both socially and ecologically sustainable solutions? How can it be critical and connect us in meaningful ways to the objects, spaces and services we need? Answers to questions like these are sought by VIENNA DESIGN WEEK on ten late summer days with a variety of events in the fields of product, graphic and industrial design, architecture and crafts, but also social design and with digital as well as experimental approaches.
VIENNA DESIGN WEEK deliberately forgoes the characteristics of trade fairs and is not a direct sales event. Rather, it is about making accessible processes that lie beneath the commercial surface, as well as reflecting on our "business as usual". Fundamental to this is the belief that conscious and visionary design, combined with a public informed about and participating in design, has the potential to produce a world that works better for everyone.
The festival moves around the city from edition to edition, changing its main venue (usually an interim use), Focus District, and Guest Country each year. Locations all over the city are part of the program. The aim of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is to respond to the site-specific circumstances, to involve local actors and to propose relevant solutions. But it is also about networking the design scene locally and internationally.
It is particularly important for VIENNA DESIGN WEEK that exhibitions, product presentations and events take dealing with pressing issues of our time are not the only things taking place: The festival's multifaceted education program creates access for people who have not previously dealt with design, thus enabling insight and participation in this far-reaching field. The festival is aimed at everyone – from an international audience of professionals to school classes.
The formats that have grown over the 16 years of the festival's history, such as Stadtarbeit and Urban Food & Design, have established themselves as reliable components of the structure of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. The supported by a range of collateral events (talks, tours, openings, workshops, ...). An important addition to the festival program are also the contributions created by the numerous external partners. From 2022, these will be presented under the name PLATFORM.
Almost all the venues and program formats of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK are open to the public free of charge. The event is carried out by a non-profit association with the festival as well as annual activities being financed by a mixture of public funding, sponsorship and fees from exhibitors.