Review: 2021

FOCUS DISTRICT BRIGITTENAU

VIENNA DESIGN WEEK/Kollektiv Fischka/Petra Rautenstrauch
VIENNA DESIGN WEEK/Kollektiv Fischka/Kramar

“Brigittenau speaks for itself – and it does so in a wealth of languages,” was the proud claim in the program to the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2021. And all those who came to the 20th district – some for the first time – were able to convince themselves that this is indeed the case as they discovered a range of venues and locations that is unparalleled, even beyond the festival: Thanks to the warm hospitality of the district’s people and politicians, both loyal and new visitors were able to explore off spaces, brownfield sites, carpet shops, and shared studios, where they could see how and where Brigittenau lives and buzzes with activity. With its one-off guided tours (Education), convivial cocktails (Program Partners), participative interventions (Stadtarbeit), and much, much more, the festival created a stir amongst both newcomers and long-established residents – from the waterfront promenades along the Danube to the former Northwest Station, from Vienna and out into the world.

The annual choice of a different Focus District is a defining feature of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and the central function of this district justifies the huge amount of organizational and research work that it creates for the festival team. The enormous popularity of the Focus District amongst visitors is explained, in equal measure, by the interest of the local and the visiting (specialist) audience. Thanks to the geographic concentration of the high-quality program, this diverse audience has the opportunity to discover new things that are, simultaneously, close at hand and off the beaten track: This ambitious balancing act was, once again, perfectly mastered by the flexible festival in 2021, triggering waves of enthusiasm, upon which visitors were able to energetically surf for ten days right across the Focus District Brigittenau.