On the EU Village Square: Karoline Edtstadler is paying a visit. The Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution is chatting with a focus group about the power of design, about their needs and concerns. The meeting is part of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the participants find it really productive. Others are taking a more light-hearted approach, playing a board game loosely based on Monopoly and showing their climate-neutral skills. And while these are rolling the dice and competing to expand their rail networks, those who are interested in European sponsorship programs for art and culture are focusing on the path from the project idea to implementation. There is also lots of hustle and bustle amongst those interested in the European Green Deal, political activism, the New Bauhaus, or architecture and who are keen to examine these and many other European subjects from a design perspective. From the Federal Minister to those who are hungry for knowledge – all have come to share ideas, get informed, and learn from one another. We find ourselves at the heart of a spatial intervention in the Festival Headquarters. We find ourselves on the EU Village Square.
Many of the challenges facing the EU can also be observed and addressed from the design perspective. In other words, issues such as sustainability, digitalization, the creation of inclusive identities, the encouragement of interdisciplinary and cross-border cooperation, and the establishment of participative processes are not only core tasks of the European Union, but also areas of activity for many designers. This clearly explains why this year’s Guest Country of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK was not, as usual, a single nation and its design scene but, rather, an entire multinational cooperative project. Supported by the Federal Chancellery in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the 2021 format asked what the EU can do for the creative industries and what the creative industries can do for the EU.
In order to get closer to the challenges and opportunities of European cooperation, the design scene and the festival public were invited to visit the EU Village Square in the Festival Headquarters on Sachsenplatz, which was designed by auf’strich and studiotut. Here, the complex context surrounding this subject was concretely brought together, prepared in an easily accessible manner, and collectively investigated in daily discussions.
VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, studiotut, Auf´strich