Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand

„Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand“ is the title of the collaborative installation by Frieder Bohaumilitzky and Ursula Klein on the occasion of the Vienna Design Week. The title is an adaptation of the well-known saying of the 68 movement and in this context refers to the political relevance of design projects in public space.
The contribution was part of the dialogic format of Passionswege, in which international design creators are brought together with Viennese craft businesses. Ursula Klein is the third generation of her family to run the plastic processing company schulteswien, which produces inflatable one-offs for artists and museums.
In their collaboration, Bohaumilitzky and Klein combined their passion for inflatable objects with their interest in political content. They used an space-filling inflatable ensemble to occupy a vacant lot between buildings in Vienna's 6th district. 
During the day, the installation invited visitors to gather and hang out; in the evening, it became a space for discourse. In a series of open talks on the installation and in the adjacent workshop of schulteswien, the two discussed the potential of design in the face of current political challenges. The individual narrative elements of the installation served as starting points for the discussions with architects, filmmakers, historians, artists, politicians and political scientists. 

Passionswege, Vienna Design Week 

Concept: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Ursula Klein / schulteswien 
Curated by: Nadja Zerunian · Gabriel Roland 
Setdesign: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Ursula Klein / schulteswien
Production: Ursula Klein / schulteswien 

→ Detailed program

Designing Unrest

“It can be argued that every political system forms an interwoven relationship with design systems. Democracy is no exception. Unlike some other political systems, however, a democratic society is hardly conceivable without a public sphere that encompasses multiple, constantly negotiated everydays—dissent is essential in keeping it alive. Design plays an important role in this social fabric by influencing, motivating, or even preventing social forms of behavior through its artifacts and settings. Design influences the form(s) in which a society arranges its coexistence. That is to say, it affects whether negotiations take place and are carried out in purely symbolic spaces or whether design itself is understood as an actor in spaces of societal friction. Perhaps it is a central task for designers to focus on such concrete conflicts and controversies. This would also mean making a significant contribution to ensuring that democracy not only functions as a structure and a symbol but also remains a process that provokes and requires practical conflicts and positional disputes, as well as providing an epistemic representation (e.g., visual, material, informative) of both.”

IX Interactions. 2022 Volume XXIX.2 

Text: Tom Bieling · Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Anke Haarmann  · Torben Körschkes
Images: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Torben Körschkes 

Read more: → interactions.acm.org

On the occasion of the company’s bicentenary, the architect and design theorist Friedrich von Borries and the designer Frieder Bohaumilitzky designed the first Thonet rollator. What at first glance looks like a humorous commentary on the venerable age of Thonet, at closer inspection reveals itself as an intensive examination of both the history and future of Thonet from the perspective of ecological sustainability. This is because the rollator consists of different original parts from Thonet 214 and Thonet 219 chairs. It thus suggests that an ecologically sustainable future does not constantly need new products, but novelties that are developed based on existing ones. In much the same way, the rollator exemplifies a new use of preexisting parts. 
MAK Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien

Design: Friedrich von Borries · Frieder Bohaumilitzky 
Photos: Friedrich von Borries 

With the friendly support of Thonet GmbH.

Objects for Voters is a redesign of the required voting items for the elections of the federal German parliament. Political communication has changed. Through the paradigm shift from literary culture to visual culture, attention has become the central feature of political power. The aesthetic political images, designed by political consultants and communicated in media, use strong emotional associations and dominate the political discourse with it. In this realm of aesthetics, perception is not generally directed at the affective-neutral, objective knowledge of circumstances, but in the form of acts which emotionally touch and put someone in a mood. Today, electoral decisions are often made on the basis of these moods, but in contrast to the political communication the procedure of voting itself is still remarkably undesigned. The project asks about the future consequences of the changing political communication. The ballot box, the polling booth and the table for the election supervisor were redesigned in exchange with the executing electoral office, who provided the judicial and technical requirements.
Photos: Edward Greiner 
Cooperation: Landeswahlamt Hamburg 

Read more: → wallpaper.com

“Aktiv.Attraktiv.Anders – So heißt die Attraktivitätskampagne der deutschen Verteidigungsministerin Ursula von der Leyen. Die formulierten Ziele sind flexiblere Arbeitszeiten, mehr Teilzeitarbeit, mehr Karrieremöglichkeiten, weniger Versetzungen, bessere Kinderbetreuung, die Anerkennung sozialer Kompetenzen in der Truppe, der Aufbau eines Gesundheitsmanagements, modernere Arbeitsplätze und eine modernere Unterbringung der Soldaten. Zeitgleich mit der Vorstellung der Kampagne laufen gleich mehrere öffentliche Diskussionen zur Bundeswehr parallel. [...] Besonders öffentlichkeitswirksam und kontrovers wird aber die Idee der Verteidigungsministerin diskutiert, die Stuben der Soldaten neu zu gestalten. Flächendeckendes WLAN, Flatscreens, Minikühlschränke und Garderobenspiegel auf der Stube sollen als Soforthilfe den Komfort verbessern und dann soll noch eine neue Möbelserie entwickelt werden. ‘Schöner wohnen mit von der Leyen’ titelt daraufhin der Stern oder ‘Von der Leyen rekrutiert mit Flachbildschirmen’ die Badische Zeitung.”
Denken über Design. Hamburger Papiere zur Designtheorie und -forschung an der HFBK Hamburg. Material 383-01. Hamburg: Materialverlag der HFBK.

Book series design concept: Friedrike Wolf

→ Download PDF (de)