A retrospective exhibition of work by Austrian designers mischer‘traxler has arrived in Perth. This includes LeveL, shown first at the 2016 London Design Biennale.
November 29th, 2016
Austrian designers Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler are the creative pair behind mischer‘traxler studio who are currently in Australia to exhibit their work and take up a residency at The Goods Shed by FORM. Driven by conceptual thinking and experimentation, their playful yet poetic projects provoke audience interaction and evoke unexpected reactions.
Mischer and Traxler met in 2003 while studying product and furniture design at NDC St. Pölten and later at Kingston University London and Design Academy Eindhoven. “We always talked about each other’s projects and discussed options and in the summer breaks we worked together on experiments and projects. After we graduated it felt very normal to continue working together,” the pair explain.
In September this year they exhibited a kinetic and interactive installation at the London Design Biennale, exploring the theme of ‘utopia by design.’ Rather than inventing a new utopia, Mischer and Traxler wanted to visualise their way of seeing utopia. “To us utopia is a big interconnected system that has to be in perfect balance and is nearly impossible to achieve. Each part of the system has to fulfil its own element, while it is also very fragile to influences from outside or from within.” To represent this they created LeveL: the fragile balance of Utopia?, a huge light mobile constructed of 63 interconnected rods with a light source and light shade at each end. “When everything is in perfect balance the installation has the highest illumination, but as soon the elements tilt or move they dim and the illumination lessens. So on one hand the utopia gets less bright, but the installation becomes more vivid and alive. You can also see how much effect one small element has on a bigger system. And honestly now seeing the piece in The Goods Shed it feels like we made it for the venue.”
Various other projects will also be on display as part of mischer’traxler’s first Australian exhibition, LeveL and volumes. Presenting an overview of the designers’ major projects and broader methodology, the exhibition is built up of four ‘volumes’ of work that Mischer and Traxler describe as “interesting and re-occurring elements” of their projects. This includes the Curiosity Cloud chandelier, which interprets the interaction between mankind and nature; Reversed Volumes, a collection of bowls that are shaped by capturing the imprint of a fruit or vegetable; and Relumine, formed with discarded lamps adapted with newer technology and connected by a fluorescent tube.
The exhibition opened on 25 November, after which Katharina and Thomas take up a two-week residency and workshop in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. From this residency, they will develop a new project to be exhibited at The Goods Shed in 2017. “We are very curious how it will trigger our imaginations,” the designers explain. “The vegetation is completely different than in Europe and the ground/soil is very old and therefore erosion and the influences of water and wind are very present. This is already quite striking. Nevertheless we first want to see and experience, and then understand what can be developed. So a lot of thinking and walking is ahead of us.”
LeveL and volumes is on display at The Goods Shed in Perth until 31 January 2017.
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