Katharina Mischer (1982) and Thomas Traxler (1981) form Studio mischer‘traxler. Based in Vienna they develop and design products, furniture, installations and more, with a focus on experiments, context and conceptual thinking.
Balancing between hand craft and technology, they envision whole systems, processes and new production methods that indicate sustainability and the relevance of nature. Part of their Design process is to examine, experiment, analyse and reject. This critical view often questions and affects the relation between producer, object and owner. “Why and what for” are often the main concerns before a new project comes into being, whilst “What if” ceases in new interpretations and different possibilities. Their Results often make use of unexpected materials and are often characterized by external inputs, for example the condition of the weather or the usage of the existing.
1/ Can you introduce yourself?
Hello, we are Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler and together we form mischer’traxler. We have our studio in Vienna and there we work in the broad field of Design. We have a rather open approach towards creating our projects. Therefore our results range from very small to rather big – from objects for serial production to large-scale kinetic installations. Sometimes we rethink production processes and other times we try to use what is already there. We balance a lot between handcraft and technology and we like that.
.2/ How do you define design?
“Design has to make sense in the given context” – This is more or less our credo. We are not sure if these are famous words and we forgot who said it, or if we slowly formulated them for ourselves. For us it combines all our thoughts on design. It is really important to take the context into consideration in order to come up with a fitting result. Who asks, for what, for whom, for where and why?
3/ Must design necessarily be functional?
We define “functionality” in a quite broad way. For us also communication has a certain functionality – since it can trigger discussion, it can make people think about a certain topic or it can raise specific questions. For us these aspects are also a form of functionality.
4/ What do you dream of designing?
We really enjoy working in new scales or in new directions and there are so many things that we have not done yet. At the moment we dream a bit about working on some sort of scenography for contemporary ballet/theatre or to go into the matter of algae as a material but as well as energy source. Let’s see if something in that direction will happen sooner or later….
5/ Your next project?
Currently we are very close to finish three permanent kinetic installations for an old people´s home in Vienna. The projects started in 2012 – so we are very happy that they will finally be finished. It is two outdoor yards with plants and water-sieves being pulled up and down in a choreography. During the Salone in Milan a new bigger version of our “day by day” rug for Nodus will be presented.