W Insiders – Exclusive Insider Interview with Mischer’Traxler

From the 18th until the 30th of October, we had the Designers of the future exposition at the W Barcelona hotel:


W Insiders – Pamela interviews Mischer’Traxler team (Katharina Mischer & Thomas Traxler)

When did your passion for design start?

Actually the longer we studied the more we got passionate about it. The more we found out what design is and means for us and what it can be, the more we got interested in it.

How did you start working together?

We met at the University in Austria in 2003 and in the first summer holidays we did two projects together – just for fun. Since then we actually always discussed each other’s projects and we found out that we complement each other really well and moreover that we share the same goals.

Do you only work in team or you also do solo works?

We do mostly all projects together, as they become much better within the collaboration.

Where are you settled and where do you normally exhibit your projects?

Our studio is based in Vienna, but we exhibited already in quite many places. Our work is on show in galleries, museums, other exhibitions as well as on Design Festivals.

For how long have you been practicing?

Officially we started our studio in 2009 after we graduated, but we realised already a few projects together before that.

Who or what influences your work? Anyone you look up to?

Our work is surely influenced by new media art and design in general. Strangely enough we also find quite a lot of inspiration in an economy magazine, which has a really interesting few on the connection of the world.
Of course there are some designers and artists we look up to and admire them for several reasons or how they work, but we have not one particular idol.

What do you think of the W Hotels Designers of the Future Program? Do you consider it a good platform for rising designers like both of you?

For us it was and is a really good and helpful platform to present our work to a very selective and critical audience. We had really good and interesting discussions and also the chance to present ourselves.

In this year’s Designers of the future the theme was interaction/communication, we have had the honor to expose three of your pieces themed on this subject, could you explain us a little bit of each?

It takes more than one – mirror:

Through conversation with others, one is able to discover oneself. This was the starting point to develop a mirror which visualizes that self reflection requires interaction with others.
‘It takes more than one’ is a mirror which is just working if more than one person is standing in front of it. The mirror appears just white if one looks at it alone, but as soon as another person is joining, it becomes reflective and shows both persons in the mirror.

colletive works – machine
‘Collective works’ is a production process which is just fully functioning when people pay attention to the producing machine. Reacting to its audience, the process translates the flow of people into an object. The resulting outcome varies in colour and size just like the level of interest is varying during the time of production.

Every spectator leaves a mark on the object and therefore each basket becomes an unique record of the people’s interest in the object’s production. A basket – a vessel used to collect something becomes a collection of data by itself. If nobody is interested in the project, it stops producing at all and the final object just does not get made. This can be seen as ‘production on interest’.

relumine – lamps

‘Relumine’ are light objects, that consists of two, discarded lamps, which are disassembled, sanded, newly lacquered and adapted with newer technology, before they are connected by a glass tube which holds a fluorescent tube.
By introducing a different mean of light source to the old lamps, their look and feel changes completely. They become one new unit, each with its own characters and together these two lamps need less energy than each one in its previous life.

Do you have any future projects?

These days we are showing our work in Berlin with a Gallery of Vienna and we just finished a project for a gallery in Turin. Next to that we are working on two new projects for the next spring.

How did you end up in this program?

We got nominated by someone (unfortunately we were never told by whom) and after a look at our portfolio of work, an international jury of design experts and designers decided that we are one of the three award-winners. We are really happy about it, as we got positive recognition about our work and it gives us a great feedback to continue in our way of working.

How do you think these three pieces indentify with the W Living Room?

We tried to create work that would bring people together so that they could share the same experiences and start talking to each other, especially strangers. We feel the W Living Rooms are trying to achieve that as well.

What’s your opinion/vision about the Barcelona design scene? Have you exhibited here before?

The Barcelona Design scene seems really vivid to us and the whole city is really alive. We exhibited in May at the Otrascosas de Villarrosàs in Barcelona and had the feeling that really a lot of people are interested in design and also care about it.

Any Barcelona/Spanish designers you would recommend?

There are a lot of international recognised and famous designers like Tomas Alonso, Jordi Canudas, Marti Guixe, el ultimo grito, luis eslava studio, who are from Barcelona and Spain, so we think it is really hard to recommend just one.