The foundation of the project is multi-sector cooperation between Creative Industries Styria and Holzcluster Steiermark. Aiming to convince designers and architects of the qualities and outstanding performance of timber as a work material, we are setting highlights for networking between the two sectors.
With our design competitions and joint events and workshops we are paving the way for exciting products and promising cooperation projects. Working together, we are succeeding in creating a broad-based platform for timber and in opening up new applications, above all in the urban environment.
In 2019 we are organising and orchestrating a competition involving the development of prototypes in wood for the third time running. As the exhibition venue we are using well-frequented areas in the centre of Graz, guaranteeing excellent footfall from passers-by.
In the framework of the competition 24 designers, architects, joiners, carpenters, industrial timber companies, schools, universities and research institutes have teamed up to produce 11 prototypes.
This cooperation has not just offered valuable insights into the daily routine of the project partner and reduce fears about contact, but also has helped to pave the way for promising collaboration between joiners and designers.
The attention of the international media is attracted by the activities taking place in the framework of the month-long Grazer Designmonat and numerous events involving the clever prototypes.
In 2017 timber construction professionals visited Schloss Hollenegg for the first time to attend its première as the venue for the Design Talks. And we are continuing to write this success story in 2019!
Every year this high-calibre event invites business people and designers to meet at the delightful setting of the castle and report about their joint path along the design and development process.
The quality of the design for a product decides whether it will be a success or a failure. This makes architecture and design a key issue, above all where the timber industry is concerned.
To encourage networking between the timber and creative industries and to reduce fears about contact between the two sectors, we have already organised two expert discussions at the invitation of Creative Industries Styria. These events involved four different speakers, who explored aspects of (hybrid) timber construction in their presentations.
In 2017 we issued an invitation to visit the laboratories of holz.bau forschungs gmbh in the framework of this forum. The aim here was to bring together technologies from the timber sector with ideas from the creative industries.
In 2019 we are revisiting this format and are presenting a very special technology that is perfect for digital product design. Based on this innovation we are jointly organising a workshop with Creative Industries Styria to put the most exciting ideas into practice.
At this year’s Designmonat, the month-long festival for design, attendees were invited to Sit Down & Relax. Not at home, but right in the town centre – the urban lounge furniture was just asking to be sat on. Locations in the city were kitted out with street furniture by five home-grown designers and five joineries. During the Designmonat in May their installations tempted visited to linger in the centre of Graz.
As the pace of life and urbanisation speeds up, relaxation is becoming increasingly important – particularly in the city, an environment already felt by many people to be a factor for stress. The expectations of having to be online 24/7 and constantly working was countered here with the opportunity to take time out.
Together with Creative Industries Styria we invited designers and architects to present their ideas for “Urban Lounge Furniture” of the future. The main prerequisite: the use of timber. Wood is a material that has been known to man from the year dot. The five best designs were selected and then built with the help of joineries from Styria.
“Smart Urban Relaxing was an exciting project. This cooperation was a resounding success, with Holzcluster and Creative Industries making a first-class contribution here. A fantastic platform for us!”