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VIENNA INSIGHT by publisher Karin Sawetz June 2010
Karin Sawetz is journalist, media researcher and fashion scientist (Mag. Dr. phil.).

Vienna design report

On 1 June 2010, I have met the artist and designer Gottfried Palatin on occasion of the opening of an exhibition at the table culture house 'Stamm' in Vienna.

fig.: original

'Stamm' collects works of artists and designers around the theme table culture (glass, porcelain, textiles) and exhibits them regularly under the title 'Stammgast' at the store nearby the promenade 'Graben' on Petersplatz (view the Fashionoffice map).

Some of the pieces look at the first sight traditionally, but you can reveal on a closer look that selected elements are just citations of tradition; they are developed from a new way of thinking 'culture'. Such as you can see on the first picture on this page, which shows Gottfried Palatin in front of one of his collections; the glass standing nearest to him is a beer glass with handle. The design of the whole collection has a very common form but is produced in an exclusive work-process. Palatin told me that especially this glass is the favorite of the ones who are crafting these products by hand. It is rare that beer glasses are part of such an exclusive collection like the one you can see here; its name is 'Otto'.

On our way through the store, Gottfried Palatin has told me about the origin of the profession 'designer', when artists began to name themselves 'designers' and when the word became common for creators of products such as porcelain, fashion, interior, etc. Palatin remembers that the exhibition about Achille Castiglion at the MAK in the mid-80ies was an initial event for the usage of the word 'design' in Vienna.

Gottfried Palatin shows me two other collections; both names are Hebrew: Ahawah (means 'love') and Samira ('diamond').

I asked him: "So you would say that design unifies beauty, function and can be experienced on a spiritual level too? Is it right that this spiritual level can even be linked with the 'Real World' such as an social project with the Ahawah collection?"

Gottfried Palatin: "For me, a good design product has to get a right balance between functionality and a beautiful form. Sometimes its luck, when there is an additional element. The Samira and Ahawah collections, which I created for the glass manufactory Theresienthal, focus on the support of the great project Ahawah in Berlin. This gave me the possibility to apply the further dimensions spirituality and social interaction to the objects."

Gottfried Palatin continues: "This fascinating project was founded by the first female Jewish cantor Avitall Gerstetter. Her vision is an international academy for students from around the world with different religious backgrounds on the place of the former girl-orphanage in the area of the synagogue in Berlin Mitte during the 1930s to 40s. At this academy young people can meet, study and exchange ideas without borders. They can learn and live the quality of tolerance. The financial means to restore the building and start this project is also supported by the sale of special products of some famous German manufacturers like Meissen, Robbe & Berking and Theresienthal.

My Theresienthal glass collection Samira is made with a diamond-cut ('diamond' means in Hebrew 'Samira') and the engraved decor on the cup and the bottle of the Ahawah collection was inspired from the facade-ornament of the former building of the Ahawah home in Berlin."

Source: Original article with images on


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