3rd November 2017
An interview with Florian Gerer. Because he’s got a really good answer for so many of our questions. And we want to share that.
What does urban space mean?
Urban space is the space where everyone meets, regardless of their social class, nationality, gender and so on. It is actually the most important space for a wide variety of events.
What does it mean to play in urban space – and what is so special about it?
The design of this space is usually taken over by a particular social class and is regularly determined by others. Adverts are tolerated but street art isn’t. Mostly there is clear judgement on what may and may not be included in high culture. What is interesting about urban space, however, is precisely this often missed opportunity for different people to gain access to art, especially people who are deterred by elitist cultural spaces and therefore don’t go to galleries or museums. The hype is generally less in public areas – it is simply about art and its representation. What is the point of art if people don’t get to see it?
What is your approach to urban design?
Quite modest. There would be a lot of very nice spaces that are good to design. Look at all the electrical boxes. But it’s prohibited everywhere. You have to overcome a lot of hurdles in order to be able to do anything. I was lucky that Feldkirch was so motivated that I could implement my project and also that these walls actually belong to the city. Life can be dull so why not make much more art freely accessible to people?! We have to become more sensitive again to the beautiful things and appreciate everyday life. There’s always criticism about how people lose themselves in their smart phones, but if there’s nothing more interesting to see in real life, then people look to other things for help. Instragram, Pinterest and Co are booming, so in principle there is interest for art and design. Unfortunately, almost every artistic expression is transported somewhere where nobody sees it. Adverts, however, are omnipresent and imposed upon us visually in public space. Money makes the world go round. I recommend reading Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench.
What influences a city? How does your city influence you?
For me, a city is influential when its focus is not only on high culture. All the more so if it not only perceives its subcultural treasures, but also promotes them. Art in public spaces costs the artist. Many use money from their own pockets to do something for the public and rarely do they get any money back. But it’s not just about financial problems. There’s a lack of space, especially straightforward spaces, which can actually be used by different people. There’s a lot on offer, culturally, but it usually appeals only to a very specific clientele. On the other hand, I also seem to move in similar structures. Every now and then I try to do the balancing act between subculture and high culture, but then I feel more at ease on the street skateboarding and taking photos.
30th October 2017
What is Studio SAAL actually doing in Pulverturm? Quite a lot, quite elaborately. We spoke to two architects who wanted to do more than simply build houses. Some of their answers can be found here.
© Lukas Pankraz Mähr
Who is actually Studio SAAL ?
SAAL comes from the term, “sarl”, one of the first words for “house”. Since 2016, SAAL has been a studio for architecture, founded by Solveig Furu Almo and Lukas Pankraz Mähr. It’s a place for gathering, a place where projects are developed: for people, but moreover with people.
Does architecture work without people?
No. And conversely, people often only get together in places of architecture. The heart of every home is the place where people meet. Projects that are particularly close to our hearts are therefore those that demonstrate a high quality of human cooperation. For us, quality means more than simply using high quality material; it also means a respectful and clever approach to the place and environment, establishing practical potential uses and, not least, genuinely sound interaction with people.
How useful is interim use?
Generally speaking, we don’t really like the term “interim”. The discussion about interim uses is omnipresent and justified. However, temporary use need not be characterised as being interim to other uses. Every building has its epochs, phases and uses. And generally, every abandoned property contradicts the purpose of a building.
So you are against abandoned properties?
Buildings simply shouldn’t be empty and become derelict, but should be used. We see our task firmly anchored where the previous use of a building doesn’t work anymore or is outdated. Sometimes, such buildings need repeated re-use in order to live up to themselves and the standards of their time. For this reason, architecture is also there to adapt buildings so they are useful again.
What about Pulverturm specifically?
Quite simply, you just have to see it. Our installation takes place in the attic, which in our opinion is architecturally outstanding. Here you can best see the actual age of the building, and the building design of its time of origin. The twelve-sided pavilion roof with central supports and fan-shaped design holds particular beauty, the reinforcement of which we have managed with extensive mirroring. This mirroring is also the ideal basis for light installations. Visitors can, from a hammock, see through light into mirrored fields of space and atmosphere, creating an almost meditative ambience.
How is such an installation achievable at all?
It’s not easy. Two teams cancelled on us because they didn’t feel up to such a daring task. In the end, with Manuel Schwald we had found someone who could achieve the seemingly impossible in an impressive way. Without his commitment, the realisation of this project would never have been possible.
2nd October 2017
© Magdalena Türtscher
© Magdalena Türtscher
Shortly before POTENTIALe 2016, a strange construction was built in Reichenfeld. It wasn’t Feldhotel. Many locals and festival visitors could remember that, and it had looked different. It had been bigger, and looked more like a house, a wandering one, that could later be found in Lustenau and then even in the middle of the town. No, this was different. It was round, like a football. Inside it was hollow, light and mobile. It was a temporary cinema for silent films.
“Appreciating something different” makes a difference for a town. Suddenly, residents and visitors spring into action and think about the town and its everyday culture. POTENTIALe has repeatedly focused on cultural formats that are intended to stimulate participation in urban development. These projects don’t generate short-term hype, but grow slowly and involve local forces and resources.
The “Stummfilmkino” 2016 was communicated and used as public space in the town – as a so-called meeting zone. Similar to Feldhotel before it, this project should not simply disappear without a trace, but carry on in the long term – in Feldkirch, in the region and in Vorarlberg. This is the meaning of sustainability.
... and continues to work.
After POTENTIALe 2016 finished, the silent film cinema remained in Reichenfeld for two months and once again clarified that space can be provided for interested people, without strict prohibitions and surveillance – and this space can be used accordingly. In the lunch break, in youthful exchange, for curious children and parents or simply as a roof over your head: the silent film cinema didn’t want to leave. However, with the right request for further use, movement came to the ball and brought it to the market town of Nenzing. Together with Sapa, the object was taken on, dismantled and rebuilt as part of a youth project. There it is still being used as a public area in a public area.
12th September 2017
© Magdalena Türtscher
© Magdalena Türtscher
POTENTIALe has been nominated. Or rather, everything that makes POTENTIALe emotionally appealing. The appearance of our festival is going through the final judging of AdWin 2017, the Vorarlberg advertising prize, on 21st September 2017. And credit goes to Magdalena Türtscher. She is one of the people who have significantly influenced the appearance and development of POTENTIALe. Since 2013, the owner of “Magma – Büro für Gestaltung und Kommunikation” has been the authoritative art director of our project. From Folder to Photography to Signage, she is the one who has given POTENTIALe its unmistakable, powerful lettering and style.
In 2015 she submitted two of her works to AdWin for the first time – and was promptly given a nomination and an award in print communication. In Magdalena Türtchers entries, we find many of our own concerns, and perhaps the root of the success of our teamwork is here. Because nothing leads to higher-quality results than the mutual encouragement of ambitious ideas.
In 2016, the corporate design for POTENTIALe 2016 was created – a graphical stage for the most diverse content. Equally clear and reserved as it was extraordinary and striking, it was individually applicable without losing its recognition value. And, moreover, it was dedicated to sustainability.
In 2017 we recall the high standards of POTENTIALe. And we are continuing our work: by being the unique thing for which we created a framework.
22nd September 2017
Style doesn’t have to be beautiful. We know that. You can play with beautiful and ugly. However, style is always clear. And the detail is important, because style only shows itself when everything comes together, right down to the last detail.
That is why stylish design is everything: playful, clear and with a love for detail. It’s not without reason that the corporate design for the POTENTIALe festival has won AdWin 2017 with precisely these (fulfilled) criteria. Strictly speaking, Magdalena Türtscher won AdWin with her corporate design. It’s playful and clear with a love for detail, and, most notably, it’s beautiful. Haptic, unique in its material design, and clear in its communication. This is exactly how we want to be and this is where we move forward from.
This year, typography is not only a visual characteristic of our corporate design; it is also part of the content. We recall how much continuity and, at the same time, potential for development typography enables, perhaps as the clearest form of visual communication. We celebrate typography and Magdalena Türtscher and the year 2017, which is a good start for a festival.