LeveL—the fragile balance of utopia

mischer’traxler studio, LeveL – the fragile balance of utopia, 2016 © mischer’traxler studio/Photo: Simon Scherrer

A mischer’traxler studio installation at the MAK

In their installation LeveL—the fragile balance of utopia of utopia, designers mischer’traxler studio (Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler) analyze the bipolarity of utopia as a complex construct of individual and social ideals: a fragile system as a balancing act that takes into account the needs of both individuals and crowds. 

For their large-scale installation LeveL, mischer’traxler studio make use of the metaphor of a mobile as a model for the utopia, that simultaneously functions as a chandelier. The hanging object only generates its full radiance in a state of equilibrium. Every movement in the room, whether caused by visitors, a draft of air or vibrations, is transformed in the object and thus in the luminescence of the object. The intensity of the light also fluctuates as long as the structure is in a state of imbalance. LeveL is an interactive installation that invites visitors to reflect on the many factors, including themselves, that can transform ideal systems into dystopias.

Moreover, the poetic and playful nature of the installation relies on design’s essential and increasingly important role as an intercultural mediator. Abstracting the complex theme of utopia within an object addressing both people’s emotions and senses will open up various levels of access for visitors, regardless of age or background. Play and contemplation will facilitate identification with their own sociocultural ideas of utopia without patronizing visitors.

mischer’traxler studio (Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler)

LeveL—the fragile balance of utopia, developed by mischer’traxler studio in cooperation with the MAK (Curator: Thomas Geisler) as Austrian contribution for the London Design Biennale 2016, will be presented for the first time in Austria in the context of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017. The Austrian contribution for the London Design Biennale 2016 was organized on behalf of the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria by Austria Design Net, with support from the Austrian Economic Chambers and the Austrian Cultural Forum London.

Concept and Production: mischer’traxler studio
Team: Elisa Polner, Maria Bauhofer, Theresa Ohm, Benedikt Steiner
Electro-technical Development: Simon Laburda / DKIA

Austrian commissioner for the London Design Biennale 2016: Thomas Geisler, MAK
Organization: Austria Design Net
Supporting Partner: Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria, Austrian Economic Chambers/go international, Austrian Cultural Forum London

Project coordination MAK: Marlies Wirth, Curator Digital Culture and Design Collection, MAK
Assistance: Ivana Andrejic, MAK Design Collection 


MAK, Stubenring 5
1010 Vienna

Tue 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Wed-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free admission on Tuesdays from 6-10 p.m.

21.06. – 01.10.



We use cookies to make our website as user-friendly as possible, to enable us to offer social media features, and to analyze the traffic on our website.