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YEAR: 2008
EXHIBITION VIEW: ESSENCE 2008, Museum for Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna, AUSTRIA
DATE: 27.06. – 13.07. 2008
PHOTOCREDITS: ©Margarete Hottenroth, ©Ruth Mateus-Berr

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Although it is a myth that the first coffeehouse opened in Vienna, tourists still consider it a typical Viennese institution.
Research conducted on the distinctive haptic and olfactory qualities of seven Viennese cafés could not agree on a single prototype. Nevertheless, the research did determine specific aspects of Viennese coffeehouses:
all had a tarnished look, time crept in slow motion (a “sleepy” atmosphere), they were full of similar sounds (the murmur of people, reading, playing cards, talking).
A typical Viennese café is a mellow, flawed place, where time stands still. Waiters slowly shuffle to get orders, and then disappear. It is a place full of the rustling of newspapers, the clattering of plates and bowls from the kitchen, the purr of the coffee machine. Occasionally you hear billiard balls or piano music in the background, drowned out by the noise of intense conversation and patrons shouting for the waiter.
The materials are authentic, if somewhat run-down, and contrast sharply (cold marble and warm plush velvet), providing a pleasant and cozy atmosphere enhanced by dim lighting.

More information

The essence of the studies (WWTF, Vienna Science and Technology Fund) on haptic and olfactory design of coffeehouses in Vienna represents a quarter from the original Zen garden in Japan. Austrian Coffeehouses invite to meditate and relax.

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