Fundus Sophienspital

Klaus Kodydek, Eva Maria Mair, Clara Rosa Rindler-Schantl

On the occasion of the imminent reconstruction of the former Sophienspital, the project – realized during the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK – formed a subtle protest directed against the ‘business as usual’ in the construction industry. The installation provoked a change of perspective on building materials, which usually degenerate into waste.

In Vienna, over 400 buildings are demolished every year; exact figures are not known and construction sites usually blend into our everyday urban landscape. Also, the Sophienspital, until 2017 a medical centre and in 2018 the location of the festival VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, has reached the end of its use after only 19 years of existence. The work of three Social Design alumni – Clara Rosa Rindler-Schantl, Eva Maria Mair and Klaus Kodydek – took a stand on the currently often short-term lifecycles of buildings and opened up potentials for a possible reuse of existing material resources.

The project Fundus Sophienspital was a subtle protest directed against common practices in the construction industry. It provoked a change of perspective on building materials by accessing existing resources of the Sophienspital, such as slats, tiles or windows, which usually degenerate into waste in the course of conventional remodelling and demolition work. By highlighting such elements all over the festival centre, the installation allowed for a different understanding of their value, giving insights in potentials of re-use.

Moreover, the project brought up the question of how we, as society, deal with the knowledge of finite resources in the building sector. Although today, more than ever, we know about the effects of our actions and that the quantities of waste generated by the construction industry have reached alarming dimensions, ‘business as usual’ is still common practice. It loops routines and disrupts necessary new paths.

A video/audio installation by the Social Design alumnus Sebastian Kraner exposing the simultaneous fascination for alleged progress on the one hand and destruction on the other, showed the urgency of renegotiating common values in the building industry.

Sebastian Kraner


Phillip Podesser


September 2018
Team: Klaus Kodydek
Eva Maria Mair
Clara Rosa Rindler-Schantl
Sebastian Kraner (Video)
Jakob Brix (Grafik)