Harald Gruendl (* 1967) studied industrial design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 2005 he earned his doctorate in philosophy, in 2009 he completed his habilitation in the theory and history of design. In 1995, along with Martin Bergmann and Gernot Bohmann, he founded the design studio EOOS. EOOS is one of the leading international offices for furniture and industrial design. In 2008 he founded the non-university IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna, which specializes in research and teaching and produces independent theoretical studies with a focus on sustainable design and the history of design. In 2015 Harald Gründl has curated the exhibition “2051: Smart Life in the City” within the Vienna Biennale 2015, Ideas for Change. Currently he is participating “Places for People”, part of the Austrian contribution to the Architecture Biennale in Venice 2016.
The concept of “Social Furniture” has been developed by EOOS design in context of a commission of the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale 2016. A primary care house for refugees in Vienna with up to 600 inhabitants serves as a background to think about an alternative living model. The poetical analysis refers to Thomas More’s good life in “Utopia” (1516). Questions about the minimum standard of living and new models of labour without money require new design strategies combining open design, commons, social design and DIY.
“And while the Utopians adopt all of our useful inventions after the first contact it will be long time before we adopt any of theirs which are better than ours.”
Thomas More, Utopia, 1516