Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Meeting Joan Sallas and Lots of Paper

Last Friday was the last time we attended the Vienna Design Week. And what a glorious finale it was! After work we rushed to the Project Space of the "Kunsthalle am Karlsplatz" to attend a lecture of Joan Sallas. The lecture took place in the Project Space which served as a workshop for paper designers during the Vienna Design Week.

I am glad I brought my camera. Since they did not start on time, there was still time to take a close look at another designer's work:

Similar to the Design Night at the Museum of Applied Arts a few days earlier I did not really get it what it was about. But, in contrast to the Design Night I enjoyed this visit:

Did I already tell you I LOVE paper? My love for paper is probably one reason I started scrapping cards this summer, age 38. :-)

Here you can see the rear of the room, where the lecture was held. First guests are already seated.
They are collecting confettis, punched from office paper or any kind of paper. Donations are welcome.

I could not help but just enjoy what I saw.

Then they sort the confettis, create groups and families and finally ...

... archive the confettis. The project is calles "Confetti Hotel"

Then Joan Sallas entered the stage. He started with his analysis of Mona Lisa's folded sleeves.
The reason the lecture took place in the paper-workshop is this: Folded napkins always had their origin in folded paper, prototypes and studies. Joan is of course also a master of Origami!

This was science!

I had no idea that the Renaissance and Baroque were "folding times."

We have never heard of him until the Design Week. He is known for his unique folding skills. Little was known about the techniques. Only drawings remained from the ancient times since a folded napkin is something ephemeral by nature.

Here you can see a table cloth! Really, no kidding!!
The stage were actually pallets.

We asked Joan how one could serve a plate on such a table, he explained it to us: They folded mountains and but them on the table. Then the guests arrived, admired the folded creation and it was flattened so the dinner could be served.

And they also folded birds, fish, lions and many more sculptures out of napkins. Since the dresses were really voluminous back then, they needed large napkins. About 4 x 3 feet large. You can fold quite something out of this size.

One reason they started folding was also because the large napkin looked like a bed-sheet when layed on the plate in front of you. So they turned the huge napkin into something everyone would admire. And the reason all those pieces of art were white? Was simply to proof it is clean and "safe" to use.

WHOEVER PLANS TO VISIT VIENNA UNTIL JANUARY 23 must visit this exhibition:
Folded Beauty. Joan Sallas folded many pieces of art which are exhibited there.

Meanwhile other things are going on in Vienna, like the completion of a construction site. I pictured it in April here.

Vienna finally got a bit of this Omote-Sando feeling! Trees and structured facades.

Since the posting went down the not-so-shallow-route, I end with this picture, showing how Viennese like to spend their free time:


Next time I will show you some mountains in the south of Vienna.


  1. How interesting! Can't believe that is done with napkins, amazing!

  2. Very beautiful, all those folds.

  3. Oh you lucky creature, to have such interesting lectures in your life! I'm so glad you brought your camera so I/we can share the joy.

    I have really enjoyed your Vienna Design series, so in return I have a little present. You may have have seen it before....

    [Wouldn't it be embarrassing for me if you've already mentioned it here, ha?]


  4. that building does have an omote sando feel to it doesn't it?!
    i wish we had mega zara here.
    but then im also glad we dont.
    i think the appeal lies in the fact its harder to get.

    i cant believe all the paper creations!
    i can only make an origami crane!

  5. So cool! Great Vienna posts!!


  6. please excuse my really late response!

    Blighty, the audience was surprised as well!

    Lisa, isn't it great that there actually is a man out there right now, devoting his live to this beauty!

    Vix, thank you for the present! This is nice, that you enjoyed the Design Week via internet. I recently splurged into/with Erno Laszlo skin care products. Did you know they are meant to be organized neatly! I am so sure, the lining up in a row in front of the bathroom mirror is part of thee ritual! :-D

    Cotton, I can comfort you: the display looks as if there is a HUGE Zara inside, it actually only fills 2 storeys, half of the floors. The rest is electronics, hair dressers, supermarket, perfumerie, other brands .... Nethertheless the relaunch of the facade is pleasing. You can make a crane? Respect! When I do it, the beak always ends up awry after all the folding.

    Eddiem Jathann thank you once more for reading my posting. I have been thinking about you the moment Mr. Sallas presented the folded tableclothes. I hope he visits the US soon, so you can meet him IRL.