Twenty years of jamming with design

The first all-encompassing retrospective show of the work of Austrian design studio EOOS is on at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna.

Design trio Martin Bergmann, Gernot Bohmann and Harald Gruendl founded EOOS after meeting at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Since then they claim they function like a rock band: designing is like a jamming session, where each of the three adds something to the final product that no one could have done alone. During their 20 years as EOOS they have worked with prestigious brands, including Walter Knoll, Bene and Adidas.

EOOS, the exhibition, offers insight into the design studio's “poetical-analytical” design process. It will take over all 12 areas of the MAK Design Lab. In some of the rooms, EOOS-designed diagrams, models and prototypes feature; in others, the focus is on the collaborative work EOOS has done in other sectors of the art and design world.

The “poetical-analytical” approach, a term EOOS is known to use to describe its methods, is revealed in the many different stages of the design process: revision, modelling, comprehension and development of patents. In the initial stages, EOOS ensures it looks at the history of a project – as well as the contemporary readings – in order to find “the intuitive images, myths and rituals engraved deeply in the human consciousness”.

The exhibition runs at the MAK Design Lab from 28 January until 17 May, 2015. Here is a sample of what's on display:

adidas Originals store, New York, 2002

EOOS was commissioned to develop the shop concept for the adidas Originals product range. They revolutionised the layout of the shop by introducing the rituals of a street market, where everything is moveable and there are no fixed shop fittings. Display areas were used for seating, the cashier's desk became a DJ booth or bar and the store itself transformed into a nightclub. The Originals brand was inspired by the designs of the 50s and 70s. EOOS' flea market concept remembers that yesterday’s merchandise is tomorrow’s trends.

Bull Spike drinking cup for Red Bull, 1997

The Bull Spike drinking cup was created for Red Bull in 1997. EOOS claims that while the mixing and drinking cup brings about a new ritual for the consumer, it also remembers the “ancient idea of the hunter becoming the hunted”. The cup contains a long skewer that the consumer uses to “hunt” and open the Red Bull. But then he must be aware that when he drinks, the spike will be pointed at him. The Bull Spike cup won the Austrian State Prize for Design.

Bite lipstick collection for Bite Beauty, 2011

For the creation of Bite, EOOS conducted a study on how women use lipstick. It is reported that an average woman might ingest up to 3kgs of lipstick in her life. So EOOS developed a lipstick that was good enough to eat, made of organic shea butter, superfoods and food-grade colours. The different caps of the lipsticks mimic the shapes a woman’s favourite lipstick becomes over time and use.

Kitchen Cabinet for Helmut Österreicher

EOOS invited acclaimed chef Helmut Österreicher to select all the kitchen utensils that he would like included in a kitchen tool cabinet. Österreicher laid out his tools on tables in the order he felt useful and this formed the basis of their position in the exhibition cabinet. The result is a unique kitchen tool cabinet, precisely arranged by its user.

The three founding members of EOOS

From left to right: Martin Bergmann, Harald Gruendl and Gernot Bohmann, the three founding members of EOOS. EOOS is named after one of the horses that pulls the chariot of the sun across the sky in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”.

Exhibition view

Included in the EOOS exhibition at MAK are various occasional tables, standardised products and models designed between 2010 and 2013.
EOOS' lighted range hood for Bulthaup b2, 2010, with a 15th-century three-legged pot from Northern Italy.

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