Schloss Hollenegg:
A Fairytale by Design

by Fabrizio Mifsud Soler.
Castle Image by Schloss Hollenegg, Leonhard Hilzensauer

Every year during Design Month Graz, an exhibition is hosted on the grounds of Schloss Hollenegg; a captivating 12th century castle in the Styria region of Austria. Here, young designers present new, many of which especially commissioned, design projects to the public within the rich historical setting of the castle state rooms and grounds.

Since 2015, Schloss Hollenegg for Design scouts promising designers, and invites them to submit an object which is conceptual and research oriented to investigate or illustrate the theme of its annual exhibition.

In 2023, for its eighth design exhibition ASHES & SAND, Schloss Hollenegg’s designers investigated glass; exploring the vast possibilities of the material’s potential uses, techniques and innovations. Historically, the area around Hollenegg was particularly shaped by the politics and economics of glass manufacturing and commerce until the industrial revolution decimated local craft.

Morphosis exhibition_ph.Federico_Florian

Morphosis exhibition. Federico Florian.

Risen from the Ashes by Tadeas Podracky for Ashes & Sand, Schloss Hollenegg for Design

A Guide for Young and Emerging Artists

Oz Lamp by Luca Gruber for Ashes & Sand, Schloss Hollenegg for Design

Curated by Founder Alice Stori Liechtenstein, together with Rainald Franz, Curator of Glass & Ceramics at the MAK in Vienna, ASHES & SAND featured works by twenty-five designers, including five from the program’s annual design residency, in conversation with three centuries of historic glass work embedded in the fabric of the castle. From everyday objects to unique artworks, the projects on show displayed the incredible diversity of glass in terms of use, production technique and style. Mirrors, lamps and vases but also drinking fountains, and fibreglass textiles were moulded, melted, blown or 3D printed.

Since 2015, Schloss Hollenegg’s residency program is open to all designers below the age of thirty-five, with at least three years working experience as designers and a strong conceptual portfolio. The designers work during their residency within the context of a given theme and a specific room; they are free to explore mediums and styles but should let themselves be inspired by the history and the objects of Schloss Hollenegg. The combination of tradition with innovation is an important point of the program; it is also a strong part of the Austrian tradition. The projects, fruit of the residencies, are then presented in the May exhibition each year. They are given special relevance by being shown in the rooms for which they were conceived.

Ashes and Sand, Katie Stout

Off Course by Germans Ermičs for Ashes & Sand, Schloss Hollenegg for Design

Converging Aeons by Barry Llewelyn for Ashes & Sand, Schloss Hollenegg for Design

The summer design residency of 2023, taking place in July in partnership with Dutch Invertuals, will turn its attention to wood, exploring the woodland around the castle to produce contextual work investigating the balance between humans and nature for Schloss Hollenegg’s 2024 exhibition Woodland.

Discover more on:

Stolzle Shards by Johanna Pichlbauer for Ashes & Sand, Schloss Hollenegg for Design

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