ViennaOpen 2015 – Pleasure Maximum
A Festival for Open Design and an Open City

The fourth festival in a row, this year’s ViennaOpen puts an emphasis on OpenData, OpenDesign and OpenArchitecture. Another focus is placed on Otto Neurath and visual politics for smart citizens. This year’s festival is, like Otto Neurath 100 years ago, in search of the “Pleasure Maximum“. ViennaOpen covers recent collaborations and projects from the areas of cultural- and creative industries as well as hacktivism tactics and new critical theory.


Pleasure Maximum and Open Data
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Viennese economist Otto Neurath was already looking for ways of measuring the optimum of individual consumption known as the “Pleasure Maximum“. Today better known as the “bliss point“, Pleasure Maximum is the quantity of consumption where any further increase would make the consumer less satisfied)
For Neurath, the reaching of an individual Pleasure Maximum was not a question of maximum consumption. Rather, Pleasure Maximum could best be reached through self-empowerment and participation in a political decision making process. By inventing the statistical visual language ISOTYPE, Neurath managed to explain complicated inter-relations to a broad audience. Neurath’s goal was to enable workers and citizens to engage in every day life. His method and approach makes Neurath an OpenData pioneer. Today the ViennaOpen Festival tries to bring Otto Neurath’s ideas and strategies in to the 21th century.

OpenData and Smart Citizen
Education and visualization of complex inter-relations and connections are a common interest of the global OpenData movement. Like Otto Neurath’s austromarxist approach of empowerment and active involvement of citizens, ViennaOpen tries to link OpenData to adult education an the city planing processes. A core aspect of the digital agenda is that with digitalisation of public services, more people can be involved in co-creating their cities and participate in decision making processes. A Smart City must not become a pure technological and cold utopia, but could be conceived as a lively urban area with involved and smart citizens. The ViennaOpen Festival presents and shows the methods and tools of data gathering and data analytics needed to interact and co-design a city.
Smart Citizen – OpenDesign & OpenArchitecture
Within the ViennaOpen Festival, the Vienna Smart Citizen Lab (VSCL) will be presented and opened. The VSCL is a self-empowerment and self-education lab for all. The Lab is a place where all participants work and search for new methods and tools (like sensors) to interact with the city and its citizen. Exploratory new approaches and new theories, like participatory design within the field of OpenDesign and OpenArchitecture, will be tested and evaluated.
The Festival is also a framework to explore and present new ways of social distribution of products and collaboration. Disruptive Innovation and OpenDesign are also an essential part of the program. Projects and practices from real life in the area of design, architecture and the maker movement will be presented and debated. All interested citizens will be welcomed to take part in discussions, lectures and workshops and help create smarter citizens.

OpenDesign – Pleasure Maximum
Open designing processes are not only signifying creative work but are also a crucial part in the digitalisation of public services, the ideas of open governments and participatory city planing. These ideas and basic approaches are strongly supported by OpenData. The key issues for the ViennaOpen Festival are: what are the instruments of participation and which methods of self-empowerment and education should be cultivated?
The recently adopted Smart City Strategy of Vienna is a milestone for the Vienna City. It lays out the strategic framework until the year of 2050 for the Vienna City government and its administration. Basic approaches and methods of self-empowerment will be examined and the idea of the smart citizen will be joined with the idea of citizen science. The ViennaOpen Festival 2015 seeks good fortune – the Pleasure Maximum for all!

ViennaOpen Festival 2015 – Dates

Part 1: Opening and outlook
9th and 10th of April: Main Focus OpenData and Smart Citizen

Part 2: Opening of Vienna’s Smart Citizen Lab (VSCL)
18th, 19th and 20th of June: Main Focus Smart Citizen Lab

Part 3: Summer School of Data
Juli and August 2015:  Main Focus Collection and analysis of Open Data

Part4: Exhibition and Final Show ViennaOpen 2015
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th of September 2015: Main Focus OpenDesign & OpenArchitecture


Smart City – Smart Citizen

ViennaOpen 2015 tries to combine all of Otto Neurath’s three approaches. OpenData, Empowerment and Smart Citizen are the tree main concepts that make Otto Neurath still  relevant in the 21th century. All tree of his approaches will be covered by ViennaOpen though lectures, projects, workshops and exhibitions.

All activities of the ViennaOpen Festival follow these principles:
Connecting Ideas and Projects: The approach successfully tested in 2014, that is to connect different projects, players and initiatives under the same topic will be pursued. The main object is to connect the maker movement with other actors and create a common ground and common strategies for the Smart City and Smart Citizens.
Initiating Projects: trough many participants and a high number of visitors, ViennaOpen tries to kick off new projects like CitySDK and for Vienna
Showing Processes: Open Data and digitalisation of common public services is a matter of participation and empowerment of all citizens. OpenData, and in particular open governmental data are an important milestone for better public services. Combining the approaches of Otto Neurath and his ISOTYPE toolset with new technologies and methods, new participatory process could be designed transparently and open for all citizens.

VIENNA OPEN is a platform to discuss the idea of OpenDesign, open source and open knowledge especially in the fields of data and information, code and hardware, fashion and sound as well as product design. The festival VIENNA OPEN is also serving as a venue for various workshops and lectures about the subjects of Visible Data, Open Organization, Open Design, Open Structures, Open Fashion and Open Sound. By exploring case studies and providing hands-on workshops, VIENNA OPEN tries to fathom both the open philosophy as a means of co-creation as well as providing space for applied projects and practical experience. The venue is open to the public, students and designers who are also invited to contribute to an OpenDesign Festival.
Gerin Trautenberger