The sector incorporates furniture, lighting, tableware and home textiles. The Austrian furniture industry consists of 3,200 companies, primarily joiners and carpenters. Their contribution to Austrian economic output (0.7%) is only exceeded by the Baltic States at EU level and is the highest in Western Europe.
Over the last few years, Austria has produced many furniture designers and manufacturers who are currently taking the world by storm. Here, there are many parallels to the start of the 20th century when the "Wiener Werkstätte" attracted international attention. Like it did then, Austria also has its finger on the pulse today with pioneering innovations.
Furniture, tableware and lighting from Austria are attracting great interest at international level. The sector regularly receives the most renowned design awards, the iF Gold Award, the Red Dot Award and the German Design Award, thus promoting its outstanding image.
With the values compass "Made in Austria", Austria's interior sector is setting trendsetting specifications for high quality, traditional craftsmanship, state-of-the-art precision technology and ecological responsibility in furniture design that has been created by artistic movements in Austria.
Austria is a country with great skilled trades, high-quality products and different external influences and thus has everything that good design needs. International trends are taken up by Austrian designers; in addition to this, however, regional inspirations are also important. That is what makes Austrian design unique.
The example of office furniture
Corporate structures and work processes are rapidly changing in today's age. Flexible offices, different work zones, open-space facilities offering a haven for retreat and areas to relax have to be taken into consideration in contemporary workplace concepts. Austrian suppliers of office furniture are at the very forefront here and are setting trends. One of the internationally leading companies from Austria combines 225 years of quality tradition with innovation and prize-winning design and has 80 sites in 37 countries.
Eco-design (also called ecological design or sustainable design) is a separate design discipline that is very important in Austria and that also plays a decisive role in furniture design. The goal of eco-design is to achieve the maximum possible benefit for all stakeholders with minimum burden on the environment and under socially fair conditions through intelligent use of the resources available.
The market leader in ecological design furniture, for instance, manages its own forest covering 74 hectares. Its products combine traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology, are only produced in Austria and the company retains control over the entire value added process, from the tree to the finished furniture.
In the Austrian furniture and interior sector, traditional expertise is supplemented by technological know-how that requires a lot of research and development work. An increasing number of processes are being automated in the furnishing area. Appliances can learn through sensors and algorithms to adjust their tasks to the users' habits. In particular suppliers of light and kitchen solutions are launching interesting developments on the market here.
Training is very important in the (interior) design sector. More than 60% of the designers have completed academic training (university or university of applied sciences).
The Institute of Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna is one of the most important training institutions in Europe and strengthens the national and international interlinking of design expertise in Vienna. The degree course is characterised by knowledge transfer in small groups and intensive contract between lecturers and students, experimental and free choice of projects, as well as workshops and presentations by national and international experts.