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Lost Design

Austria: a center for good taste.
Home of design. Vienna, the place to be for the artistic elite. The cradle of groundbreaking styles and a breeding ground for visionary ideas. In short: a metropolis shaping the rest of the design world.

Statements and ideas not a lot of people would agree with in the year 2022. Such attributes would much more likely be ascribed to New York, Paris, Milan, or Denmark. But if we spin the wheel of time backwards around 100 years, this would be exactly what we would find in Vienna. Artists and free spirits, mavericks and trailblazers, shaping the path of art history und guiding it to new worlds.

Until a gruesome turn of history puts a violent stop to this. With the human tragedies and indescribable atrocities of the Nazi era, not only were human lives wiped out and displaced, but ideas and visions were destroyed as well.
This film is a portrait of people and design in different disciplines, who in spite of all these difficulties have found a place for the expression of their designs and went on to make history. Away from Austria, aways from the once vibrant metropolis that was Vienna.

Graphic Designer
Emigrates to New York in 1938 with his family. Studies design at Yale under Paul Rand and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Among his most famous works are the logos for HSBC, HILTON, IBM and the Hong Kong banknotes.

Furniture Designer and Architect
Studied architecture and design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Emigrates to Buenos Aires in 1938. Among his most famous designs are the “Reversível” and “Costela” chairs that have been awarded the prestigious Compasso d’Oro in Milan. Martin Eislers Furniture is still held in high regard worldwide to this day.

Fashion Designer
Escapes the Nazis in 1938 with his mother and settles in Los Angeles. Among others he is credited with such daring designs as the thong, the monokini and first attempts at unisex fashion. The first ever fashion video called “Basic Black” is also attributed to Rudi Gernreich.