Angela Hareiter

Architect (1944)

The Austrian architect Angela Hareiter is one of the few women to have been part of the radical scene in the 1960s and 1970s in Austria. A little prior to Coop Himmelb(l)au, Haus-Rucker-Co and Superarchitettura in Italy, she was involved in research based on the moveable dwelling, from which she singled out the substance of Anglo-Saxon pop and Archigram. The first four utopian projects which she undertook in the Karl Schwanzer seminar revealed a strangely detached vision of the Expressionist imagination of her fellow countrymen Hollein and Pichler. In them, she advocated the use of plastic and the cell as the ideal model for a flexible and relational form of urban planning. After promoting the formal and constructive possibilities offered by PVC, and after analyzing the “environment” concept in Crack, Plastik explodiert (1965), Hareiter became interested in the cell, which she dealt with like a space capsule fitted with many different kinds of audio-visual apparatus, into which the user plunges (Live Information, 1965-66). The interest she showed in the need for new relations between the body and space was confirmed when she worked with Laurids Ortner (Haus-Rucker-Co) on the prototype of Mindexpander I (1967), a cognitive and sensorial environment open to many different “existential possibilities”. That same year, she came up with Future House (1966-67), a dwelling made up of cells affixed to a collective supporting mast—a variable and interactive arrangement. In just the same way that Archigram championed the habitat, it here became a consumer object that you buy in a supermarket and then transport, like a mobile home, behind your Mustang. Lastly, in a fourth project, she designed a “cloud made for children” (Kindervolken, 1967), a kind of “heart” suspended above avenues, a flexible space completely given over to desire and freedom. Until the late 1970s the architect would pursue this experimental lode, halfway between art and architecture, as part of the Missing Link group. Since the 1980s, Angela Hareiter has divided her activities between interior architecture and the artistic direction of projects for theatre and film.

Angela Hareiter is a graduate of the Technical University in Vienna, where she studied between 1964 and 1968. Her presence at the Trigon 1969 exhibition in Graz alongside Superstudio, Hans Hollein, Günther Domenig and Eilfried Huth, among others, her participation in the first summer session at the AA School in London in 1970, and the joint founding of Missing Link in 1970 all underwrote her inclusion within the radical movement. As a freelance architect and designer since 1974, she has worked with Karl Schwanzer, Haus-Rucker-Co and then Ortner&Ortner on constructions involving very diverse programmes (offices, exhibition pavilions, and so on). Between 1999 and 2005 she created interior design projects and furniture. Since 1975 she has been particularly noted for her artistic direction of many theatre and film projects in Austria, Germany, France and Italy, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination in Los Angeles in 1978. Her experimental projects from the 1960s were exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in 2001, in the exhibition Les Années Pop.

Nadine Labedade, Aurélien Vernant


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