Everyday Life - directions for use

© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek

Across 2,300 m² of exhibition space, this varied permanent exhibition looks at the preconceptions of everyday life, focussing on people and technology.

We switch on a light source to illuminate a room - and, at the same time, to make us feel safe. We measure people and their movements and arrange workplaces, living rooms and even towns accordingly. We attempt to protect ourselves from dust using vacuum cleaners, and from burglars using locks. We dispose of rubbish, and remove our human waste products from sight by flushing the toilet. Since equipment has been powered by small electric motors, we move differently through our everyday environment. We process nutrient resources and foods so that we can use them, and at the same time we attempt to keep them for as long as possible.

The operation of technical equipment runs according to obvious patterns of action, and we rarely ask about their significance for us and our everyday lives. Do we just use technology or are our dealings with equipment an expression of the visions we have for shaping our lives? Is it just us that provide instructions for technology, or are instructions for running our daily lives also supplied along with the technology?

The relationship between people and technology forms the central point of the "Everyday life – Directions for use" exhibition. The central fields of reference are the body, the home, the town and the environment. The exhibition focuses on the period of the 19th and 20th centuries. Using numerous historical objects and an adventure-oriented design, this exhibition offers exciting access for all ages and fields of interest.

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