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PRESS info



Since 1994, designer Michael Embacher has devoted himself to extraordi

nary design projects for commercial and residential interiors, exhibition
spaces, and installations with his planning office in Vienna. Embachers
enthusiasm for creative diversity and intelligent functionality has led to
the creationfirst as a hobby, later as a true passionof a fascinating
bicycle collection characterized by a rare combination of exclusive
objects. The collection remains one-of-a-kind in Europe. Now published
by renowned London publishers Thames & Hudson is the illustrated
volume Cyclepedia | The Embacher-Collection | A Tour of Iconic Bicycle

About Michael Embacher

90 Years of Modern Bicycle Design

About the office EMBACHER/WIEN

Dr. Wolfgang Kos, Director of the Wienmuseum, about EMBACHER/WIEN
About the Embacher Collection
How it all began
Several good reasons
A special type of collection
On a few chosen bicycles a subjective selection by Michael Embacher
About the current book
About the photographer
About the guest author and editor
About the publisher
Text contributions about bicycles from the book Smart Move
Konrad Paul Liessmann
Dagmar Moser
Peter Noever
Kurt Palm
Martin Strubreiter & Michael Zappe
Media response
Contact info

The photo material provided here may be used freely with mention of the source and the photographer Bernhard Angerer.

About Michael Embacher

As a rule, whatever Michael Embacher becomes involved in has to do
with design. Born in 1963, he studied architecture in Vienna, worked for
Sepp Mller and Gnther Domenig, and in the midst of it all decided
on a luxurious way of learning: In 1994 he founded his design office
Embacher/Wien, which strives for high quality architecture with an eye
for fine detail.
From this obsessive confrontation with design, Michael Embacher discovered his love of bicycles years ago. His inquisitive interest in creative,
rare, offbeat, and even bravely failed models led to the creation of his
unusual bicycle collection, which to date has seldom been accessible for a
larger audience. Nonetheless, word of the special nature of these objects
has spread beyond the circle of connoisseurs. Cyclepedia, the second
illustrated volume on the Embacher-Collection after Smart Move, was
published in February 2011.

About the office, Embacher/Wien

With his planning office and twelve-member team, Michael Embacher
occupies an interdisciplinary niche of competence between architecture,
a passion for invention, technical construction, custom craftwork, and
artistic dimensions. The assignments brought to the designer are extre
mely diverse and often experimental.
Among Michael Embachers clientele are owners with high cultural and
artistic demands who are not satisfied with standard solutions. His selfconcept is one of fulfilling assignments with the greatest precision, and in
doing so, constantly developing new design ideas and associative design
forms that rest on an extremely individual and nearly playful confrontation
with the theme in question. In the end, this accommodates Embachers
passion for unconventional materials and constructions that serve
functional, meticulously conceived, and aesthetically suitable solutions.

Projects EMBACHER/WIEN (enumerative)

Herbert von Karajan Center Vienna
Schloss Schnbrunn
Exhibition design for
The City Inside Us by Vito Acconci,
Beyond the Limits by Chris Burden,
The Turning Point by Phillip Johnson,
Ukiyo-e reloaded at the Museum of Applied Arts,
Schner Verkehr in Viennas Museumsquartier,
trade fair stand for Wien Products
Austrian film archives in Laxenburg
Presence of the Republic of Austria in the context of the EU presidency 2006
Dr. Wolfgang Kos, Director of the Wienmuseum about EMBACHER/WIEN:

Design is subjective and will always evoke

different reactions. Atmospheres and moods,
however, can be made objectivethrough perfect
functionality. Functional also means sensual.
M. Embacher

For the office of Michael Embacher, design is meticulous concept work, regardless of whether it involves exhibitions, cultural or commercial spaces, trade
fair stands, intelligent storage systems, or installations in public space. In the
beginning, there is usually a problem for which there seems to be no schematic
solution, and for which merely formal approaches prove insufficient. Emerging
in the end are stunningly stringent solutions, the complexity of which is not
visible at first glance. Decisive here is that Michael Embacher never assumes
use functions as a given, but instead, is always ready to rethink processes and
connections, with a detectives flair. Michael Embacher is a special agent for
advanced assignments and problems. The basic attitude is experimental, every
project turns into a model case in terms of construction and design. Michael
Embacher delivers system-capable solutions, but always in the form of precise,
individualized planning.

About the Embacher-Collection

An extraordinary bicycle collection can be found in the attic of designer
Michael Embachers design office. Rare, technically innovative, and also
strange and heroically failed modelsthe diversity of unusual designs and
finely detailed constructions are inspiring in the more than 200 roadworthy
models in the Embacher-Collection.

How it all began

At the start of every collection is the first piece and not always, right away,
the intention to collect. That was also the case for Michael Embacher.
Although he would later become fascinated by the bicycle as object, it was
practical considerations that led him along the first few meters towards
becoming an enthusiastic collector.
In the context of his career as designer and architect, Michael Embacher
drove to his appointments, meetings, and construction sites by car until
approximately ten years ago. He spent up to two hours a day in his automobile. His frustration over the lost working time and the accumulation of
parking tickets inspired him to switch to a bike. A bicycle as promotional
gift from Falter, a weekly events magazine, convinced him: within five
months hed lost twenty kilos and saved as much as ninety minutes a day
of travel time, and also got by with (almost) no tickets.
To add a bit of speed and get a better taste of the anarchic feel of urban
cycling, he replaced his first bike with a Cannondale, only to discover that
the quality of the bicycle has a lot to do with how fast one goes. Seduced
by the rush of speed, he fell into an upgrade mania, and brought his bike
to continually higher levels by replacing its parts until his current top
model at the time, a full suspension, four-pivot bicycle, was stolen when
he left it unlocked outside a shop for fifty seconds.
This brought the upgrading of his everyday bicycle to an end in 2003, but
ultimately, his efforts were simply shifted to building up a bicycle collection.
The shift ultimately resulted in the purchase of a beautiful racing bike
from ebay (RIGI, see Cyclepedia, page 146). After buying the bike,
he was congratulated by several bicycle enthusiasts for the great deal he
had acquired, which was proof that this racing bike was a fantastic and
extremely rare object. Embachers passion for collecting was finally stirred.

A lot of good reasons

Embachers interest in in exclusive constructions, design, individualized
solutions for design and technical matters, but also in the ingenuity of
people is well satisfied by the bicycle. The possibility to also use these
bicycles is, naturally, an additional great luxury for him.
Naturally, there is also the fun factor that you can share with other people.
And all bike riders know what a pleasure it can be to feel the breeze,
escape city traffic, take a ride with the family, or fly across a frozen lake
into the horizon on an ice bicycle.
As a child, Embacher dreamed of a Puch racing bike with Campagnolo
shifts. It was there at the local bike shop in the showcase. Unfortunately,
he couldnt afford it. His delight was that much greater when he was able
to integrate such a bike into his collection ca. four years ago.
For Michael Embacher, the bicycle is the most efficient equipment for
locomotion, among other reasons, because it is powered exclusively by
human energy. The bicycle is thereby an extremely clean, healthy, and
pleasurable form of locomotion. As a means of transport, it requires
practically no parking space, does not cause any emissions, no traffic, and
for that reason, taking into consideration the enormous car traffic in the
city, it is much faster than other means of transportation for most routes.
At the same time, it also represents a demand for health highly respected
these days, which can usually only be acquired by spending a great deal of
time and money at a fitness studio.

The bicycle can, of course, also offer great financial savings in an era
experiencing worldwide economic and energy crises. With daily use, it
presents an utterly enjoyable possibility for saving money.
In terms of both its design and construction, the bicycle is one of the
most uncompromising constructions that I know. It has to be light, as the
cyclist must always also propel the weight of the construction. In spite
of this demand for lightness, it must also be very stable as all instability
of the overall construction means a deficit in efficiency. The principle of
efficient configuration determines bicycle design. Bicycles are, in most
cases, extremely graceful and elegant constructions despite the immense
forces acting on them. This elegance then becomes most visible when
the bicycle is in motion. Due to the many mechanical parts, it must be
quite precisely produced to keep frictional loss to a minimum. It must be
extremely efficient, but also attractively designed to look good in a race
and also appeal to potential buyers. M. Embacher

A special type of collection (

Embachers daily confrontation with design and his interest in experiencing
the bicycle as a pleasurable artifact of everyday culture, an efficient means
of transportation, and design object, an internationally renowned bicycle
collection with extraordinary individual objects has developed over the past
six years. He is interested in bicycles that bring in an unusual amount of precision and perfection, (e.g., the Lotus Sport, with which Chris Bordman rode
countless world records), but also bicycles that individualists put together for
themselves, like the ice bicycle.
Embacher is fascinated by the fact that people who actually have nothing
to do with bicycle construction, are so infected with the bike virus that they
become creatively and experimentally involved in making their own models,
which in many cases leads to rather successful constructions that at first
glance have little to do with conventional bicycles. (See also the folding bike
prototype by Diblasi.)
He is likewise amazed by people who continually attempt to rediscover the
bicycle and to develop entirely new frame forms and technical solutions, such
as the PMP crank, or the Coulrot crank.
Bicycles that have a different form simply for the sake of design, without a
technical or constructive departure, have no place in my collection.

Embacher is, of course, particularly fascinated by bicycles from world

renowned designers, such as the Zoom Bike by Richard Sapper. Sapper
(creator of numerous design icons, born in Munich, lives in Milan),
undertook extensive research before venturing the design of this new
bicycle. He studied travel times for various routes in the city in terms of
their efficiency and came to the conclusion that a combination of bicycle
and public transportation provides the optimal solution: ride the bicycle
to the next bus, street car, or underground, fold the bicycle together and
enter the station, get off at the desired stop, unfold the bicycle and pedal
directly to ones destination. Sapper developed a feather light folding bike
of aluminum sections. The folding mechanism is strikingly reminiscent
of an umbrella and can be folded up just as quicklyin a second. It was
first used at the Frankfurt Car Show 1989, to help motor journalists cover
the distances on the trade fair grounds. There are sixty prototypes of
Zoombikethe ingenious object has not yet gone into serial production.

About a few, chosen bicycles a subjective selection by Michael Embacher

Hundred bicycles from the collection are described in the new illustrated
volume Cyclepedia; here is a look at Michael Embachers best of.

LOTUS Sport 110

Designer Mike Burrows and the technicians at Lotus new that
carbon, as a new material, demanded new forms. They thus
greatly fine-tuned the monocoque frame that Burrows had
been working on since the mid-1980s, which back then did not
fit into standard regulations: the UCI first loosened the strict
conditions for bicycle frames in 1992, opening the way for the
Lotus 110 bike and for Chris Boardman to race it to gold-medal
victory at the 1992 Olympic Games, and shortly thereafter, to
break the 5,000-metre world record. After this success on the
track came the street version, which was purchasableas
long as one was ready to invest the price of a small car into a

CAPO Elite Eis

The successful cross between an ice skate and a bicycle: the
rear tire has metal spikes to provide propulsion and a blade
at the front allows for better steering, whereby the incline is
extremely helpful. The blade offers absolute directional stability
in situations where other bicycles would have long skidded.
But if the hold did slip, then a rider had to be particularly quick
to avoid colliding with the spiked rear wheel. Even in Austria,
where the ice bike was manufactured, it saw only modest
distribution and the manufacturer Capo attained fame for its
Computer Bike, (a computer that calculated optimum frame
geometry when all relevant data was entered). Capo was founded in 1930 by Otto and Walter Cap. The two had previously
been under contract by Opel as professional cyclists, and Otto
Cap was also an Austrian champion.


The result of ten years of development work: Richard Sapper
(designer for Alessi, Artemide, Mercedes-Benz and more)
created a folding bicycle with a lightweight aluminum frame
and perfectly integrated parts that do not get pinched when folded. The built-in cables fold, and the three-gear derailleur sits
neatly in the central tube along with a headlamp and battery;
a cleverly placed LED in the top tube serves as the rear light.
The bike was first used in 1998 at the Frankfurt Auto Salon to
help journalists cover the large distances of the fair. Actually,
the Zoombike was originally designed to speed up urbanites in
combination with bus and train travelan idea that did come
to fruition, whereby the role of the Zoombike was taken over
by the microscooter. Only 60 prototypes of the Zoombike were
made and the bicycle failed to realize series production. When
folded, the Zoombike resembles the Strida, which can also
be transported in stick form. Its designer, Mike Sanders, was,
namely, particularly fascinated by the folding mechanism of
certain baby strollers.

BIANCHI C-4 Project

late 1980s
The shape of this bike would also suit a comic: the seat
tube-less carbon frame looks organically grown; fluid and
muscular and without seat post, a hint at a lightweight future
and was created with the help of a technology revolutionary
in the 1980sthe NJC (No Joint Construction) technology.
NJC allowed for the manufacture of hollow carbon structures
without seams, which at the time were unavoidable in joining
F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A, founded in 1885, is the worlds
oldest bicycle company still in existence, and remains a
legend today. The firm C-4 was founded over one hundred
years later by Marco Bonfanti, to realize his design ideas. Success came quickly, the Bianchi racing team rode such frames
already at the Giro dItalia cycling competitions in 1987, with
monococque years ahead of their time. The C-4 Project is
equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace components, widely used
today on racing bikes. Shimano appeared on the market in the
early 1970s with road bike components that initially imitated
Campagnolo parts, but soon developed their own contours,
and ultimately presented technological innovations (aerodynamic components, indexed shift levers, etc.), which forced
Campagnolo to also think of true innovation again. Shimano
and Campagnolo both continue to make great efforts to come
out ahead of the competition.

ONE OFF Moulton Special

Mike Augspurgers company One Off in Florence, Massachusetts, specializes in producing unique, made to measure
pieces. This includes not only bicycles, for example, but also
wheelchairs. The common denominator in these products is
the material; One Off favors titanium.
In 1991, Mike Augspurger made the acquaintance of cyclist Alex
Moulton. Their friendship was deepened through cycling trips,
and the next One Off idea developed. Augspurger wanted to
produce a Moulton AM from titanium with a frame that could
not be separated, and his friend supported the project and
supplied special Moulton parts. Only a couple of months later
the new frame stood on the scales. It proved to be 500 grams
lighter than a Moulton AM Speed stainless steel frame and was
likewise inseparable. Then the project came to a halt. It was
only the second owner who completed the frame and fork to
make the bicycle ride ready. The Zzipper fairing provides better
aerodynamics and the cycles frame is just as warp resistant as
its stainless steel counterpart.
Alex Moulton was, however, rather cautious and never again
agreed to an experiment of this kind.

SCHULZ Funiculo
The extravagance of a Schulz Funiculo bike is already obvious
in the solo version and is even more pronounced on the once
available tandem. The frame, created by engineer Jacques
Schulz in La Garonne-Colombes near Paris, was promoted
from 1937 in cycling magazines as having larmature
souplea shock-absorbent frame, and thats just for starters.
Jacque Schulz re-invented practically every detail of his bicycles,
which is why never before seen design shines from nearly every
angle. The gear system on the Funiculo could accommodate
sprockets featuring up to 40 teeth, meaning that the bike,
even as a tandem, could climb up mountains easily with only
one chain ring at the front. The front brake is an incredible
example of thinking outside the box, and a very effective
solution. The rear brake is activated by two cables running in
parallel inside the frame, but the arms are not pivoted in the
traditional sensea marvel of technology. The cover in front of
the seat tube, incidentally, is for stowing the bicycle pump. The
tires are completely standard and can be damaged by simple
glass splinters or nails, which is truly astonishing for such an
extraordinary high-end bike.
Three Schulz bicycles are still known to exist in Europe. The
Funiculo shown here is the only one that can still be ridden.

About the current book

Cyclepedia | A Tour of Iconic Bicycle Designs, published by Thames
& Hudson, one of the worlds most renowned publishers in the area of
photo books offers a fascinating and subjective view of bicycle design
from the past few decades. In German and English with 451 photos by
renowned Viennese photographer Bernhard Angerer, with a comprehen
sive glossary, technical information, and time line. The foreword was
written by British fashion designer Paul Smith. Co-editions have also been
published in five other countries: Germany, USA, Holland, Italy, and the
Czech Republic. The total circulation is currently 34,000.
Riding a bicycle is a way of life; the ultimate form of environmentallyfriendly locomotion has entered the zeitgeist and become a fashion statement. This homage to extraordinary masterpieces of engineering art from
more than 90 years celebrates a general fascination with the two-wheeler
and its technical innovations. The main section of Cyclepedia offers
a detailed presentation of ca. 100 bicycles. The tightly woven display of
model and brand portraits in the categories racing bike, mountain bike,
city bike, childrens bike, single-speed, tandem, folding bike, touring bike,
transport bike, and curiosities allows every reader and bicycle enthusiast
to take their own, personal approach.
Brands: Friday, Biria, BMW, Brompton, Caminargent, Cannondale,
Cinetica, Cycles Hirondelle, Diamant, Gazelle, Gebrder Heidemann,
Hercules, Hase Spezialrder, Katakura, Kirk, Kthke, Masi, Mercier, One
Off, Peka, Rabeneick, Riese & Mller, Sachs, Schauff, Slingshot, Trussardi,
Vialle, Winora, Zeus and others.

Informations about zu Cyclepedia


A Tour of Iconic Bicycle Designs
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson (14 Mar 2011)
ISBN-10: 0500515581
ISBN-13: 978-0500515587

Modernes Fahrraddesign
Gebundene Ausgabe: 224 Seiten
Verlag: Dumont Buchverlag;
Auflage: 1 (17. Februar 2011)
ISBN-10: 3832193499
ISBN-13: 978-3832193492

Photos: Bernhard Angerer


Paul Smith
Michael Embacher
Martin Strubreiter
Michael Zappe

A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1452101671
ISBN-13: 978-1452101675
het ultieme fietsboek. 90 jaar modern fietsontwerp
uitvoering gebonden: 224 pag.
Uitgever: Fontaine Uitgevers B.V. (Februari 2011)
ISBN-10: 9072975081
ISBN-13: 978-9072975089
icone e design della biciclette
Rilegato: 224 pagine
Editore: L''IPPOCAMPO. (Gennaio 2011)
ISBN-10: 8896968321
ISBN-13: 9788896968321
90 let modernho designu jzdnch kol
Viazan Kniha: 224 Strn
Vydavatel: Slovart. (Janur 2011)
ISBN-10: 9788073914349
ISBN-13: 978-80-7391-434-9

About the photographer

About the guest authors

Bernhard Angerer, born 1958 in St. Plten, finished his diploma as a photographer at the Graphischen Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt. Since 1985
he has been an independent and internationally successful commercial
photographer with a studio in Viennas first district at Rudolfsplatz. His
many years of experience in the area of product photography predestined
him to work on this book. He lends the bicycle as object vivid, nearly erotic
dynamics through practically fetishist studio staging and super-elevated
The photos reveal to beholders the creative enthusiasm, love of details, and
know how in terms of design and construction of the bicycles designers and
builders, some renowned, some anonymous.

Paul Smith, highly successful fashion designer, who presented his first
collection in the 1970s and has since captured especially mens fashion
throughout the world with his classic with a twist. He has been a passionate cyclist since childhood. A car accident stopped him from carrying
out his original plans of becoming a bike racer. He wrote the foreword for
Martin Strubreiter, born 1968, spent his childhood in itchy fishbone pants,
which laid the cornerstone for subtle rebellion against middle-class wealth.
Consequently, after successfully passing his drivers test, he didnt head
straight towards luxury or sports cars but instead rode a bike and drove a
2CV. Since then he has a considerably larger bicycle collection (everything
except folding bikespopular racing bikes throughout history) and has
both bought and sold French old-timers and begun more studies in
psychology than he has finished. As a happy medium he writes for the
Autorevue since 1994 and also regularly for the Mountainbike Revue.
Michael Zappe began his collecting activities by pulling bicycles from
bulky waste containers. He was soon fascinated by the nimbleness of
racing bikes and the varieties of gear systems. In the early 1980s, he joined
the Veteran Cycle Club in England, which led to international contacts
and friendships, awakening his spirit of research. He prefers studying
bicycle gearshift systems, aluminum on bicycles, and small Viennese
frame makers.

About the publishers

Thames & Hudson is among the worlds leading publishers in the area of
illustrated books. It was founded in 1949 by Walter and Eva Neurath with
the intention of creating a museum without walls. The published books
should make art accessible and affordable for a broad, non-specialist
audience. To reflect the publishers international concept, the names
of the rivers flowing through London and New York were linked in the
company name. The Thames & Hudson headquarters are in London
and it has sister offices in New York and Paris as well as subsidiaries in
Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Thames & Hudson publishes
approximately 180 new titles every year in the areas of art, photography,
architecture, graphic design, 3D design, gardening, fashion and textiles,
archaeology, travel, spirituality, lifestyle, and living, as well as popular

Text contributions about bicycles from the book Smart-Move

ISBN 978-3-9502428-0-5

Konrad Paul Liessmann:

The Final Turn: Meditations on riding a racing bike
There are many ways of moving forward on a bicycle: slow or fast, on
land, in the woods, in the city. There are also many different types of
bicycles: city bikes, trekking bikes, old lady and Waffenrad style bicycles,
mountain bikes. But there is only one form of movement that so closely
approaches the platonic concept of the bicycle that it transforms known
reality into an exemplary illustration of an immortal archetype: riding a
racing bike.
Mind you, this is not to be a discussion about sport, competitions, nor
about amateurs who go round circuits, nor about professionals riding
across the screen. It is solely about fathoming the possibilities and
limitations of self-propelled locomotion with a combination of efficiency
and elegance, which allows a break in the monotony of everyday life and
transcendence through the monotony of movement. The racing bike
encompasses both the means and the objective in one.
One can, of course, cycle in order to get from A to B; one can also ride
a bike in order to be trendy; one can ride a bike to transport something
on the back or in a pannier. For whichever reason a bike is used, it will,
as with everything in the world, look as it does and be deformed by its
use. Yet, all art and all things beautiful begin only where all intentions
end. Only when the bicycle stops acting as a transport aid or vehicle, only
when it has completely recovered its own sense of identity, it appears in
a purity that cannot be shadowed, not even by the sweat of another who
abandons himself to his own purposeless imperatives. And these are:
gliding, clambering and diving into the depths of being at the highest

Konrad Paul Liessmann, Professor for Philosophy at the University of Vienna.

Numerous awards including the Austrian State Prize for Cultural Journalism
1996, and the Austrian scientist of the year 2006. Selected publications: Philosophie der modernen Kunst (1999), Vom Nutzen und Nachteil des Denkens fr
das Leben (1997), Zukunft kommt! ber skularisierte Heilserwartungen und
ihre Enttuschung (2007).

Dagmar Moser: Would love to have been Butch Cassidys girl!

The bike: muscular strength from behind, without which there would be no
movement. The world turns only when legs rise and cede. The stance clearly
divides the buttocks into left and right as never before. The lower extremities
pedal at the sides and battle against hills and mountains, straight routes,
downhill, uphill.
A man courts me, sends gifts with roses, calls me, smiles, talks of love,
musters his entire talent for words in order to move one step closer to me.
At one point the first meeting. Aloof to the many stares, I turn round the
corner, see the hero standing in front of his vehicle. My heart falls to my
knees as I see the man I adore standing, vain, in front of his black Porsche,
black leather seats, black top, smiling. All I can think is, shit, he has the
wrong mode of transport. Memories of trips around the world return, when
he, another, pedalled carrying me on the handlebars and taking me into the
I, the ultimate female, tightly clenching the handlebars, laid my head on his
body. That was like heaven. Soon I couldnt feel my thighs, my backside,
the plank-like bar was so uncomfortable. It was, however, cosier than the
smooth leather seats of the four-wheeler. I experienced the view enhanced
by the slowly unfolding perspective, noticed smells, felt the sun, complained
about the rain. But he was always behind me, him with his burly power. I
liked that

Dagmar Moser; On the outside, her life takes place somewhere between
twentieth-century furniture and designer pieces in a shop called Lichterloh
on Viennas Gumpendorfer Strae. The essential thing, however, takes place in
her head, and sometimes she even write some of that down, only to give it to a
good friend to read who continues to tell her it should definitely be published.

Peter Noever: No More Detours!

They may ride single lane, but cyclists think cyclically, multi-dimensionally,
in categories of sustainability. Those who push the pedals promote their
own (see: lifestyle diseases)as well as the publicwelfare. This is, in
many aspects, one of those rare win-win situations. As such, the bicycle
is the most ecological mode of personal transportation there is. In local
urban traffic it is the most efficient, flexible, and economical; a merger of
comfort and social benefits.

Peter Noever, Designer, C.E.O. and former artistic director of the MAK,
Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art (since 1986) and
founder of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (1994),
creator of exhibitions and author of numerous books on design, architecture,
and art.

Kurt Palm: Praise Be the Bicycle: Between Weibern and the beach
Also in my teen years, a regular daily life without a bicycle was unimaginable. I not only rode my bike from my hometown of Timelkam to Vcklabruck (and back), for school, but also at night often out to the beach in
Seewalchen, where we climbed over the wall and met the girls who were
also cool enough to run away from home. Well, at least temporarily. I also
rode to Weibernyes, there really is such a townto the then legendary
disco, although I only made this trip once. There were so many mountains, it was much too tiring, and as everyone knows, it isnt a good idea
to drink and ride. Consequently, I spent the night in a hay barn and then
rode home in the morning, somewhat worse for the wear.

Kurt Palm: Earlier occupations include server, footballer, and cyclist, later
active as night watchman and hitchhiker. Studied German language and
literature and journalism in Salzburg. Doctor of philosophy. Books on Brecht,
Stifter, Joyce, und Mozart; films after Flann OBrien, on Stifter, Mozart, and

Martin Strubreiter and Michael Zappe: History in Stories: A very sketchy

history of the bicycle as told through select episodes
First of all, wed like to diplomatically circumnavigate the issue of which
nation discovered the bicycle, climb up a molehill and announce that
the bicycle was concocted, refined, and completed in several countries
virtually parallel. The discussion of what a bicycle should look like, what
it should include and preferably not include, was long and fierce, and
bicycle history actually came to a close 100 years ago. Since then, the idea
has merely been refined (and seasoned with new fashions), which also
works astonishingly well.
In any case, Leonardo da Vinci did not discover the bicycle. The drawings
that were supposedly his, have already been exposed as fakes and are
therefore not from the fifteenth century. Nonetheless, this bicycle that
never really was one, can still be seen in thousands of copies, on the
T-shirts sold to tourists in Venice. (But, as we have meanwhile ascertained, theyre good quality.)
Comte de Sivrac didnt invent the bicycle, which is why he couldnt
present it in Paris in 1791.
If we want to fasten down an inventor, then most likely it was famine.
After the climate changing 1816/17 volcano eruption, hunger was intense.
Faced with the choice of using the last horse for hauling things or eating,
the people chose eating. Nonetheless, this did not solve the transport
problem, which is why Karl Drais created his Laufmaschine (German
for running machine), which allowed people to move while sitting. It
could also steer and brake, but still, the Laufmaschines were ridiculed in
Germany. In other countries where Baron Karl von Drais presented his
invention, the success was slightly better. Nonetheless, he wasnt able to
escape the classical fate of inventors: Drais died penniless in 1851. The
first Drais monument was unveiled in 1893.

Media Response to the Embacher-collection

Published so far
Press clippings:

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Sddeutsche Zeitung
Radio Berlin


Salzburger Nachrichten
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