The home of Vienna chic

We don’t want to brag but the Josefstadt is indeed the home of chic in Vienna. The 8th district seems to be a fertile ground for young entrepreneurs, designers and creative businesses of all kinds. Atelier Karasinski is one of these internationally successful studios. Founder Laura Karasinski studied graphics and advertising at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and set up her design studio at the age of 21. In 2016, Forbes listed her among the 30 most influential personalities under 30 in Austria. Today, 30-year-young Laura Karasinski has established herself as one of the leading designers in the German-speaking world; she is a role model for many young women and, being of Polish descent herself, for young people from migrant backgrounds. We spoke to her about her impressive career.

‘I am happy to be 30 at last. That’s a big burden off my shoulders. On the one hand there’s this pressure to be successful, and on the other hand you want to try different things and are still quite insecure. Today, I know what I am good at and I don’t have to prove anything to myself anymore.’ And what brought her to the 8th district? ‘I came to the Josefstadt when I was 21 years old. After looking for an apartment and a studio for half a year I changed my criteria and found a 150-square-metre apartment here where I also set up my studio. I combined living and working so that it made sense in terms of both size and rent – I was working from home long before Covid,’ grins the designer. ’80 percent of the interior is either second hand or from antiques markets or was given to me. Sustainability is a key issue for me – I don’t need to buy everything new.’

Together with Archiguards, the young designer was responsible for the branding and interior design of Adlerhof restaurant. ‘We wanted to keep its long history and tradition alive but also bring it into the present day and attract a new audience. And we wanted to work together with distinguished Viennese companies like Thonet and Kohlmaier.’ Here, ‘der Achte’ strongly recommends crossing the district lines for once to visit the Adlerhof for a first-hand experience of Laura Karasinkski’s talent to add an urban flavour to a historical setting. 

Karasinski projects in our home district include the Babetown concept store of beauty blogger Julia Fodor, aka Jay Rox, and Katharina Hingsammer in Piaristengasse. Together with three partners, Julia Fodor has also recently opened Pizza Bussi Ciao restaurant right next to the store – also in super chic Atelier Karasinski style, of course. 

Brands are another speciality of the studio. Amongst others, Atelier Karasinski did the branding for Alma Babycare, an organic certified range of care products that recently set up shop in the Josefstadt. 

And what would be her dream project? ‘To bring together classic Viennese companies such as Thonet, Backhausen, Lobmeyr and Auböck in one single location’ – a logical next step for a designer who puts the design and the arts and crafts of past decades into new contexts and keeps setting new trends.

issue 02/2021