Magazine Contact #19 - Magazine - About us - Concept Wiesner-Hager

What's on your desk, Andrea Maria Dusl?

Magazine Contact #19

Dusl is a cultural worker here, she writes and draws, mostly for the newspapers the Standard, the Salzburger Nachrichten and for Falter where her regular column “Ask Andrea” appears. She has an office phobia and this is even stronger in the context of white, grey and black office furniture. “It makes me panic. Puts me in a real state of fear!”

“I use virtually no furniture. Everything I own is in handy transportable trunks and in little transparent boxes placed on the desk,” says Andrea Maria Dusl. The film director, author and graphic artists is an adherent of – what she regards – as reduced and almost abstract living and working. “I formerly used to live up to the produced and representative concept of space, but it was a concept I dropped the moment I noticed the magnificence involved was always less than truthful. It is no longer an approach that I find suitable.”

Her current workplace is at her apartment in an old house of the Biedermeier period in the Vienna Leopoldstadt district. This is the place where she grew up. It is where her father, an architect, had his office for many decades. It is a house full of memories. From her desk she looks out on the green inner courtyard. It also has memories – of a stretch of countryside in the middle of the city. “With this difference that a stretch of countryside in the city is far more peaceful than it can ever be in the country, which is the way it should be, I feel.”

The office of her dreams? “That would be a hall as big as an aeroplane hangar, let’s say 10,000 square metres or so. There would be no dividing walls and I would put the bed wherever I happened to want it. My writing desk too. All the rest would be empty. And it would need to be eternal spring, a warm and endless spring.”


  • 1. The tablecloth is very important. I find white a very demanding colour when it is not on the walls. I feel scared of offices. They send me into a panic. My writing desk should look like a pub table. That would be a pub writing desk. The greater the distance it maintains from an office, the better.
  • 2. The chair is equally as important to her. This is a Danish rosewood and leather armchair. Anything is better than an office swivel chair.

  • 3. I work on my Mac Book Pro. It is my most important tool. If this laptop should ever give up the ghost, I have two reserve laptops, both completely functional and fully charged. I could continue with my work at any time and I don’t have to worry about local black-outs and other emergencies.
  • 4. The lamp is a designer model from the nineteen thirties. The black felt curtain is of a purely practical nature. It is a glare protection. It means I don’t have to bother about the glare when I am resting on my futon.
  • 5. One general point here is I am very neurotic about the order on my writing desk. It must all be orderly. Everything must look as though it had never been used before. That is the only way I can concentrate on the work I have in hand.
  • 6. I write, sketch and take notes in pencil. My pencils must have a hard HB. My experience shows that the chance of grabbing a pencil with a sharp point increases exponentially with the total number of available pencils. That’s why there are so many of them. I have a total of 113 sharpened pencils all ready to use on precisely three hand-picked margins.
  • 7. This is my reserve supply of black and red moleskin sketchbooks and colourful post-its. I want to be ready in case I should ever run out of paper for notes.
  • 8. I collect rock art silkscreen prints. I like their bright colours and opt-art elements. This is industrial art. It inspires me. The yellow print is from Los Angeles, the pink one of the New York Dolls is from Paris.
  • 9. The barometer is at precisely 55 percent relative humidity and has been for many years. I think it must be broken. I have no idea why it is still hanging there. Perhaps because I imagine it still works.
  • 8. Veitschi, ivy and wine. I love this view. It means having the best of two worlds. It is green, but not too green. And I love this position between the windows. I feel a little like a locomotive driver here, taking a look ahead into the landscape to the left and right of the boiler.
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