Kontiki was founded in 2003 and was launched for cross-genre, experimental design with an open end. The title is based on the same name of the expedition of Thor Heyerdahl, which sailed in the 1940s from the west coast of America to Polynesia. Karin Maislinger, the founder of Kontiki, found an image of the expedition with a wild-bearded team, and was immediately impressed by the project, the courage and the intrepidity. The name for her own adventure was found.
Since then there are new models several times a year within the ever-changing collection "the aquatic series", a bag line made out of recycled bicycle tubes and biking races coats.
The lovely bike tubes, which are designed in simple ageless lines into a new purpose, have become a refreshing part of the Viennese cityscape. The inner tube that had been invisible throughout landscapes and cities is worn now in its transformed form by people through the streets, and forms the basic material for robust, everyday containers. Karin Maislinger develops functional designs for the everyday belongings, and committed herself in her design for kontiki in humorous, playful experiment with material and structure. Kontiki bags are not neutral products on the market as they are manually produced, low-tech and personal. The material used is not like other materials, through its history and because it was previously served a different purpose. Only through the wish of the wearer it may appear in a new context.
Kontiki's production is set up in a small workshop in Vienna. Small series and individual pieces are made here in a very high quality. Ecological and fair, a new bag collection appears, made out of vegetable tanned leather in combination with recycled textiles and garments under the title "vegetable wardrobe".