The founders and artistic directors Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser originally pursued the ideal of artistic integration of all areas in life in the sense of the Gesamtkunstwerk. This radical aspiration could only be realized in a few contemporary projects, which were commissioned primarily by patronage-minded upper-class citizens. Impressive examples of this are the Palais Stoclet in Brussels or the Villa Skywa-Primavesi in Vienna.
Under the influence of the British Arts & Crafts movement, their aim was to counter the industrial mass production of the industrial revolution and the profusely historism art movement with outstanding contemporary craftsmanship. The Wiener Werkstaette was the beginning of the modern Austrian design.