“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today” at Vitra Design Museum Gallery

“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today” offers the first large-scale examination of the relationship between club culture and design, from past to present. The exhibition presents nightclubs as spaces that merge architecture and interior design with sound, light, fashion, graphics, and visual effects to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk.

 

Discotheque Flash Back, Borgo San Dalmazzo, ca. 1972. Interior Design: Studio65. © Paolo Mussat Sartor

Discotheque Flash Back, Borgo San Dalmazzo, ca. 1972. Interior Design: Studio65. © Paolo Mussat Sartor

 

The nightclub is one of the most important design spaces in contemporary culture. Since the 1960s, nightclubs have been epicentres of pop culture, distinct spaces of nocturnal leisure providing architects and designers all over the world with opportunities and inspiration. Examples range from Italian clubs of the 1960s created by the protagonists of Radical Design to the legendary Studio 54 where Andy Warhol was a regular, from the Haçienda in Manchester designed by Ben Kelly to more recent concepts by the OMA architecture studio for the Ministry of Sound in London.  (more…)

“Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design” at Vitra Design Museum

Featuring a large selection of original works – including films, photographs, furniture, drawings, sculptures, paintings, textiles, graphic design, models and stage props – the retrospective illustrates the congenial synergy bet ween the personalities of Charles and Ray Eames.

 

Ray Eames, Study for a room display for the exhibition »For Modern Living«, 1949 © Eames Office LLC

Ray Eames, Study for a room display for the exhibition »For Modern Living«, 1949 © Eames Office LLC

 

The exhibition in the main building of the Vitra Design Museum offers a comprehensive overview of the complete oeuvre and shared life of this husband-and-wife team, which formed the foundation of a lifetime of work by what was arguably the most successful design duo in history. (more…)

‘Mudun مدن Urban Cultures in Transit’ architecture from the MENA region at Vitra Design Museum

Vibrating with an innovative cultural life, the Midle East and North Africa regions are the focus of an exhibition featuring contemporary photographs, models and texts, conveying the dynamic atmosphere of individual locales and the relationship of inhabitants to their spatial surroundings.

 

Qatar University in Doha, Qatar © Markus Elblaus

Qatar University in Doha, Qatar © Markus Elblaus

 

Ankara, Baghdad, Tehran and Tangier are vibrant metropolises of the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). They pulsate with an innovative cultural life – despite the political headlines. The exhibition »Mudun مدن Urban Cultures in Transit« views these cities from a micro-perspective, examining their architecture, urban neighbourhoods and the protagonists who shape them.

The project is a cooperation between the Vitra Design Museum and the publishers of Dubaibased magazine Brownbook.  (more…)

‘Ettore Sottsas – Rebel and Poet’ items from the Vitra Design Museum’s collection

A leading figure of the Memphis design collective in the 1980s, the Italian designer was responsible for the designs for the office equipment manufacturer Olivetti and known for his poetic, minimalist sculptural objects – which are now featured in a brand new exhibition at Vitra’s Schaudepot.

Valentine, Typewriter Ettore Sottsass and Perry A. King, 1969 Manufacturer: Olivetti Photo: Alberto Fioravanti Courtesy: Studio Ettore Sottsass

Valentine, Typewriter. Ettore Sottsass and Perry A. King, 1969 Manufacturer: Olivetti. Photo: Alberto Fioravanti. Courtesy: Studio Ettore Sottsass

 

This year he would have celebrated his 100th birthday: the Austro-Italian designer Ettore Sottsass (1917–2007), one of the most influential and unconventional figures in twentieth-century design. He gained renown with his designs for the office equipment manufacturer Olivetti, for his poetic, minimalist sculptural objects, and as the leading figure of the Memphis design collective in the 1980s.  (more…)

“Together. The architecture of the Collective” at Vitra Design Museum

Using models, films, and walk-in displays, the exhibition addresses this global phenomenon of housing scarcity by presenting a broad array of collective building and living projects from Europe, Asia, and the United States: an overview of historical precedents for the current wave of collective living spaces.

 

Open air dinner, Siedlung Heizenholz, Kraftwerk1, Zurich Adrian Streich Architekten, 2012 © Katrin Simonett/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

Siedlung Heizenholz, Kraftwerk1, Zurich. Adrian Streich Architekten, 2012 © Katrin Simonett/VG Bild-Kunst

 

Housing is scarce – that much has become evident in the last few years. As real estate prices in big cities continue to skyrocket, conventional ideas of housing development prove unable to meet demands. The reaction to these challenges has been a silent revolution in contemporary architecture – towards collective building and living.

Using models, films, and walk-in displays, the exhibition »Together! The New Architecture of the Collective« addresses this global phenomenon by presenting a broad array of collective building and living projects from Europe, Asia, and the United States. An overview of historical precedents for the current wave of collectives demonstrates that the idea of collectivity has been a recurring theme in the history of architecture, from the reformist ideas of the nineteenth century to the hippies and squatters of the twentieth who touted the slogan »Make love, not lofts«. (more…)

Elytra Filament Pavilion, an outdoor installation from the exhibition “Hello, Robot”

The bionic baldachin is an impressive example of the growing influence of robotics on architecture. Its individual modules were defined by an algorithm and then produced with the help of an industrial robot, realised by a team from the University of Stuttgart.

 

Installation view Vitra Campus »Elytra Filament Pavilion« 2017 © Vitra Design Museum, Photo: Julien Lanoo

Installation view, Vitra Campus »Elytra Filament Pavilion« 2017 © Vitra Design Museum, Photo:
Julien Lanoo

 

With the exhibition »Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine«, the Vitra Design Museum presents a major exhibition that examines the current boom in robotics. It shows the variety of forms that robotics takes today and at the same time broadens our awareness of the associated ethical, social, and political issues. Outside the museum, the »Elytra Filament Pavilion« complements this exhibition. The bionic baldachin is an impressive example of the growing influence of robotics on architecture. Its individual modules were defined by an algorithm and then produced with the help of an industrial robot, realised by a team from the University of Stuttgart. After its premiere at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, it is now on view on the Vitra Campus. (more…)

“The Brutalist Playground” at Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition presents a new take on those Brutalist playgrounds, conceived as a hybrid somewhere between installation and walk-in sculpture for children and adults. The exhibition was commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in cooperation with the architecture collective Assemble (winner of the 2015 Turner Prize) and the artist Simon Terrill.

 

Installation view »The Brutalist «, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist «, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

 

The original playgrounds constructed in post-war Britain are mostly forgotten. Brutalism and its initial social agenda are stigmatized. The architectural style known as Brutalism emerged during the era of post-war reconstruction in Britain. In expressively shaped buildings constructed out of raw, heavy materials, it espoused an uncompromising formal language. All over the country, large-scale housing estates were built with distinctively designed playgrounds for children. Through the use of wood, brick, and especially concrete, the playgrounds were designed to fit in with the shapes and materials of their environments, demonstrating the principles of Brutalism on a small scale.


 

Practical information

The Brutalist Playground
January 14  –  April 16, 2017
Vitra Design Museum
Charles-Eames-Straße 2, Weil am Rhein
Germany

 


The exhibition reconstructs fragments from four Brutalist playgrounds: the »flying saucer« from the Churchill Gardens Estate, the slide tower from the Brownfield Estate, steps from the Brunel Estate (all in London), and a tunnel from the Park Hill Estate in Sheffield.

 

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground «, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground «, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull, © RIBA

 

For the project, commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the architecture collective Assemble in cooperation with the artist Simon Terrill chose a selection of drawings and photographs from the RIBA collections. Part architectural installation, part projections of archive material, part playground, the exhibition brings a neglected aspect of architectural history into the gallery space.

 

Churchill Gardens Estate, Pimlico, 1978 © John Donat - RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens Estate, Pimlico, 1978 © John Donat – RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens Estate, Pimlico, 1956 © John Maltby - RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens Estate, Pimlico, 1956 © John Maltby – RIBA Library Photographs Collection

 

»Risk« and »play« are the central themes of the installation. Jane Hall from Assemble says: »You would look at the photographs of these playgrounds and ask: How was someone supposed to play on that? It’s not prescribed, and that’s the big unknown about this exhibition – how are people going to inhabit the space?«

 

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, RIBA, London, 2015 Photo: Tristan Fewings © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, RIBA, London, 2015 Photo: Tristan Fewings © RIBA

 

Architects and urban planners advocated these kinds of playgrounds as places where children could play as freely as possible. But by the early 1970s these concepts had been discarded and were being criticised by both architects and educators. As a result, many of the playgrounds are now lost. Consigned to the archives, they are at most a footnote to an idiosyncrasy in the history of post-war architecture.

 

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, RIBA, London, 2015 Photo: Tristan Fewings © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, RIBA, London, 2015 Photo: Tristan Fewings © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull © RIBA

Installation view »The Brutalist Playground«, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2016 Photo: Alun Bull © RIBA

 

»The Brutalist Playground« enables a new, unbiased perspective on the original goals and designs of the architects of the time. In the exhibition children have the opportunity to »give free rein to their imagination«, just as the original architects intended. But adults, too, are invited to discover the play- scapes of the 1950s–1970s and the architectural ideas expressed in them.


 

News source: Vitra Design Museum
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“Dieter Rams. Modular World” furniture by the german master at Vitra Schaudepot

“Dieter Rams: Modular World” is the first exhibition to put a primary focus on Rams’ furniture designs, demonstrating how closely they are linked to his design philosophy. Rams summarised their essential characteristics – simplicity, honesty, timelessness – in his »Ten Principles for Good Design«, which he began to formulate in the 1970s

 

606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe, ca. 1971-75. Photo: Ingeborg Kracht Rams © Vitsoe

606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe, ca. 1971-75. Photo: Ingeborg Kracht Rams © Vitsoe

 

Dieter Rams (born 1932) is one of the most influential German designers of the past decades. His designs for the Braun company are legendary, and his design principles are more relevant today than ever. From 18 November 2016 to 12 March 2017, the Vitra Design Museum is presenting an exhibition of Rams’ work in the newly opened Vitra Schaudepot. »Dieter Rams: Modular World« features a selection of the furnish- ings and electrical appliances designed by Rams, including key works such as the phonograph »Snow White’s Coffin« and the 606 Universal Shelving System. The show is supplemented by historic visual material and a video interview in which Rams dis- cusses his design philosophy.


 

Practical information

“Dieter Rams. Modular World”
November 18, 2016 – March 12, 2017
Vitra Schaudepot, Temporary Space
Charles-Eames-Straße 2, 79576 Weil am Rhein,
Germany

 


In one of them he states: »Good design is long-lasting. It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.« The starting point for these deliberations was a fundamental criti- cism of consumerism, which motived Rams to articulate new goals for the practise of design – long before  sustainability  became  a buzzword.

 

The new Vitsoe showroom, Frankfurt, around 1971, Photo: Ingeborg Kracht Rams

The new Vitsoe showroom, Frankfurt, around 1971, Photo: Ingeborg Kracht Rams

Dieter Rams talks about the adjustable feet of the 621 Side Table. © Vitsoe

Dieter Rams talks about the adjustable feet of the 621 Side Table © Vitsoe

 

Rams’ ten principles are also a useful source for gaining a better understanding of his multifaceted design activities. From 1955 to 1997 he was head of product design for the German manufacturer Braun. The legendary electrical appliances that have repeatedly been cited in recent years as inspira- tion for the design of Apple products originated here. Less well known is the fact that Rams also devel- oped furniture beginning as early as 1957.

 

 

620 (RZ 62) Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

620 (RZ 62) Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

622 Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

622 Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

 

His work in this area was primarily for the Vitsoe company, which continues to produce his designs today. Looking back, Rams explains that furniture design was very important to him: »Perhaps even more directly than with the Braun appliances, my furniture arose from a belief in how the world should be ›outfitted‹ and how people should live in this artificial environ- ment. In this respect, each piece of furniture is also a design for a certain kind of world and way of living«.

 

601/02 (RZ 60) Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

601/02 (RZ 60) Chair Programme Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

621 Side Table Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

621 Side Table Photo: Christoph Sagel Courtesy: APPEL DESIGN GALLERY, Berlin

 

Rams’ designs are distinguished by their reductiveness and simplicity, based on the maxim »Good de- sign is as little design as possible.« His intention is not a pure asceticism, however, but an aesthetic sustainability. His shelf systems, seating furniture and tables are so functional and quietly neutral in appearance that they can be used in many different areas – living rooms, kitchens, offices or public spaces – and remain current even today. Many of his furnishings are conceived as modular systems  that can adapt to the changing living conditions of the owner.

 

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

 

The famous 606 Universal  Shelving System, for instance, has been continuously produced since 1960, and it is possible to combine modules manufactured today with a shelf system from the 1960s. The armchair from the 620 series, to cite another example, comes as a one-, two- or three-seater and can be fitted with different side and back panels. The 740 furniture system, one of Rams’ least familiar designs, is based on round stacking elements that were inspired by Japanese sitting mats – even today a captivatingly simple design concept.

 

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular
World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

Installation view: »Dieter Rams. Modular
World« © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Christoph Sagel

 

Due to their timeless quality, Rams’ products are exemplars of sustainability and continue to exert an influence  on  contemporary designers.


 

News source: Vitra Design Museum
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“Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Rêveries Urbaines” at Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition »Rêveries Urbaines« at the Zaha Hadid Fire Station presents concepts for urban development, and is a wide-ranging study of possible development solutions for cities that may be imagined in very different urban settings

 

"Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Rêveries Urbaines" installation view © Bouroullec
“Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Rêveries Urbaines” installation view © Bouroullec

 

Following their exhibition »Album« in 2012, internationally renowned designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec return to the Vitra Campus in October 2016. Like a large open sketchbook, the proposed solutions are presented as a gentle walk through models and animations. The exhibition is designed to be immersive and to bear the visitor away into different scenarios, with each model showcased as a chapter in an urban fiction. (more…)

“Radical Design” first exhibition in the new building opened on the Vitra Campus

The first Schaudepot temporary exhibition is dedicated to Radical Design, a design Movement that reached its peak at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s in Italy and is one of the most important avant-garde movements in the history of design.

 

Nr. 2600, Quaderna Superstudio, 1969 Foto © Zanotta

Nr. 2600, Quaderna Superstudio, 1969 Foto © Zanotta

 

With manifestos, unconventional design vocabulary, transdisciplinary working methods and utopian design ideas, exponents of Radical Design were protesting against functionalism and the established taste in design and architecture. Thus, they showed that designers and architects must not only be seen as service providers in a commercial context but that they can also actively and critically engage in social and political matters. (more…)