Vitra retrospective goes on show in Philadelphia

Gehry, 1989. Photography by Marc EggimannExperimental pieces from the Vitra Edition line, Ron Arad’s 1986 looping steel Well-Tempered Chair and Philippe Starck’s 1990 surreal WW Stool are on show alongside the brand’s more recent collections. Exhibition photography is by Jason Wierzbicki, courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wiggle Side Chair, designed by Frank O. Lent by Vitra Design MuseumHe launched Vitra’s architecture program by commissioning British architect Nicholas Grimshaw to design new factory buildings when a substantial part of Vitra’s manufacturing facilities in Weil am Rhein, Germany, were destroyed in a fire in 1981. Well-Tempered Chair, 1986, designed by Ron Arad. Photograph by Hans Hansen. Lent by Rolf Fehlbaum / Vitra International AGThese roots are represented in the exhibition by products including a plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames, a group of Alexander Girard’s Wooden Dolls and George Nelson’s 1948 furniture catalogue for Herman Miller. Photograph by Thomas Dix”The Eameses view of design as the ‘recognition of need,’ their warning against ‘stylistic excess,’ and their understanding of the connections between people, ideas, and objects have served as Vitra’s guiding principles ever since,” said a statement from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Gehry, 1972/2005. Wooden Dolls, designed by Alexander Girard, 1953. Lent by VitraThe company’s current owner and board director, Rolf Fehlbaum – who Dezeen interviewed earlier this year – joined the family business in 1977. Photograph by Marc Eggimann. Vegetal Chair, designed by Ronan Erwan Bouroullec, 2008. Model of Balancing Tools, designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 1984. Photography by Marc Eggimann. Lent by VitraMore projects on the campus followed: Vitra Design Museum by Frank Gehry, a fire station by Zaha Hadid, a conference pavilion by Tadao Ando, VitraHaus by Herzog de Meuron and a factory building by SANAA. Vitra Design Museum, designed by Frank O. WW Stool, designed by Philippe Starck, 1990, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photography by Andreas SütterlinVitra was founded in 1957 when Willi and Erika Fehlbaum began licensing furniture from American furniture brand Herman Miller for the European market with designs by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard.

Updated: 27.11.2014 — 22:24