Design Circle

The Design Circle is the registered membership association of the Vitra Design Museum. It gives friends and patrons of the museum the opportunity to participate in the work of the Vitra Design Museum, to meet and exchange ideas with others who are interested in design and architecture, and to provide both ideological and financial support for the cultural work of the museum. As a member, you will make a valuable contribution that facilitates many additional projects, such as special exhibitions, expanded educational programmes, events, acquisitions and much more!

Vitra Design Museum Design Circle
Vitra Design Museum Design Circle

Member benefits

Member benefits

As a member of the Design Circle, you can take advantage of a wide range of benefits.

Member benefits:

  • Free admission to the Vitra Design Museum for an entire year 
  • Invitations to exhibition openings and exclusive previews
  • Two annual vouchers for a guided exhibition tour or an architectural tour
  • Exclusive member events
  • One-time welcome gift

Special benefits for Premium Members:

  • Free admission for an accompanying guest to the Vitra Design Museum for a full year
  • 10% discount on Vitra products in the Museum Shop
  • One annual voucher code for the museum’s online shop
  • Invitation for two people to the Vitra Summer Party in conjunction with Art Basel
  • One free catalogue of each current Vitra Design Museum exhibition

  • Further information: Flyer Design Circle pdf
Vitra Design Museum Campus Event



There are special events for the members of the Design Circle. These range from exclusive members events to Vitra Design Museum events, where the Design Circle members receive special rates.

Upcoming Events:

Kunstmuseum Basel | New building – Architectural tour with Christoph Gantenbein
Tuesday, 17 May 2016, 4 pm, Kunstmuseum Basel

Preview Schaudepot
Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 6 pm; Vitra Design Museum





Vitra Design Museum Campus Event

Past events

Past events

Members’ Assembly (MV5) Thursday, 12 Nov 2015, 6 pm, Conference Pavilion Tadao Ando

Curator’s Tour »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« / PREVIEW
Wednesday, 23 Sep 2015, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

Tour Design Miami/ Basel
Friday, 19 Jun 2015, 16.30 pm, Design Miami/ Basel

Design Miami/ Basel has been celebrating its 10th anniversary at Art Basel this year. Design Miami/ director Rodman Primack gave a tour for the Design Circle; guiding our members through the location and showing this year’s highlights by designers and galleries.

Apartment building by Buchner & Bründler Architects
Tuesday, 19 May 2015, 6 pm, Basel

Having realised Voltazentrum at St-. Johann and the Youth Hostel Basel at St. Alban, Daniel Buchner and Andreas Bründler are well known architects within the Basel area. After founding their own architectural firm in 1997, their first project – a loft at Colmarerstrasse in Basel – soon received an award. Since then Buchner & Bründler have realised over 60 projects. Daniel Buchner personally guided the Design Circle through the five-story apartment building, which won the “Architekturpreis Beton”.


Curator’s Tour »Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design« / PREVIEW
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

Opening of the exhibition »Architecture of Independence – African Modernism« by Manuel HerzFriday, 20 Feb 2015, 19 h, Vitra Design Museum Gallery

As many countries in Central and Sub-Saharan Africa gained their independence in the 1960s, experimental and futuristic architecture became a principal means by which the young nations expressed their national identities. The exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery is one of the first presentations of this remarkable period of our more recent architectural history and is researched and curated by architect and author Manuel Herz, with a substantial contribution by photographer Iwan Baan.

This exhibition has been made possible with the support of DESIGN CIRCLE.

»100 Years of Swiss Design« – A visit to the Museum für Gestaltung – Schaudepot Zürich
Saturday, 31 Jan 2015, 1.45 pm, Museum für Gestaltung – Schaudepot Zürich

In September 2014 the Museum für Gestaltung – Schaudepot Zürich moved to its temporary residence at Toni Areal and launched this event with the exhibition »100 Years of Swiss Design«, curated by Renate Menzi, Head of Design Collections, and Arthur Rüegg. Further, the collections of the museum are being presented at the Schaudepot.

Members’ Assembly (MV4) including collection tour
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014, 6 pm, Conference Pavilion Tadao Ando


Curator’s Tour »Alvar Aalto – Second Nature« / PREVIEW
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

Jochen Eisenbrand, chief curator of the Vitra Design Museum, will give insight into this comprehensive retrospective on one of the most important Finnish designers and proponent of a human-centred modernism in architecture.

VIP Tour Design Miami/ Basel
Friday, 20 Jun 2014, 5.30 pm, Design Miami/ Basel

Design Miami/ Basel has established itself as the platform for design during the art summer in Basel. Again this year they will temporarily set up camp at the Basel fairgrounds. Exclusively for Design Circle members, Rodman Primack – recently appointed director of Design Miami/ – presents his personal highlights of this year’s Design Miami/ Basel followed by drinks in the collector’s lounge.


Tour »Konstantin Grcic – Panorama« / PREVIEW
Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra Design Museum is presenting the largest solo exhibition on Grcic and his work to date. Together, Konstantin Grcic and Mateo Kries will exclusively guide the Design Circle members through this jointly developed exhibition on the future of design focusing on the projects’ concept and progress.


Two visits »at home« in Riehen
Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014, 5.30 pm, Riehen

Mrs Anetta Grisard and our Design Circle member Hans Schöpflin will warmly welcome us in their private homes.

Members’ Assembly (MV3) including collection tour
Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013, 6 pm, Vitra Haus Lounge

This year’s Members’ Assembly will again be followed by a tour through the collection. Given the topic of the current exhibition, lighting will be the focus.

Curator’s Tour »Lightopia« / PREVIEW
Thursday, 26 Sep 2013, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

Over the past century, electric light has revolutionised our environment unlike hardly any other medium. Presenting 300 objects of art, design, architecture and other disciplines curator Jolanthe Kugler will introduce the Design Circle members to the different topics of the exhibition: from light pollution to new lighting technologies. The lighting object Bourrasque by Studio Paul Cocksedge, on display in the exhibition, was acquired for the Vitra Design Museum by the DESING CIRCLE. After the international tour of »Lightopia« the work will permanently remain in the museum’s collection.  


Exclusive Tour of Novartis Campus
Tuesday, 23.07.2013, 6 pm, Novartis, Basel

In 2001, pharmaceutical company Novartis decided to modernise and expand its headquarters’ campus in Basel. To realise this project, Vittorio Lampugnani was asked to develop a master plan, to be completed by 2030. Internationally renowned architects have been invited to transform the company’s vision of transparence and innovation into individual architectural structures. Over the last decade, an ensemble of contemporary architecture has been created that reflects changing work requirements in a dynamic business environment. For its members, the Design Circle has arranged for an exclusive tour of the Novartis campus, where public access is usually strictly limited.

My Architect – Nathaniel Kahn / FILM (EN)
Saturday, 23.02.2013, 5 pm, Vitra Design Museum      

In his 2003 film, Nathaniel Kahn presents a poignant portrait of his father Louis Kahn addressing the power of architecture as well as the lifelong personal pursuits and passions of the great master builder. After the film Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Behr, the film's producer, will answer questions. Free admission for Design Circle members upon presentation of the membership card, registration not required


Curator’s Tour Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture / PREVIEW
Thursday, 21.02.2013, 7 pm, Vitra Design Museum   

Members of the Design Circle get the chance to see the exhibition »Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture« exclusively as first guests. Jochen Eisenbrand, curator of the exhibition presents the exhibition. We are happy to announce that Louis Kahn’s son and daughters, Sue Ann Kahn, Alexandra Tyng and Nathaniel Kahn, will be attending the Preview. After the tour the guests are invited to the VitraHaus Café.


Members’ assembly including a tour through the Vitra Design Museum’s collection
Wednesday, 14.11.2012, 6 pm, Vitra Design Museum   

The first Members’ assembly of the Design Circle took place in November 2012. A special highlight was the guided tour through part of the collection of the Vitra Design Museum combined with a visit of the restoration workshop. Neither are open to the public. Due to the positive response further collection tours will follow.

Curator’s Tour »Pop Art Design« / PREVIEW
Thursday, 11.10.2012, 7 pm, Vitra Design Museum

The first member’s event of the newly founded association was the Preview of the exhibition "Pop Art Design". Mathias Schwartz-Clauss, curator of the exhibition presented the exhibition to the members. Afterwards there was an opportunity at the Vitra HausCafé to get to know the others and discuss the impressions of the exhibition.

Becoming a Member

Becoming a Member

You are interested in a membership of Design Circle? Please find below the membership registration form as well as the charter of bylaws. Simply fill out the registration form and send it by e-mail or regular mail to the following address:

Design Circle – Freunde des Vitra Design Museums e.V.
Charles-Eames-Straße 2
D-79576 Weil am Rhein
T +49.7621.702.3200
F +49.7621.702.3590

Membership fees:

  • Junior Member (max. age 35): € 60.00
  • Member: € 100.00
  • Family Member (2 adults + all children under 18): € 150.00
  • Premium Member: minimum € 500.00
  • Corporate Member: If you are interested in a corporate membership, please contact us. We would be happy to assemble a membership package that suits your requirements.

Members Recruit Members:

Please recommend us to others! As a sign of our gratitude for recruiting a new member, you will be invited to choose one of our exhibition catalogues as a free gift. For gaining a new Premium Member, you will receive a Wooden Doll designed by Alexander Girard.

Vitra Design Museum Design Circle Logo



Design Circle – Freunde des Vitra Design Museums e.V.
Charles-Eames-Straße 2
D-79576 Weil am Rhein
T +49.7621.702.3200
F +49.7621.702.4707

Members of the board
Barbara Wilhelm (chairwoman)
Manuel Herz (vice chairman)
Marc Zehntner (treasurer)