Chair Times

A History of Seating – From 1800 to Today

»Chairs are important historical artefacts. They can represent the fashion and ethos of a particular moment in time or stand for an epochal idea. They are portraits of their users and reflect the production techniques with which they were created. You can recognise and understand an era – its social structures, its materials, techniques and fashions – by its chairs. I would go as far as to say that no other everyday object is so multi-faceted.«
(Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra)

The film Chair Times charts a course through an ocean of chairs. In the focus are 125 objects from the Collection of the Vitra Design Museum. Arranged according to their year of production, they illustrate development from 1807 to the very latest designs straight off the 3D printer, forming a timeline to modern seating design. The film features many people whose vocations involve design and who are experts in the field, such as designers Hella Jongerius, Antonio Citterio and Ronan Bouroullec, architects and collectors Arthur Rüegg and Ruggero Tropeano, architect David Chipperfield, Director Emeritus of MAK Vienna/Los Angeles Peter Noever, Mateo Kries, Director of the Vitra Design Museum, Vitra Design Museum curators Amelie Klein, Jochen Eisenbrand and collection curator Serge Mauduit. And your guide through the history of chairs is Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra.*

The Vitra Schaudepot and the Collection of the Vitra Design Museum
The collection of the Vitra Design Museum forms the basis for the film Chair Times. The collection of the Vitra Design Museum encompasses a total of around 20 000 objects, with some 7000 pieces of furniture, more than 1000 lighting objects and numerous archives, as well as the Collection of the Eames Office, or the estates of Verner Panton and Alexander Girard. Although the main museum building by Frank Gehry (1989) was originally conceived to house the collection, the museum utilises the space to stage major temporary exhibitions. The construction of the Schaudepot by Herzog & de Meuron allows for a permanent presentation of the collection, while offering a diverse educational programme.

*A Film by: Heinz Bütler
Production: HOOK Film & Kultur Produktion GmbH in cooperation with the Vitra Design Museum, 2018