Here We Are! Women in Design 1900 – Today

Here We Are! Women in Design 1900 – Today

23.09.2021 – 06.03.2022

Vitra Design Museum

Be it in furniture design, fashion design, industrial design, or interior design, women have contributed crucially to the development of modern design, both creatively and commercially. And yet books about the history of design often fail to mention them. The exhibition »Here We Are! Women in Design 1900 – Today« at the Vitra Design Museum seeks to help redress the balance. Presenting women designers from the past 120 years, it tells a new, many-voiced story of design against the background of the struggle for equal rights and recognition. Around eighty women in design are showcased in the exhibition, including protagonists of modernism like Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Lilly Reich, and Clara Porset, business leaders like Florence Knoll and Armi Ratia, but also lesser-known figures like the social reformer Jane Addams. Contemporary positions and future outlooks are represented by such designers as Matali Crasset, Patricia Urquiola, Julia Lohmann, as well as the collectives Matri-Archi(tecture) and Futuress.

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Image: © Vitra Design Museum, illustration: Judith Brugger,
object: Faye Toogood, Roly Poly, 2018, photo: Andreas Sütterlin

Here We Are! Women in Design 1900 – Today

Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection

Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection

19.06.2021 – 08.05.2022

Vitra Schaudepot

The Vitra Schaudepot houses more than 400 key works from the collection of the Vitra Design Museum. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of its first opening in 2016, a new presentation concept based on annual focus topics now provides more room for current debates and changing displays. The first focus topic, »Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection«, will launch in June 2021. Under its rubric, the Vitra Schaudepot will be transformed into a laboratory for exploring the role of women in furniture design and questioning the museum’s own collection practice. New acquisitions from designers including Inga Sempé, Reiko Tanabe, Matali Crasset, and Gunjan Gupta will be juxtaposed with historical objects from the archives, for example pieces illustrating the legendary collaboration between Ray and Charles Eames.

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Image:
Ray Eames photographing the »Tandem Seating« at the Eames Studio, 23 October 1962, Eames Collection Vitra Design Museum © Eames Office LLC

Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection

Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance

Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance

06.02.2021 – 23.01.2022

Vitra Design Museum Gallery

The Memphis group was one of the most unusual phenomena to appear in the world of design in recent decades. It emerged in the winter of 1980/81, when a group of young designers eager to break away from the dogmas of functionalism and industrial design formed around the Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass. The group’s first collection, presented at Milan’s Arc’74 gallery in September 1981, was an international sensation. Characterized by garish colours and wild patterns, the Memphis designs seemed to have walked straight off the pages of a comic book and gave rise to a completely new look in which popular culture, advertising aesthetics, and post-modernism merged in a crazy medley. The exhibition »Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance« at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the group’s foundation through its creations, presenting furniture, lamps, bowls, drawings, sketches, and photographs that give insight into the world of Memphis. Exhibits include works by such well-known members as Ettore Sottsass, Michele De Lucchi, George Sowden, Martine Bedin, Michael Graves, Barbara Radice, Peter Shire, Nathalie Du Pasquier, and Shiro Kuramata.

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Image: 
The Memphis team posing on bed »Masanori« by Umeda Tawaraya, 1981
© Masanori Umeda
© Studio Azzurro, with kind permission of Memphis, Milano, www.memphis-milano.com

Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance

Wunderkammer

Wunderkammer

Visitors can experience the Wunderkammer exclusively as part of a public guided tour. Registration here.

Opening in autumn 2021, the »Wunderkammer« on the Vitra Campus will present a collection of more than one thousand action figures including robots, space toys, comic book characters, folk art and merchandising products from the collection of former Vitra Chairman Rolf Fehlbaum. These objects owe their visual charm to the talent, invention, and sense of humor of predominantly anonymous designers. In their time, these icons of pop culture fascinated millions of children and grown-ups.

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Image: Objects from the Rolf Fehlbaum collection at the Wunderkammer,
photo: Bettina Matthiessen

 

Wunderkammer

The Vitra Design Museum Collection

The Vitra Design Museum Collection

Permanent exhibition

Vitra Schaudepot

At the Vitra Schaudepot, which is designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Vitra Design Museum presents key objects from its extensive collection, creating one of the largest permanent exhibitions and research sites on contemporary furniture design. Today 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 allows for a permanent presentation of the collection, while offering a diverse educational programme.

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The Vitra Design Museum Collection