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, 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

German Design 1949–1989

German Design 1949–1989

Two Countries, One History
20.03.2021 – 05.09.2021


Vitra Design Museum

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Wüstenrot Foundation.

German design was put on the map in the 1920s by the Bauhaus school and the Werkbund association. After the division of Germany in 1949, design and everyday culture, too, went their separate ways on both sides of the border. In the West, design became a driving force in the »Wirtschaftswunder«, or economic miracle, while in the East it was absorbed into the socialist planned economy. More than thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Vitra Design Museum presents the first panoramic overview of post-war design in the two Germanies. From 20 March to 5 September 2021, the exhibition »German Design 1949–1989: Two Countries, One History« will offer a comparative selection of design from East and West Germany and explore ideological and aesthetic differences as well as parallels and interrelations between East and West. Exhibits range from iconic pieces of furniture and lamps to graphic, industrial, and interior design to fashions, textiles, and personal ornaments. The exhibition is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

The exhibition »German Design« will be presented at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden from 15 October 2021 to 20 February 2022.

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Key visual of the exhibtion: calculator »ET 33«, Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs, 1977, small jug from the hotel tableware »Rationell«, Margarete Jahny and Erich Müller, 1970, © Vitra Design Museum, illustration: Daniel Streat, Visual Fields

German Design 1949–1989

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