Atlas of Furniture Design

The new encyclopedic publication on 200 years of furniture design


Available in bookstores and in our online shop.

In November 2019, the Vitra Design Museum publishes the »Atlas of Furniture Design«, a new comprehensive overview on the history of modern furniture design. With more than 1,000 pages, the »Atlas« is the most extensive book ever to be published on the topic. It documents 1,740 objects by over 540 designers, and features more than 2,800 illustrations, from object photographs to design sketches and interiors as well as patents, brochures, art, architecture, and portraits of the designers. The Vitra Design Museum collection, which counts among the world’s largest of its kind with upwards of 20,000 objects, including over 7,000 pieces of furniture, serves as the basis for »Atlas of Furniture Design«. The publication includes works by the most significant designers of the past 230 years and documents all important stages of design history. This includes 19th century furniture made out of bentwood and metal, Art Nouveau and Secession style designs, iconic designs by protagonists of modernism such as Le Corbusier, Gerrit Rietveld, Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer, and Eileen Gray, but also post-war, post-modern, and contemporary furniture by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Gae Aulenti, Finn Juhl, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic.

The »Atlas of Furniture Design« is the product of over 20 years of research at the Vitra Design Museum and was compiled by a team of more than 70 authors. It contains comprehensive essays on the socio-cultural and design-historical contexts of furniture design, over 550 detailed texts on pioneering objects, and numerous information graphics that provide new visual insights into the history of furniture design. Furthermore, the book contains a complete appendix that includes designer biographies, bibliographies, a glossary of producers and materials, as well as a keyword index. These features make this publication an encyclopedic reference guide and indispensable resource for collectors, scholars, and experts, and without a doubt a book to be treasured by design lovers all over the world.

»The Atlas of Furniture Design is a treasure trove that offers not only definitive information about beloved staples of design history, but also new, fresh and often unexpected perspectives, all presented in a generous format that captures the breadth and depth of this important subject.« Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art

Mateo Kries, director of the Vitra Design Museum and co-editor of the publication, explains: »The Atlas paints a portrait of our entire collection while simultaneously providing an unprecedented overview of the history of modern furniture. The publication is set up to provide a new comprehensive outline for scholars of furniture design by considering the latest academic research, questioning extant knowledge, and giving top experts a platform to share their ideas. The book touches on a range of subjects spanning the beginnings of industrialization to digitalization, which is becoming increasingly influential in contemporary furniture design. Whether as a selection of iconic designs or as a history of styles, a chronicle of evolution or of revolution, a history of objects or of images, or a narrative of domestic habits or of individual designers, this book can be read in a vast range of ways. But the »Atlas of Furniture Design« can also be enjoyed by readers who prefer to dispense with complex theories and just want to concentrate on each single object.«

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Kobi Benezri Studio
3D-Cover »Atlas of Furniture Design« © Vitra Design Museum, Graphic: Kobi Benezri Studio


Example page (essay) from »Atlas of Furniture Design« © Vitra Design Museum, Graphic: Kobi Benezri Studio
Example page (objects) from »Atlas of Furniture Design« © Vitra Design Museum, Graphic: Kobi Benezri Studio
Example page (objects) from »Atlas of Furniture Design« © Vitra Design Museum, Graphic: Kobi Benezri Studio
Example page (info graphic) from »Atlas of Furniture Design« © Vitra Design Museum, Graphic: Kobi Benezri Studio
Mart Stam / Anton Lorenz, ST 12, 1929 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS, www.objektfotograf.ch
Hans J. Wegner, JH550 / Peacock Chair, 1947 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS, www.objektfotograf.ch
Ettore Sottsass, Carlton, 1981 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS, www.objektfotograf.ch © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2019
Patrick Jouin, Solid C2, 2004 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS, www.objektfotograf.ch