Plastic: Remaking Our World

Plastic: Remaking Our World

26.03.2022 – 04.09.2022

Vitra Design Museum

Plastics have shaped our daily lives like no other material: from packaging to footwear, from household goods to furniture, from automobiles to architecture. A symbol of carefree consumerism and revolutionary innovation, plastics have spurred the imagination of designers and architects for decades. Today, the dramatic consequences of the plastic boom have become obvious and plastics have lost their utopian appeal. The exhibition »Plastic: Remaking Our World« at the Vitra Design Museum will examine the history and future of this controversial material – from its meteoric rise in the twentieth century to its environmental impact and to cutting-edge solutions for a more sustainable use of plastic. Exhibits will include rarities from the dawn of the plastic age and spectacular objects of the pop era as well as numerous contemporary designs and projects ranging from pragmatic product innovations to solutions for cleaning up the oceans and bioplastics made from algae or mycelium.

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, V&A Dundee and maat, Lisbon

Image: Bär+Knell, Müll Direkt, 1994
© Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen Hans

Plastic: Remaking Our World

Precious Plastic

Precious Plastic

26.03.2022 – 04.09.2022

Vitra Design Museum Gallery

For the first time, the Vitra Design Museum Gallery will serve as an additional venue for the major exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum. A satellite to »Plastic: Remaking Our World« in the main building designed by Frank Gehry, »Precious Plastic« addresses the issue of recyclability and is organised around the eponymous Dutch initiative launched by Dave Hakkens, which supplies open source plans for machines that allow people to take recycling into their own hands. The display gives fascinating insights into different types of plastic and the complex technologies used for recycling and upcycling processes. These often hidden processes offer great potential as an endless source of inspiration for designers, manufacturers and anyone interested in contributing to a world with less (or better) plastic!

Image: Precious Plastic, shredded plastic;
Courtesy of Precious Plastic 

Precious Plastic

Colour Rush: An Installation by Sabine Marcelis

Colour Rush: An Installation by Sabine Marcelis

14.05.2022 – 14.05.2023

Vitra Schaudepot

The new annual exhibition in the Vitra Schaudepot will address the role of colour in design. It is conceived in collaboration with Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis who is known for her poetical and precise use of reflecting surfaces, colour gradients, and refraction in her works. The Vitra Design Museum has invited her to stage the museum’s collection from an entirely new perspective in one simple and bold gesture: For the exhibition »Colour Rush«, Marcelis will arrange around 400 collection objects by colour rather than chronology, thus showing fascinating cross-references between different periods and styles while at the same time providing visitors with an overwhelmingly novel experience of colour in design. The presentation is complemented by historical and contemporary objects and documents from the museum archives that illustrate the crucial role that colour has in the most different fields of design.

Image: Verner Panton, Mira-X Colour Circle
© Verner Panton Design, Vitra Design Museum,
Verner Panton Estate, Photo: Andreas Sütterlin 

Colour Rush: An Installation by Sabine Marcelis

Hello, Robot: Design between Human and Machine

Hello, Robot: Design between Human and Machine

24.09.2022 – 05.03.2023

Vitra Design Museum 

Science fiction becomes reality: robotics has begun to shape our everyday lives. Examples range from  delivery drones and disability robots, to internet bots and the race for the latest humanoids among global tech giants. The 2017 exhibition »Hello, Robot: Design between Human and Machine« has been the Vitra Design Museum’s most successful exhibition ever and will now return to Weil am Rhein at the end of its world tour in an updated version. It will address the great strides that have been made in robotics in the past few years, but also look at related risks, as elections and public opinion have become the target for manipulation by algorithms and artificial intelligence. Next to robots used in the home, in industry, or in healthcare, the exhibition presents media installations, computer games, and examples from literature and film. It shows how the robotics boom is changing our lives – and how design is changing robotics. At the same time, it broadens our awareness of the ethical and political questions raised by robotics today.


Image: Hajime Sorayama, Sony Corporation
»AIBO Entertainment Robot (ERS-110)« 1999 private collection, 
Photo: Andreas Sütterlin

Hello, Robot: Design between Human and Machine