The Vitra Design Museum has announced a new exhibition exploring the work of Pritzker architect Balkrishna Doshi. Titled Architecture for the People, the museum will present the first international retrospective about Balkrishna Doshi outside of Asia. The goal of the exhibition is to open Doshi’s work to a global audience and show how the architect’s work has redefined modern Indian architecture to shape a new generations of architects.
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The Insignificance of Aesthetics: An Exhibition at Vitra Design Museum Adds a Context of Urgency to the Works of Victor Papanek
This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Design Provocateur: Revisiting the Prescient Ideas of Victor Papanek".
“Today industrial design has put murder on a mass-production basis,” declared Victor Papanek, design provocateur and critic, from the podium of a design-activist happening in 1968. “By designing criminally unsafe automobiles that kill or maim,” he roared, “by creating a whole new species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breathe, designers have become a dangerous breed.”
With the exhibition »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People« (30 March to 8 September 2019), Vitra Design Museum presents the first international retrospective about the 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi outside of Asia.
The renowned architect and urban planner is one of the few pioneers of modern architecture in his home country and the first Indian architect to receive the prestigious award. During over 60 years of practice, Doshi has realized a wide range of projects, adopting principles of modern architecture and adapting them to local culture, traditions, resources, and nature. The exhibition will present numerous significant projects
This article was originally published on April 21, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Although Zaha Hadid began her remarkable architectural career in the late 1970s, it would not be until the 1990s that her work would lift out her drawings and paintings to be realized in physical form. The Vitra Fire Station, designed for the factory complex of the same name in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, was the among the first of Hadid’s design projects to be built. The building’s obliquely intersecting concrete planes, which serve to shape and define the street running through the complex, represent the earliest attempt to translate Hadid’s fantastical, powerful conceptual drawings into a functional architectural space.
Earlier this summer, the Vitra Schaudepot on the Vitra Campus was officially opened. The latest in a string of structures designed by emerging and well-known architects, this gallery space is the second building by Swiss-practice Herzog & de Meuron. Conceived as "a visible storage facility" presenting a cross-section of the Vitra Design Museum's extensive collection of furniture and lighting, over 400 objects will provide "a comprehensive introduction to the history of furniture design." Featuring a café, shop and a new entrance for visitors to the museum, the building is also able to host temporary exhibitions. Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to this latest addition in Weil am Rhein.
On display until May 31st, the Vitra Design Museum's "Architecture of Independence – African Modernism" exhibition displays a cross-section of Africa's experimental architecture from the post-colonial years of the 1960s. Covering more than 80 projects in Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal, the exhibition aims to shed light on this little-known period of architecture history, and challenge Western notions of African countries. In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Curator Manuel Herz on Africa's 'Grandiose' Modern Architecture," Curator Manuel Herz reveals the origins of the exhibition and shares his thoughts light on some of the buildings which the exhibition highlights.
Clare Dowdy: What triggered your interest in the post-colonial architecture of Central and Sub-Saharan Africa?
Manuel Herz: I was in Nairobi a couple of times around 2007 and noticed the architecture of that period was of outstanding quality but virtually unknown outside Kenya. This triggered an interest to research the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. I found that the political urgency that existed at the time of the independence process is embodied in the architecture.
From February 20 the Vitra Design Museum will host "Architecture of Independence - African Modernism," an exhibition curated by architect and author Manuel Herz. Featuring numerous photographic contributions by Iwan Baan, "Architecture of Independence" explores the experimental and futuristic architecture produced in 1960s Central and Sub-Saharan Africa during the region's period of newfound independence.