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Vitra Design Museum: The Latest Architecture and News

Vitra Design Museum Explores 200 Years of Chair Design

Vitra Design Museum has debuted Chair Times, a 90-minute film that describes the history of seating furniture. Focusing on 125 objects from the collection of the Museum, the film explores the development of chairs over centuries, examining them as “portraits of their users.” Arranged according to their year of production, they are organized to form a timeline of modern seating design.

Vitra Design Museum Explores the Work of Balkrishna Doshi

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.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, photo by Vinay Panjwani. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumExterior view of Doshi’s Sangath Architect’s Studio, Ahmedabad, Image by Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumBalkrishna Doshi in his studio, Image by Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumAmdavad Ni Gufa underground art space that Doshi created with M.F. Husain, Image by Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum+ 5

The Insignificance of Aesthetics: An Exhibition at Vitra Design Museum Adds a Context of Urgency to the Works of Victor Papanek

Victor Papanek. Image Courtesy of donation from Nicolette Papanek/Victor J. Papanek Foundation
Victor Papanek. Image Courtesy of donation from Nicolette Papanek/Victor J. Papanek Foundation

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.”

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People

Exterior view of the underground art space that Doshi created with M.F. Husain: »Amdavad Ni Gufa«, Ahmedabad, 1994 © Iwan Baan 2018. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumStaircase to the offices in Doshi’s architectural studio: »Sangath Architect’s Studio«, Ahmedabad, 1980 © Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumDoshi’s architecture reflects his philosophy of education without doors: »School of Architecture«, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 1966-68 © Courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad, photo: Vinay Panjwani – India. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design MuseumInterior view of the staircase and entrance hall: »Premabhai Hall«, Ahmedabad, 1976 © Iwan Baan 2018. Image Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum+ 29

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

AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid

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.

©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet + 24

Gallery: Herzog & de Meuron's Schaudepot at the Vitra Campus Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 32

Vitra Design Museum's Manuel Herz On The "Heroic" Modern Architecture Of Africa

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.

Hotel Independence, Dakar (Senegal), by Henri Chomette and Roland Depret, 1973-1978. Image © Iwan BaanIndependence Arch, Accra (Ghana) by the Public Works Departments, 1961. Image Courtesy of Manuel HerzFIDAK - Foire Internationale de Dakar, Dakar (Senegal), by Jean Francois Lamoureux & Jean-Louis Marin, 1974. Image © Iwan BaanKenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi (Kenya), by Karl Henrik Nostvik, 1967-1973. Image © Iwan Baan+ 8

Architecture of Independence - African Modernism

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.