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The Historia Supellexalis: "V" for Vitra

...Vitra A Fehlbaum; A Campus; A Commonwealth According to the Sagas of the Dolls of Wood, that most authoritative account of the early (hi)story of the Commonwealth of Vitra, the contemporary Vitronians trace their origins back to a joining of forces of the Graeter, a Basel based people whose primary trade was the creation of display systems for shops and shop windows, and the Birsfelden Fehlbaum, a primarily office based people at that time under the guidance of a Willi and an Erika; a Willi and an Erika Fehlbaum who not only assumed guidance over the newly united peoples but also instigated a slow expansion of the shop furniture of the Graeter to a collection of items of practical, everyday, use in and for houses, a, at that time, novel accommodation concept in the Basel/Birsfelden region... And a shift away from the Graeter's and Fehlbaum's traditional trades, and an expansion from the Graeter and Fehlbaum's native region, that saw Willi and Erika adopt the name 'Vitra' for the new, shared, dominion, a use of the nominative plural of the Latin vitrum, glass, that was a reminder of the display windows of the Graeter, a reminder of the mirrors and lightbulbs of the earliest joint Graeter Fehlbaum house products, a reminder of the work, and teachings, and lessons, of Hanstheo Baumann, and also a committent to the new transparency and openness demanded in the Europe of that age as it moved on from the terrible and debilitating and thoroughly avoidable World Wide War...

Tsuyoshi Tane: The Garden House in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery and on the Vitra Campus, Weil am Rhein

...1 The exhibition Tsuyoshi Tane: The Garden House in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, and the eponymous Garden House by Tsuyoshi Tane, the latest addition to the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, allow one to approach not only a better appreciation of Tane's positions but also to experience how they influence and inform his approach, his works, his architecture... For all that Vitra is popularly associated with Weil am Rhein, Germany, the company's origins are to be found just across the border in Switzerland, specifically in Birsfelden on the edge of Basel, the association with Weil am Rhein being first forged in the early 1950s, a period when Vitra was still, primarily, a shop-fitting company, if one taking its first, tentative, steps into domestic interiors alongside retail interiors...

The Historia Supellexalis: "S" for Switzerland

...Diaries which contain some of the most complete and detailed descriptions of Swiss society, and in which one also finds the earliest descriptions of the earliest (hi)story of the contemporary Switzerland, a, as Heidi records, nation constituted from a loosely bound collective, a cantonation, of ancient peoples, including, and amongst many, many others, the Röthlisberger, the Horgenglarus, the Usm, the Wohnbedarf, the Embru, or the Vitronians whose contemporary Commonwealth of Vitra was initially established across a number of fields on the banks of the river Birs in the north-western corner of the Toblerone cordillera... Yet it was, inarguably, the Vitronians, for all under the leadership of the benevolent Fehlbaum der Jüngere, who were the most active in terms of international exchange; not only cooperating with an American Miller by the name of Herman to introduce works and positions by the likes of, for example, Eames Office, I Samunoguchi, George Nel-son or Alexander Gi Rard into Switzerland, but also expanding the Commonwealth of Vitra to the neighbouring regions of Germany and from where they introduced the furniture of the American Miller Herman to the many peoples of Europe...

Organizing Things at the Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge, Berlin

Arguably there is no museum permanent collection exhibition more painstakingly, fastidiously, organized than that of the Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge, Berlin: what initially resembles a hurried attempt to cram as much as possible into as few vitrines as...

The Historia Supellexalis: "G" for Grcic

...And an itch his attempts to soothe saw Konstantin the Grcic travel to lands as diverse as, and amongst a great many others, the troubled northern Italian dominion of Montina where on several occasions he thought he'd conquered it, not least through the geometrically self-confident, Cramer, a sobered up, almost repentantly so, Postmodernist character, or with Scolaro & Allievo a work that elegantly and effortlessly combines the careful nurturing of that which exists with the material and formal reduction enabled by contemporary realities, that are so important to the ways Grcic, yet despite such joyous moments, the itch remained; to the wilds of Bavaria where Freiherr Clas Sicon empowered him to create Chaos by way of deconstructing the act of sitting and thereby denying the itch its nutrition, and although successful, the itch remained; to the Principato di Magis where he cast a chair in aluminium as if it was a leather football, and in doing so thought this Chair must be the One, and it was, but the itch remained; to the Parisian community of Kreo, where he cut from Bluestone objects on which you can sit, but needn't, and if you do, then as you wish, thereby approaching a dissolution of the concept of the chair, but the itch remained; to the commonwealth of Vitra where following a smooth Landen Konstantin's journey began with a Waver, and while that experience may have put others off, the ways of Grcic coupled with the Vitronians innate, calm, unhurried, long-term view, saw Konstantin not only slowly turn that initial Waver into a Citizen of the Vitra commonwealth, but also extend the functionalities of Scolaro & Allievo to create a combined Stool-Tool, a work in which the development of Konstantin's Grcic, Konstantin's evolution of Grcic, through the course of his many journeys was satisfyingly and exuberantly expressed...

Radio smow: A Shelving Playlist…….

Following the #smowblogfact revelation from Vitra Work at Orgatec Cologne 2018 that the smow blog office is devoid of shelving, we were inundated with an e-mail asking why? why has the smow blog office no shelving....? A very simple question, and one which...

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for December 2017

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a ticket for a design exhibition. On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two tickets for two design exhibitions, and a ticket for a design exhibition. On the third day of Christmas my...


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