Good design transforms the way we move through our environment, shaping our surroundings with elegant details and surprising forms that affect our emotional landscape. Since its inception, Vitra has committed its everyday work to enhance our spaces and improve our lives through the power of good, timeless design. Founded in 1950 by Willi and Erika Fehlbaum, the Vitra story truly begins in 1953 when Willi makes a trip to the USA and discovers the striking designs of Charles and Ray Eames. It was then he decided to expand beyond shopfitting and manufacture furniture that reimagines how we situate our daily lives, inspired by classic aesthetics that stand the test of time and are guaranteed to last for generations.
By 1957, Vitra established the licensed production of the Herman Miller Collection, and features extraordinary works from design icons like the Eames and George Nelson. Vitra then launches is first chair to be developed independently, and this chair makes history: In 1960, the Panton Chair becomes the first plastic cantilever chair molded from a single piece and remains to this day a coveted item for homes across the globe. Since that time, Vitra has seen three generations of this family-run business, and has worked closely with some of the world’s most notable designers of our time, from internationally renowned architects like Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Herzog and de Meuron, and Tadao Ando, to modern masters like Jean Prouve, Hans Coray, Isamu Noguchi, and Eero Saarinen, and contemporary tastemakers like Jasper Morrison, Ron Arad, the Bouroullec Brothers, Konstantin Grcic and Antonio Citterio, all of whom they refer to as authors, and their descendants.
The result is a comprehensive collection of classic and contemporary furniture, lighting, and accessories for the home, office, and public spaces, all united by a clean aesthetic that omits the superfluous, superior manufacturing methods, and premium materials that are strictly tested for quality and longevity. Vitra designs have seen numerous awards from international organizations and many have become icons, included in museum and gallery collections all over the world. They have also been used in a number of high-profile settings, including the plenary chamber of the German Bundstag, the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfort, and the Dubai and Munich Airports.
Vitra believes that the beauty of good design manifests in its usable and practical forms and works tirelessly to educate the public on the many ways successful design and architecture shapes our future by hosting exhibitions, workshops, and guided architectural tours across the lush Vitra Campus and Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. With an understanding of design as a “love investigation” – what Charles Eames referred as the merging of dedication and passion that results in the best in design today – Vitra continues to infuse homes with prized pieces that become heirlooms, born of intense scientific research, rooted in sustainability, and blossoming into a symphony of thoughts and feelings that enrich our everyday.
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