Architecture, photography and comics: summer exhibitions at the Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra “village” in Weil am Rhein, a complex of buildings for industrial and leisure purposes, hosts an interesting programme of exhibitions running until late summer and autumn. For design and architecture enthusiasts, it is a worthwhile destination to visit, even for a short holiday.

Balkrishna Doshi, Architecture for people

From June 7 to 17 , on the occasion of Art Basel and DesignMiami Basel (Basel, June 11-16, read here), the Vitra campus hosts the exhibition “Food Shaping Kyoto“, at the Buckminster Fuller Dome, and on June 12th, Vitra’s collaboration with the American fashion designer Virgil Abloh will be unveiled.

Lake Verea, Paparazza Moderna, Abele House, Walter Gropius

Food Shaping Kyoto“, in collaboration with architects Shadi Rahbaran & Manuel Herz (Basel), and the KYOTO Design Lab, is the outcome of research and workshops held in Kyoto since 2015, outlining the city’s relationship with food and design. The research seeks to answer some questions: how does a city feed itself? How is food processed and delivered in cities? How does food affect the traffic flows of goods and people? The exhibition is at the Buckminster Fuller Dome until June 17th, 2019.

Food Shaping Kyoto, rendering

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People

The Vitra Design Museum presents “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People“, the first ever retrospective on the work of the Indian architect outside Asia. Born in 1927 in Pune, Balkrishna Doshi is also the first Indian architect to be awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2018. His architectural language was strongly influenced by his collaboration with Le Corbusier in Paris, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, and by the experience gained during the construction of the Institute of Management, designed by Louis Kahn.

Balkrishna Doshi, Architecture for people

The exhibition features a number of projects carried out between 1958 and 2014, and embraces the overall work of the architect, who over his many years of activity designed private homes, including interiors, residential estates, universities and cultural institutes, government and administrative facilities and whole cities. Among his most significant projects are the Indian Institute of Management (1977, 1992), his own architecture studio, Sangath (1980), and the low-income housing complex Aranya, which now houses 80,000 people.

Balkrishna Doshi, Architecture for people

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People is a project of the Vitra Design Museum and the Wüstenrot Stiftung in collaboration with the Vastushilpa Foundation, and runs until September 8th 2019.

Living in a Box: Design and Comics

With “Living in a Box: Design and Comics“, the Vitra Design Museum investigates icons of contemporary furniture design in the settings of various famous comics. From Tintin, where Mies Van Der Rohe’s MR-10 chair appeared in 1934, to different comics between the 1940s and 1950s, where design icons appeared on different occasions. In the 1960s, design was influenced by the pop culture of comics, from which came the 1971 Tomato Chair, by Eero Aarnio, or the 1968 Boomerang desk, by Maurice Calka.

Design and Comics, Vitra Schaudepot, scrivania Boomerang, di Maurice Calka

Even today, when the press is increasingly disappearing in favor of digital, comic books are still popular, even for more “serious” topics, such as “Eileen Gray: A House Under the Sun”, where the two illustrators Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and Zosia Dzierżawska recreate the villa E.1027, by Eileen Gray. And, of course, we cannot miss the Manga Chair, by Nendo, from 2015.

The exhibition, curated by Erika Pinner, is held at the Vitra Schaudepot, until October, 20th, 2019.

Lake Verea: Paparazza Moderna

How do people live in houses designed by great modernist architects? How do the buildings designed in the first half of the twentieth century look today? “Paparazza Moderna” is the name of the exhibition that the Vitra Design Museum dedicates to the work of the Mexican artist duo Lake Verea, based on “stolen” pictures of houses in the contemporary everyday life in 2010s, without any kind of embellishment or setting.

Lake Verea, Paparazza Moderna, Glass House, Philip Johnson

The residences pictured are projects by Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Rudolf M. Schindler, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. The photos were taken between 2011 and 2018.

The exhibition, curated by Viviane Stappmans, is held at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery until July, 7th 2019.

Info: e Vitra Design Museum

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