The exhibitions at the Vitra Design Museum in 2021/2022

Memphis, German design and a century of women in design on show at the Vitra Design Museum in 2021 and 2022

Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance

February 6, 2021 – January 23, 2022 Vitra Campus – Vitra Design Museum Gallery

The first exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in 2021 is dedicated to the Italian Memphis group. Born in Milan in 1980 from the encounter of a group of architects and designers, Memphis left an indelible mark in the history of Italian design. During its short-lived existence, from 1981 to 1987, the Memphis group permanently revolutionized Italian design, mixing color, post-modernism and a new aesthetic combined with experimental material research.

Drawing for Interior 2, 1983, George Sowden, Memphis group. Photo courtesy Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra Design Museum Gallery will showcase objects, drawings, and archival material produced by the protagonists of the Memphis world and its years in Milan, from Ettore Sottsass to Michele de Lucchi, Martine Bedin, Michael Graves, Barbara Radice, Peter Shire, Shiro Kuramata.

Discover the exhibition Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors at the Vitra Design Museum until February 28, 2021

Kristall side table by Michele de Lucchi, 1980/81, courtesy Vitra Design Museum, photo Jürgen Hans

German Design 1948-1989: Two Countries, One History

March 20 – September 5, 2021

From March 20 to September 5, 2021, we will have the opportunity to get closer to recent German design. Driven by the Bauhaus and Werkbund movements, German Design gained wide recognition in the early twentieth century. After 1949, Germany was divided into two parts, with different government and political systems, until 1989. Thirty years after the German reunification, the exhibition German Design 1949–1989: Two Countries, One History will the first overview exploring German design on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Peter Ghyczy, Gartenei /Senftenberger Ei, 1968. Photo Jürgen Hans, courtesy Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum will give insights into the different design philosophies in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), revealing differences and parallels during the nation’s divide. An opportunity to learn more about a recent period that is still little explored. The exhibition is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

Palace of the Republic, Berlin, 1977. Photo Uhlenhut, courtesy Vitra Design Museum

The Bigger Picture: Women in Design 1920 – Today

September 25, 2021 – March 6, 2022

The history of design, the discipline emerged in the wake of the industrial revolution, still revolves around objects created by male figures. Many exhibitions have been dedicated to women in design, but most of them focused on individual figures or specific historical events. On the contrary, The Bigger Picture will look at women in design through a wider lens, setting projects and works in their social context.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Kiss), 2019, Limited edition of Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 by, for ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London). Photo: Todd White Photography/ICA

This exhibition will also explore how female protagonists in the design world are narrated by mainstream literature and the real value of women’s “collaborations” in projects officially ascribed to men. Among the pieces on display at the Vitra Design Museum, we will find works by Charlotte Perriand, Lilly Reich, Eileen Gray and lesser-known designers such as Nanna Ditzel and Nanda Vigo, as well as contemporary designers including Marjan van Aubel, Bless, Julia Lohmann.

Discover the exhibition Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors at the Vitra Design Museum until February 28, 2021

Nanda Vigo

Discover Nanda Vigo’s light design

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