Modern Furniture Brands: Vitra
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One of the finest manufacturers of designer modern furniture in the world is the Swiss furniture company Vitra. They are involved in many aspects of the modern furniture industry with the goal of providing healthy, inspiring, durable and flamboyant furniture for the home and office as well as for use in public spaces. They do this through ...
One of the finest manufacturers of designer modern furniture in the world is the Swiss furniture company Vitra. They are involved in many aspects of the modern furniture industry with the goal of providing healthy, inspiring, durable and flamboyant furniture for the home and office as well as for use in public spaces. They do this through creating a combination of their own uniquely designed products and by making and selling classic designs from famous designers like Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Verner Panton, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison and many more. The list goes on to read like a “who’s who” of modern design.
Vitra was founded in 1950 by Willi Fehlbaum in Weil am Rhein, the most southwesterly town in Germany at the point where France, Switzerland and Germany all border each other. Humble beginnings for a company that now operates in over 14 countries around the world. In fact, the Vitra Campus still straddles the border of Germany and Switzerland with Vitra’s main offices in Birsfelden, Switzerland and the Vitra factory in Weil am Rhein. The beautiful Vitra Campus features buildings by some of the world’s greatest architects including the factory designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, a fire station designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid and of course there’s the corporate headquarters and Vitra Design Museum designed by Frank Gehry.
Willi Fehlbaum began by acquiring licenses to manufacture the designs of the American modern furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. Through the last 60 years they have continued to licence the furniture of other famous designers as well as use their own manufacturing expertise to tap into the creative genius of other leading international designers for their own cool and iconic designs. It was further developed and expanded under the reins of Rolf Fehlbaum since 1977 into the international company it is today.
You don’t necessarily need to fill their whole house with furniture from Vitra, although that would certainly be one cool house, rather each piece has it’s own unique personality and style that should be placed within an overall design as a focal point or to add a bit of WOW. That is not to say that it should be a showpiece to be looked in but not used. Vitra furniture is designed to be functional and offer a lifetime of comfort and style. It is sometime difficult to figure out what was designed last year and what was designed in the late 1940′s because furniture from Vitra seems to have a timeless quality that looks cool and modern no matter what the year calendar says it is. It says a lot that Vitra designs are some of the most copied and reproduced furniture designs in the world.
As a company, Vitra has made itself very important to the entire modern furniture and design industry, from hosting their design workshops and publications to maintaining their modern furniture archives and collections. The Vitra Design Museum that opened in 1989 was originally designed to house the furniture collection of Rolf Fehlbaum but is now an independently run cultural institution that plays a major role in the international popularization of modern design and architecture. The museum has one of the largest collections of modern furniture design in the world, with objects from all the major eras and stylistic periods since the early nineteenth century.
Vitra doesn’t just create modern furniture, the are doing their best to keep the industries past alive while insuring that modern design has a long and bright future.