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Vitra Design Museum: exhibition "Monobloc – A Chair for the World"

| Designbest editorial staff


hat you think might happen if you put a white plastic chair in a museum? Monobloc – A Chair for the World. On display at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany until the 18th June 2017, exhibition Monobloc – A chair for the world shines a light on the iconic Monobloc Chair. Here, the Monobloc Chair takes its rightful place among twentieth century design icons. The exhibit includes white plastic chairs in twenty different styles, which illustrate the life of an ordinary object from its beginnings in the fifties until the present day. A truly iconic piece which has travelled the world, being as popular in Brazilian favelas as in aristocratic gardens all around Europe.

The white plastic chairs on display include: the iconic Panton Chair by Danish Verner Panton, the Bifinger Chair by German architect Helmut Batzner, Selene by Italian designer Vico Magistretti and Fauteuil 300 designed in 1972 by French Henry Massonnet, which throughout the years has become the archetypal plastic chair. But, there’s no point in denying it, even if controversial (plastic isn't a sustainable material), Monobloc is a truly democratic piece, which has become a design iconic in its own right and still manages to inspire designers to the present day. However, several designers has designed a sustainable version like the Cafè Chair designed in 2006 by bothers Humberto and Fernando Campana, and Respect Cheap Furniture designed in 2006 by Martì Giuxé.

And to quote Ettore Sottsass “when Charles Eames designs a chair he doesn’t just design a chair, above all he designs a way of sitting”, even so plastic chairs are still some of the most popular and controversial products around. Plus, icon of creative upcycling Martino Gamber has designed the Monothrone chair, his own version of the plastic chair especially made for this exhibition.


Where: Vitra Design Muserum, the Schaudepot room, 2 Charles Eames Strasse, Weil am Rhein, Germany

When: ongoing - 18 June 2017

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