THE DESIGNERS BEHIND THE EXCELLENCE
Vitra is a Swiss family-owned company. It not only makes furniture and creates retail environments. Vitra sees designers not simply as contractors but as authors. The relationship of trust between these authors from all corners of the world and Vitra, who shares their ambitions, is at the very heart of the company’s product development process. Collaborations are always a subtle synthesis of artistic freedom, production know-how and industry knowledge.
The designer Hella Jongerius has become known for the manner in which she fuses industry and craft, high- and low-tech, traditional and contemporary. In 1993 she founded the Jongeriuslab studio, where she has pursued independent projects and also created products for major clients, including Maharam, Danskina, IKEA and KLM.
|For Vitra, the Dutch designer has developed distinctive pieces such as the Polder Sofa and the East River Chair. Jongerius has consistently addressed the significance of colours and surfaces in contemporary design in her work with textiles, ceramics and furniture. She has been the Art Director for colours and materials at Vitra for many years and developed the Vitra Colour & Material Library – a system that enables the versatile combination of different materials and colours throughout the extensive Vitra product collection. Hella Jongerius has also written a book about this complex task entitled «I Don’t Have a Favorite Colour». Works by Hella Jongerius have been shown at museums and galleries such as Design Museum (London), Galerie Kreo (Paris) and the Moss Gallery (New York).|
Founded in 1960 by Ernesto Gismondi, Artemide is based in Pregnana Milanese, Italy. At Artemide, technological research, partnerships with outstanding architects, as well as sociocultural investigation have been from the outset at the origin of innovative projects capable to illuminate the future with unabated power. Today the Artemide collections convey a unique mix of values: the approach to human and responsible light goes hand-in-hand with design and material, combining next-generation technology with ancient wisdom.
Vico Magistretti attended the Parini High School before enrolling in the Faculty of Architecture, Regio Politecnico of Milan in 1939. He moved to Switzerland from 1943 to 1944, where he took some academic courses at the Champ Universitaire Italien in Lausanne where he spent time with Ernesto Nathan Rogers, a key influence on his intellectual education.
|The 1950s were a very busy and fruitful period for the young architect, who came up with lots of innovative ideas. In 1945 he graduated in Architecture from the Polytechnic. He began working as a designer as well as an architect, creating furniture and objects which will always be “classics” of modern-day production. His design works are on display in MOMA’s permanent collection in New York and in many museums in America and Europe. In the field of architecture, he was appointed as an honorary member of the Royal College of Art in London.|
Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means.” In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture, and art.
Magus of the North
Recognised today as one of the great masters of modern architecture, Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was born in Kuortane, Finland. During a long and prolific career, Aalto designed buildings for almost all key public institutions, as well as standardised housing and private homes. One of the co-founders of Artek, Aalto left a legacy with lasting resonance.