Vitra | The Endless Trials behind Perfection
‘Way-it-should-be-ness. If an object is really well designed, the idea of it having been designed wouldn’t come up at all.’ - Charles Eames
Design is problem solving and “classic” design from the golden age should also be constantly improving based on the modern factors. Cantilever chairs successfully gained media attention in the 1920s, however its commercial value did not last for years. Nothing was a surprise, either wood or metal, people were soon bored.
為了尋找志同道合傢俱工廠，Panton帶著小模型從北歐遊走到一個自文藝復興時期起便擔任商貿及文化中心的德語區 - 瑞士的巴塞爾，才遇到了VITRA的創辦人Willi Fehlbaum及其兒子現董事Rolf Fehlbaum。於是，他們便開始無止境的實驗，幾十年來經歷過無數次失敗，直至90年才重新投入生產。
Panton Chair is more of a trial of materials from wood to plastic than a continuation of Zig Zag Chair. To meet the right partner for a proper material experiment, Panton travelled from Scandinavia to Switzerland with a small model of his chair. None of the manufacturers showed an interest until he got to Basel - the german-speaking commercial and cultural capital of Switzerland since the Renaissance. Vitra’s father and son Willi & Rolf Fehlbaum became friends of Panton and they started the endless trials over the decades.
During WWII, Polyurethane quickly took over the place of rubber in manufacturing. It was relatively much more expensive as manual lacquer coating and finishes are required. Unfortunately, the chair got brittle after thousands of loading tests under single injection moulding - a brand new technique to increase productivity and cost-effectiveness at that time. The classic Polyurethane version were then discontinued in production for decades.
Panton Chair could only back to life when Polypropylene was invented in the 1990s and made the idea structurally possible in all kinds of operation, safety and functionality concerns. In order to keep the good old times with their good old friend Panton, Vitra reserves both the classic and modern versions today: the 1. elegant and thinner Polyurethane and 2. a lot more affordable Polypropylene.
“Home” is always unique, there are neither correct or exact answers. A piece of design should be versatile and flexible enough to get along with other pieces in the world. When the world is running out of “good” or “better” designs, Vitra is always the one who comes with unprecedented features that goes beyond your imagination.
── the Made-In-Europe Swiss-Family with their own design Campus, who respect the original and strive to be better to an infinite extent.
Next, we will dig deep to the linkage between the Swiss-family Vitra - made in Germany and Finnish design classic Artek made in Finland.
敬請期待 下篇 | Coming Next
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