Author: Bianca KILLMANN Posted in Backround

vitra., Switzerland

Since the 1950s, vitra manufactures drafts of designers. First the company founders Erika and Willi Fehlbaum produced the furniture of George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames in Weil am Rhein. On a trip to the USA, the Swiss couple had received the sales license from Herman Miller. In the US his interior objects were already established. At that time Verner Panton crossed their way. He was quite hellbent on designing a cantilever chair completely made of plastic. The Fehlbaums believed in the idea and brought the panton chair on the market in 1967. Based on this foundation over the years a fruitful collaboration with Verner Panton and other progressive designers developed. The range of furnishings for commercial, public and private spaces grew.


The vitra World

  • In 1981, in the meantime Rolf Fehlbaum has taken up the position as his fathers successor, a fire destroys many of the historically grown manufacturing buildings. Since then buildings by renowned architects like Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA  gather at this place and form the vitra Campus. The vitra Design Museum was the first building by Frank O. Gehry outside North America. Tadao Ando immortalized himself with a meeting and conference building, which was completed in 1993, for the first time outside of Japan. In the same year Zaha Hadid celebrated a first as well. The vitra Fire Station is her first realized building, and advertised her spectacular style.


Best office culture

  • In addition to a breeding ground for contemporary design vitra responds with “Net ‘n Nest” to the changing demands in daily work. “Net” sees the office as a center of communication and at the same time as a retreat, the “nest”.


Ecology and economy

  • All implementations are carried by an ecological thought and economic responsibility. vitra sees no externally imposed obligation hereunder. But it is rather an aspect of design that has always been a part of the company’s industrial culture. At vitra, it goes without saying that furniture is valuable when its production, utilisation and recycling does not harm people or the environment.


Ageless classics

  • Product longevity is central to the company’s contribution to sustainable development; short-lived styling is avoided at all costs. This can be seen most clearly in the classical pieces of furniture that have been used for decades, had several owners and have then even ended up as a part of a collection.

“Sustainability is just like morals: one should live by them and not just talk about them. Our roots in modern design make the first step easy: we make products that avoid the superfluous and last for a very long time.” Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman of vitra