Period IV

M. Kries, J. Eisenbrand (Eds)., Atlas of Furniture Design. Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2019.

Atlas of Furniture Design

In November 2019, the Vitra Design Museum will publish the Magnum Opus among design publications. The establishment of Bauhaus in 1919, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the foundation of the Vitra Design Museum itself in the same year are momentous events. The year of the appearance of the English edition of the Atlas of Furniture Design is well chosen. The German edition is the Atlas des Möbeldesigns. This already monumental work, even before its publication date, is a comprehensive overview of the history of modern furniture design. With more than 1,000 pages, the publication will be the most extensive book ever to be published on the topic. It documents 1,740 objects by over 540 designers. It also contains more than 2,800 illustrations, from object photographs to design sketches and interiors as well as patents, brochures, art, architecture, and portraits of the designers.

The Vitra Design Museum collection, which counts among the world’s largest of its kind with upwards of 20,000 objects, including over 7,000 pieces of furniture, serves as the basis of this Bible of Furniture Design. The publication includes works by the most significant designers of the past 230 years and documents all relevant stages of design history. This includes 19th century furniture made out of bentwood and metal, Art Nouveau and Secession style designs, iconic designs by protagonists of modernism such as Le Corbusier, Gerrit Rietveld, Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer, and Eileen Gray, but also post-war, post-modern, and contemporary furniture by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Gae Aulenti, Finn Juhl, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic.

It also contains comprehensive essays on the socio-cultural and design-historical contexts of furniture design, over 550 detailed texts on pioneering objects, and numerous information graphics that provide new visual insights into the history of furniture design. Furthermore, the book contains a complete appendix that includes designer biographies, bibliographies, a glossary of producers and materials, as well as a keyword index. These features make this publication a reliable reference guide, if not the indispensable resource for collectors, scholars, and experts, and a book to be treasured by design lovers. (Source and further information: www.design-museum.de).