Vitra last week unveiled its installations meant for Salone del Mobile, but instead built on their Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Four distinct environments by four different interior designers/design collectives feature Vitra’s Autumn 2020 products and updates. Created with a set of imaginary characters in mind, their unique home environments showcase products by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison and Jean Prouvé, as well as special editions of iconic Vitra designs.
Signore X, F Taylor Colantonio
Rome-based designer F Taylor Colantonio visualizes the living environment of an eccentric and cultivated art historian from Rome who returns to live in his family’s palazzo on the eve of Brexit. Colantonio imagines an interior that has evolved over time, where new layers accumulate upon existing ones, where it is almost impossible to tell old from new, authentic from artificial, truth from myth. The space is an eclectic canvas bearing the traces of generations of inhabitants – each leaving the imprint of the fashions of their era. The building, which originally dates from the sixteenth century, was substantially remodeled in the Second Empire style in 1865 and features nineteenth-century tile floors as well as ancient marbles and sumptuous drapery referencing the Roman Baroque and the city’s love of theatre. This rich collage, which presents itself to the viewer as a trompe l’oeil, reflects Signore X’s love for color and material mixes, for storytelling, and for the arts. The objects he brings to the space include a Mariposa Corner Sofa and a new edition of the Chaise Tout Bois, the only chair design by the French ‘constructeur’ Jean Prouvé that is made entirely from wood.
Tatami, Charlap Hyman & Herrero
Box 2, by New York and LA-based design studio Charlap Hyman & Herrero, conjures up the dining space of a fictitious collector and patron of art and design who cultivates an intense appreciation for Japanese aesthetics. Inspired by the decadent, bohemian tastes of twentieth-century ‘grande dames’ Pauline de Rothschild and Marie-Laure de Noailles, this romantic character is particularly drawn to tensions between the delicate and the bold, the natural and the industrial, the old and the new. She combines walls clad in eighteenth-century silk floral damask with a floor lined with Japanese tatami panels while opting for Jasper Morrison’s new Moca chair, which is an expression of the British designer’s ‘supernormal’ approach to design: understated, useful and responsible. Also featured here is Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s poetic Vase Découpage, a cylindrical vessel that looks different from every angle.
A Possible Space, Gonzalez Haase AAS
In Box 3, by Berlin-based architecture studio Gonzalez Haase AAS, everything is in flux. The fictitious inhabitants of this space are a couple of uncertain age, in an undefined relationship, inhabiting a possibly mobile structure in an unspecified – though distinctly urban – location. All the elements are easily interchangeable, in terms of both their location and their function. Yet in spite of its inherent flexibility, the environment remains distinctly domestic, as if frozen in a moment in time. One object integrated into this graphically expressive environment is Konstantin Grcic’s new lounge chair Citizen, whose aesthetic references iconic tubular steel designs from the modernist era, with a nod to the unconventional and forward-looking culture of Silicon Valley.
The Long View, Daskal Laperre
Box 4, by Belgian design duo Daskal Laperre, reflects the character of the fictitious Keller family, who – in a time ruled by fashions and fads – subscribe to a slower-paced lifestyle and reject anything superfluous. This is epitomized by their minimal and timeless furniture and attention to detail. The members of this intellectual family take great care of the sparse yet high-quality items that adorn their work and living space. Integrated here is the small, iconic LCW (Lounge Chair Wood) by Charles and Ray Eames, which dates from their period of experimenting with complex plywood molding techniques.
Photography: Eduardo Perez, Courtesy of Vitra