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Vitra Miniature Little Beaver, Grhry: Cardboard furniture as an inexpensive and light alternative to traditional furniture already appears as early as the 1960s. Most designs aimed at lending the cardboard the necessary stability through insert and folding techniques.
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Vitra Miniature Little Beaver, Grhry: Cardboard furniture as an inexpensive and light alternative to traditional furniture already appears as early as the 1960s. Most designs aimed at lending the cardboard the necessary stability through insert and folding techniques. Gehry chose a different method, which gave birth to sturdy cardboard furniture like carboard sculptures: »One day I look in my office at a pile of corrugated cardboard, the material I normally used to make architecture models, and I began to experiment with it, to stick it together and to cut it into shape with a hand saw and a penknife«. Following his »Easy Edges« from 1972, a series of extraordinarily sturdy cardboard furniture with a smooth surface, from the end of the 1970s onwards Gehry once again devoted his attention to the use of corrugated cardboard as a material for making furniture. »Experimental Edges« was the name given to unusually expansive armchairs and easy chairs with a rough, ragged- looking surface. Strips of thick cardboard usually used as the filling for door leafs were sawn or cut vertically to the corrugation lines and fashioned into solid volumes of varying shapes. Using this method, single items or small series of furniture were created, which were both furniture sculptures and surprisingly comfortable chairs and sofas. Corrugated cardboard.
The collection of the Vitra Design Museum en miniature: The Miniatures Collection of the Vitra Design Museum covers the most important pieces from the international history of design from 1850 up to the present. The construction, materials and colours of the miniatures correspond precisely to the historical original. Extensive development work was carried out to adapt the manufacturing techniques to the requirements of miniaturization. Because they are so true to the originals, the miniatures are not only collector’s objects for furniture enthusiasts, but also serve as ideal illustrative material for universities and design schools. At present, the collection encompasses 80 models on a 1:6 scale with further pieces being continually added. The models come in their own wooden box and are accompanied by a descriptive brochure with details on the design. Net proceeds from the sale of the miniatures go towards the exhibitions and workshops of Vitra Design Museum.
Miniaturization means concentration: Vitra Design Museum faithfully replicates furniture design classics in miniaturized three-dimensional form. Many of these designs, like the chaise longue by Le Corbusier or the red-blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld, are as widely known today as the most celebrated works of art and are coveted by museums and collectors the world over. These miniatures illustrate at a glance what design means and what role it plays in the industrial production process. The clear and concentrated world of the miniatures yields a fascinating reflection of the stylistic diversity of contemporary design and provides a unique way of accessing the history of furniture design.
The manufacture of the miniatures: Vitra Design Museum has one of the most renowned collections of industrial furniture design – from the infancy of industrial mass production in the mid-19th century through the designs of functionalistic Modernism up to the postmodern furniture objects of the present day. With its many exhibits, the collection provides us with an ideal base for developing new furniture miniatures. Model builders measure the historical original in the museum collection, scale this down to one sixth of the original size and compile technical documentation. Subsequently, materials and manufacturing techniques are tested over a period of several months: the shapes are formed, materials and processes are selected, art historical research on the objects is conducted and then the production sequences are defined.
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