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Vitra Hill House 1, Mackintosh: Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the great representatives of Art Nouveau. Hill House 1 marks a new phase in the work of Mackintosh. The chair’s strict geometry recalls the Ladderback Chairs of the Shakers and clearly differs from the organic or feminine forms of early designs.
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Vitra Hill House 1, Mackintosh: Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the great representatives of Art Nouveau. Together with his wife Margaret McDonald, her sister Frances, and his brother-in-law Herbert McNair, he developed anoriginal style that set itself apart from the decorative floral style of Jugendstil. The group’s geometric, almost cubist designs for furniture show the influence of Japanese spacial concepts and are distinguished by their elongated, severe forms. A typical aspect of their work is a formal scheme based on horizontal and vertical lines, occasionally combined with slightly curved linear ornamentation. Hill House 1 marks a new phase in the work of Mackintosh. The chair’sstrict geometry recalls the Ladderback Chairs of the Shakers and clearly differs from the organic or feminine forms of early designs. It was made for the house of a Scottish publisher and his wife andfunctioned more as part of an artistic environment than as a piece of furniture for everyday use. The chair was assigned a set place in the bedroom of the couple, where it fulfilled a purely decorativefunction. The extended back, first used by Mackintosh in 1897, is a motif that appears repeatedly in his chairs and gives them an unmistakable quality. Black-stained maple, green fabric.
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.