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Vitra Miniature Tom Vac chair, Arad: The Tom Vac Chair was first realized as one element in a sculpture consisting of 70 stacking chairs named »Totem«. Commissioned by the magazine Domus, it was set up in the centre of Milan during the Salone del Mobile in 1997. The seat shell with the characteristic wave profile is based on earlierversions Ron Arad sketched for the dining room.
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Vitra Miniature Tom Vac chair, Arad: The Tom Vac Chair was first realized as one element in a sculpture consisting of 70 stacking chairs named »Totem«. Commissioned by the magazine Domus, it was set up in the centre of Milan during the Salone del Mobile in 1997. The seat shell with the characteristic wave profile is based on earlier versions Ron Arad sketched for the dining room of a house in Tel Aviv. The first small series for »Totem« was created in just four months. Though it is a complicated metal to manufacture, vacuum-formed aluminium proved to be a suitable material. In collaboration with furniture maker Vitra, for whom he had already produced the Well Tempered Chair back in 1986, Ron Arad developed, within a very short time, a version of the Tom Vac Chair suitable for mass production. Seen within the context of Arad’s complete work, which is largely characterized by »one offs«, the chair is something of an innovation by virtue of its industrial and by extension inexpensive production. While the design of the Tom Vac Chair only deviates minimally from the first plan, the flexible seat shell of polypropylene offers a high degree of comfort. Plastic, chromed steel wire.
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.