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First Stop In Project Vitra’s Global Tour: Singapore

The exhibition Project Vitra – Design, Architecture, Communications (1950-2017) at the National Design Centre offers an overview of the Swiss furniture brand’s diverse cultural and commercial activities.

First Stop In Project Vitra’s Global Tour: Singapore

Did you know that the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, represents a few firsts for three of the most legendary names in architecture? It is home to Frank Gehry’s first building outside of the USA (the Vitra Design Museum), Tadao Ando’s first project outside of Japan (the Conference Pavilion in Weil) and Zaha Hadid’s first built work (The Fire Station). Did you know that Gehry took over the design from Nicholas Grimshaw? What was it like pitching a design to a manufacturer by faxing your sketches?

Singapore is the first country in Asia to get the opportunity to know Vitra better. From 11 June to 13 July, the National Design Centre hosts to Project Vitra – Design, Architecture, Communications (1950-2017). The exhibition offers an overview of the Vitra universe and offers insights into the company’s history, from its humble origin of Vitra as a shopfitting company (The name Vitra is derived from the word ‘vitrine’) in 1957 to one of the most important players in the modern history of design with a campus that is on the must-visit lists of designers and design lovers worldwide.

Project Vitra debuted at Vitra Campus Fire Station last year. The exhibition is an expanded version of an earlier presentation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2014. The presentation at NDC kick-started the Project Vitra global tour.



“In its 80 years, Vitra has worked with some of the biggest names in design to push the boundaries of what they do. This showcase is an excellent opportunity for design lovers to understand and appreciate the design processes behind these collaborations,’ said Mark Wee, Executive Director of the DesignSingapore Council.


Vitra is an ongoing project with a furniture company as its economic engine, which is supported and complemented by various research and initiatives.“The diversity of the Vitra project can seem almost confusing at times. That has never bothered us,” said Rolf Fehlbaum, the son of company founders Erika and Willi Fehlbaum, former Vitra CEO and now Chairman Emeritus. 



The Vitra Project at NDC is structured according to thematic categories that include architecture, communication, concepts (home, office public, retail), classic products, contemporary design, Vitra Edition, Vitra Design Museum and Vitra Schaudepot. Stories are told via a mix of products, objects, archival documentation, models and films, strategically arranged in elevated platforms painted white.

Want to know the secret to Vitra’s longevity? We chatted with current CEO and third-gen owner Nora Fehlbaum here.


Project Vitra – Design, Architecture, Communications (1950-2017) at NDC runs until 13 July 2018.
In Singapore, Vitra products are available at the Vitra by Grafunkt store

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