The exhibition is focused on the history of the Monobloc chair, a white plastic chair which is a quintessential example of a mass consumer product that is internationally present. It is the epitome of an affordable – and thus democratic – piece of furniture. Not being researched extensively, this chair could be even seen as ubiquitous. Based on 20 objects, the exhibition however aims at displaying the chair’s life story and cultural notations which have world wide influences.
The idea of the Monobloc chair dates back to the 1920s, when designers and architects aimed at making a chair out of one single piece of material. Over the years, manufacturing processes have been optimized and different materials have been tested. Today, the Monobloc stands for a pluralistic approach to design history beyond the classic canon. Precisely due to its multifaceted nature, it symbolizes the complexity of material culture in our time.
The exhibition is displayed at the Schaudepot, the museum’s temporary space built in 2016 and designed by Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron.
- 40 Monoblocs. Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum. Photography by Jürgen Lindemann