designboom recently visited the vitra design museum to experience the victor papanek retrospective. the ‘politics of design’ exhibition documents the work and ideas of one of the most influential designers and social-commentators of the 20th century and is on display until the 10th of march 2019. 

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

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as well as being a renowned designer, papanek was also a respected author and his book, ‘design for the real world’ remains one of the most widely acclaimed pieces of literature about design. first published in 1971, the book was ahead of it’s time as it addressed issues such as inclusivity, social justice and sustainability. papanek was renowned for considering the wider community and in his writing he made the case that social and political issues should be at the forefront of design. he is recognized for expressing that designers have a responsibility to design for minorities, which he notably commented weren’t ‘minorities’ at all.

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the large multi media installation

 

 

the exhibition at vitra is split into four different sections, each showcasing a detailed look at the life and work of papanek. in the first room, there is a large multimedia installation that brings to life the designer’s ideas in a contemporary and vibrant way. the next part of the retrospective shows a timeline of papanek’s life, spanning from his escape from nazi persecution in austria, to the international acclaim he later achieved in the united states. the remaining rooms of the exhibition showcase a range of designs by papanek, his students, and other collaborators.

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the large multi media installation brings papanek’s ideas to life

 

 

the ‘politics of design’ exhibition not only documents the biography of a great designer, it also shows how design can be used as a tool for social transformation. in present day, we now expect inclusive design as a prerequisite but at the time of papanek, his ideas were revolutionary. his work and literature conveys that good design must consider these important issues of our society in order to make the world a better, and more accessible, place.

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the timeline of papanek’s life and work

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the exhibition documents in chronological order, papanek’s most notable moments

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the third space showcases a range of designs by papanek, his students, and other collaborators

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

papanek is noted for his inclusive design

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum  designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum  

designboom visits the victor papanek retrospective at VITRA design museum

the exhibition is on display until the 10th of march 2019

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