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Who was Papanek?

Exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum

Victor J. Papanek is considered one of the pioneers of social design. The Vitra Design Museum is now hosting a Geberit-sponsored exhibition on his life and work entitled “Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design”.

The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in the south of Germany is one of the most important addresses worldwide when it comes to the exploration and presentation of contemporary design. From 29 September 2018 until 10 March 2019, the building – which was designed by architect Frank Gehry – will host the first comprehensive retrospective of the life and work of the designer Victor J. Papanek, the great exponent of social design.

New insights into a pioneer

The exhibition features some never-before-presented original exhibits – including drawings, objects and film documents – that shed new light on an important pioneer of the socially and ecologically oriented approach to design, which is still important today. These are complimented by works from well-known contemporaries of Papanek, including Richard Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan. Contemporary works that highlight Papanek’s lasting impact on modern-day design are also part of the exhibition concept.

Design that focuses on real needs

The Vienna-born designer Victor Papanek rose to prominence thanks to his book “Design for the Real World”, which he published in 1971. In it, he advocates an understanding of design that focuses on people and their needs. As exhibition sponsor, Geberit endorses Papanek’s ideal, which is deeply rooted in the company’s self-understanding. Geberit solutions improve the quality of people’s lives sustainably by combining elegant form and functional added value in the best possible way. Design Meets Function sums up this attitude in a nutshell. Today, Geberit is increasingly known as a provider of comprehensive sanitary solutions which represent the perfect balance of sanitary technology and bathroom design.