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Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

29 Sep 2018 - 10 Mar 2019

The first major retrospective dedicated to the designer, author and activist Victor J. Papanek (1923–98). Papanek is considered one of the 20th century’s most influential pioneers of a socially and ecologically oriented approach to design. This exhibition includes drawings, films, manuscripts and prints, some of which have never been publicly exhibited. It is organised into four sections including an introductory media installation tracing Papanek’s life from his escape from Europe to his international success, and sections dedicated to the main themes of Papanek’s work, including his criticism of consumerism and his engagement with social minorities, sustainability, and a ‘making culture’ which encouraged creation and production using one’s own resources. These are complimented by works of Papanek’s contemporaries from the 1960s to ’80s, including George Nelson and Marshall McLuhan. Find out more about the Victor Papanek exhibition from the Vitra Design Museum’s website.

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Tensegrity Sphere, at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada, 1967, Richard Buckminster Fuller. ©The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller; courtesy Science Photo Library, photo: Hans Namuth

Tensegrity Sphere at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada in 1967. Photo: Hans Namuth. Courtesy Science Photo Library; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Lean-To Chair, pictured on manuscript page of Nomadic Furniture 2, 1974, Victor J. Papanek and James Hennessy. © James Hennessy and University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Lean-To Chair, pictured on manuscript page of Nomadic Furniture 2 (1974), Victor J. Papanek and James Hennessy. © James Hennessy and University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Tetrakaidecahedral (movable playground; 1973-75), Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Tetrakaidecahedral (movable playground; 1973–75), Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Samisen Dining Chair, 1952-56, Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Samisen dining chair (1952–56), Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

'Gallery of Living Arts, Corona Del Mar, CA, Entrance Lobby', design for exhibition space, 1949-52, Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

‘Gallery of Living Arts, Corona Del Mar, CA, Entrance Lobby’ (1949-52), Victor Papanek. © University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

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