Vitra’s collaboration with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec represents the central theme of this year’s presentation at NeoCon. The Paris-based design duo first caught the attention of the Swiss company with two experimental projects back in 2000. Two years later, they developed a new typology of office systems with the introduction of Joyn, marking the start of a longstanding partnership. This was followed by numerous other iconic products, many of which were pioneering developments in the office space, with nature often being a source of inspiration.Cyl – the Bouroullecs’ newest contribution to Vitra’s portfolio – is presented in a special showcase and a dedicated window display. With its handcrafted, natural aesthetic, it embodies the antithesis of the cold, technical office environment, bringing the atmosphere of home into the workplace. The product family encompasses a wide range of furniture typologies: Tables with contrasting black and natural wood finishes can optionally be equipped with dividers to function as workstations. Featuring side and back panels that come in different heights, the Cyl Sofas are microarchitectural elements inspired by the idea of a “room within a room” – a concept the designers have also explored with other products, among which the Alcove Sofa stands out as one of the most remarkable.
Against a backdrop of framed sketches and quotes by the Bouroullecs, the Cyl furniture system is complemented by a Joyn Bench, the Alcove Sofa and the Belleville Chair, a technically sophisticated plastic chair with a slender frame and elegant lines. An ensemble of Nuage vases and the ceramic L’Oiseau – two of the brothers’ latest additions to the Accessories Collection – as well as the recently introduced Softshell Side Chair are also on display.
Highlights from Artek, many of which are now available through Vitra’s North American Quickship Program, include Kaari Tables and Shelving – also by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – and “Golden Bell” Pendant Lights. True to the original design created by Aino and Alvar Aalto for the interior of The Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1937, the newest Savoy version of the “Golden Bell” is crafted from a single piece of brass with an uncoated surface that will eventually age into a beautiful patina.Vitra’s NeoCon presence this year extends beyond its presentation at The Mart, with other selected pieces making their debut at various offsite events. Among these are the new Stool-Tool by Konstantin Grcic – resembling a monolithic sculpture that invites users to spontaneously try out its many options – and one of two limited editions of the Panton Chair designed by Verner Panton, presented to the public for the first time at the IMM Cologne in 1968. The launch of the Panton Chrome and Panton Glow marks the 50th anniversary of an iconic classic – an important milestone in the company’s history, coinciding with the 50th edition of NeoCon.