Franco Albini, 1950
The scarcity of materials during the early postwar years inspired industrial designers to combine traditional crafts and organic, natural forms with innovative designs. Albini made an outstanding contribution to architecture and design by using readily available, inexpensive raw materials, with which he created distinctly modern chairs, like the Gala armchair. This chair represents a unique synthesis of minimalism, elegance and formal mastery.
For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus and New Objectivity, from Radical Design and Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and colour. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.