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Classics in the Office

The newspaper about work.

What is a classic, and what does it stand for? Can a design that was conceived many years ago truly fulfil today’s requirements?

A designer cannot consciously create a classic piece of furniture. The objects that have achieved the status of classics have remained relevant and popular for decades – including in offices. This is not only due to a timeless appearance but also to their extraordinary quality, which makes them extremely durable and thus more economical than most office furnishings.

In this current period of rapid change, offices are more heterogeneous than ever before, ranging from high-rises filled with shared desks in non-territorial layouts, to spacious open-plan interiors conceived for teamwork, to conventional group or individual offices with fixed desks – and some even suggest that the office has become obsolete. Yet there is one constant in this dynamic environment: the classics of furniture design. To make sure it stays that way, Vitra occasionally adapts its classics to new developments and requirements – always abiding by the dictates of authenticity and in close cooperation with the designer’s heirs.


"A classic is not a classic from the very beginning. It starts by breaking the mould. It doesn’t become a classic by conforming to established norms; instead, it questions these established norms. A classic becomes a classic because it wins the battle: first against the products that already exist and then against all of the new products that it must beat out."

Rolf Fehlbaum