Popular lamps from Vitra
The Japanese-American artist and designer started designing light sculptures in 1951. He made more than 100 Shoji paper models by hand, including table lamps, standing lamps, and floor lamps. The collection was named ‘Araki’, which means ‘light’ in Japanese. The collection now comprises more than 40 different lamps that combine Japanese and Scandinavian design, all with a timeless and minimalist expression.
The lamps are available in many different shapes and sizes. Some are quite neat and simple while others feature illustrations. What the Akari lamps all have in common is their use of the robust Shoji paper that dims the light and hides the source while emitting a comfortable and even glow that lights up its surroundings.
The Akari 1A table lamp combines the classic expression of the rice paper lamp with the slender legs of a sculptural lamp. The same goes for the Akari 10A floor lamp, which also has a Nordic touch in its wooden details. Both lamps can be used all around the home or at the office, where they contribute a relaxed and atmospheric light.
Many of us have memories of the cosy spherical rice paper lamp that hang from our childhood bedroom. The Akari 26A pendant was inspired by the famous pendant and imbued with an elegant shape and lovely structure that fits seamlessly into modern décor.
No matter which Akari lamp you prefer, you can rest assured that the entire range is focused on quality, down to the smallest of details. The transverse frame is carefully tightened around a wooden frame that moulds to the desired shape. The paper is then carefully glued onto the wooden frame, one piece at a time to ensure perfection. Start to finish, the process takes around six hours, and it’s carried out by hand by the best Japanese artisans out there.
From the Vitra Chair to Vitra Design Museum
On a trip to New York in the mid-1950s, Willi Fehlbaum discovered a chair so fascinating, he had to find out who designed it. The chair—designed by Ray and Charles Eames—changed his life when he decided to become a furniture designer. After years of negotiations, he took over the rights in 1957, gaining not only the rights to Ray and Charley Eames’ work, but also to the creations of George Nelson, Alexander Girard, and Isamu Noguchi.
This became a defining moment for Vitra, and the company is now headquartered in Weil am Rhein. They’ve been working with influential and innovative designers like Jasper Morrison, Mario Bellini, Antonio Citterio, and the Danish architect Verner Panton through the past 60 years. Together, they break with tradition, question the status quo, and continue to introduce new and better solutions to specific problems in light design.
In 1989, the private Vitra Design Museum was founded by Willi and Erika Fehlbaum’s son, Rolf Fehlbaum. He started collecting chairs in the 1980s, and he reached a point where he’d collected enough to organise them into a story. In the beginning, he stored the chairs at the office, but when the chairs started breaking, one accident at a time, he decided that a museum would be a more fitting place to show his collection.
Today, the museum’s collection focuses on interior design and furniture, primarily built around the works of the American designers Ray and Charles Eames. It also showcases the works of other designers, like Michael Thonet, Richard Hutten, Jean Prouvé, Dieter Rams, George Nelson, Alvar Aalto, and Verner Panton. Vitra Design Museum is home to one of the biggest collections of designer furniture in the world, and they have exhibits covering all the big eras of furniture design.