Posts Tagged 'Design'

Field Trip Friday: Vitra Design Museum

While living in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2008, OHNY program coordinator, Jailee Rychen, took a trip to the Vitra Design Museum. Located just outside of the Swiss city of Basel in Weil am Rhein, Germany, the museum is situated outside of a major city in a quiet setting that is also the location of the Vitra factory campus.

Vitra Desgin Museum main building

The main building of the museum was design by Frank Gehry and finished in 1989. It was his first building in Europe and its unconventional design became a focus of interest in the international architecture community. The Vitra’s campus includes a number of buildings all designed by the top names in architecture including Zara Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Herzog & De Meuron, etc. The museum offers architectural tours of the entire campus.

Charles Eames Strasse

The museum was founded and is funded by the Vitra Corporation whose intention was to document the history of the company and to showcase its large collection of furniture by designers such as George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, and Jean Prouvé. The museum is located on Charles Eames Straße.

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen

Outside of the museum is a sculpture titled Balancing Tolls by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen (1984). The tools are the tools of a furniture maker. This sculpture was given to Willi Fehlbaum, Vitra’s founder, on his 70th birthday.

George Nelson clocks

During Jailee’s visit there was an exhibition of the design of George Nelson who was known for his unique wall clock designs, many of which New York’s might recognize from the MoMA design store or in other design boutiques around the city.

George Nelson Marshmellow Sofa

Another signature design of Nelson’s is his Marshmellow Sofa that comes in a variety of colors from simple white to multicolored.

Vitra Design Museum exterior

The design of Gehry’s building is an artwork and design masterpiece in itself. It is whimsical and daring, like most of Gehry’s other buildings. If you ever find yourself in Basel, Switzerland, it is worth a bus trip to see the Vitra Design Museum and factory campus. Take a take a tour of the architectural marvels and enjoy a museum dedicated masters of design excellence.

Vitra designs are sold in a number is retail locations in New York City. They also have a design store on 29th Ninth Ave.

Vitra Design Museum

Charles-Eames-Str. 1
79576 Weil am Rhein, Germany


Field Trip Friday: Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne

Hae-In, OHNY’s Program & Education Coordinator, recently took a trip to Germany, stopping in Berlin, Nuremberg, Füssen and Munich. Today’s post focuses on the Pinakothek der Moderne museum in Munich. The museum is the most recent addition to Munich’s three big art museum cluster (along with the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek), and is part of Munich’s “Kunstareal” or “art district.”

museum exterior

Designed by German architect Stephan Braunfels, the Pinakothek der Moderne was completed in 2002 after seven years of construction. The minimalist white and gray concrete facade is dominated by large windows and narrow columns. The four corners of the building meet in a central rotunda and each corner is dedicated to a special collection.

design wall display

The Museum unites four different collections and is divided into Art (Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst) with paintings, sculpture, photography, and video; Architecture (Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität) with architectural drawings, photographs, and models; Design (Die Neue Sammlung) highlighting design and craftwork; and Works on Paper (Staatliche Grapische Sammlung) with an extensive collection of prints and drawings.

Ron Arad TW3 rocking chair

With around 70,000 objects, the “Neue Sammlung”or design section is one of the world’s leading collections of 20th century applied art and industrial design. Located in the basement level, the exhibit starts with an immense wall of items displayed floating in separate units (see above) and is a wonderful introduction to the collection. TW3 rocking chairs, designed by Ron Arad, welcome you to sit down!

exhibit of cars

There is also a dramatic display of motorcycles and automobiles, including early model Porches. Items range from Art Nouveau furniture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Bauhaus shelving units to a collection of typewriters and computers that chronicles the rise of our modern computer culture.

chair design

The concept of a modern art museum in Munich began in the 1990’s and although the site and design were selected by 1992, the plan was put on hold by the Bavarian government for financial reasons. Supporters set up the Pinakothek der Moderne Foundation and provided 20 million+ Deutsche Marks (about 10 million Euros) of private funding to help build the museum. In September 1994 the project received the green light with additional state funds to help the foundation reach its goals. The foundation, supported by individual contributions, still plays an important role in the operation and maintenance of the museum today.

vases, bowls and other objects displayed

Instituted in 1758, the “Staatliche Graphische Sammlung” collection has more than 400,000 prints, drawings and works on paper dating from the 15th century to the present. It was housed in former Nazi administrative headquarters on Königsplatz, from 1948 to 1981, but this was never intended to be used as an exhibition or conservation space. It was moved to the Neue Pinakothek in 1981 before finding a permanent home at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

artwork of Max Beckman

The museum also has a wonderful collection of early modern art, with a whole room dedicated to painter Max Beckmann, as well as works by Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte and many masterpieces of German Expressionism. Later 20th-century work by Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon are also here, and installations by Joseph Beuys and Dan Flavin round out the contemporary exhibit.

river surfing on the Eisbach, a small canal that flows through the Englisher Garten (near the museum)

The Pinakothek der Moderne houses a great collection of modern art and design, beautifully and creatively displayed in it’s 12,000 square meters of exhibition space, and is definitely worth checking out when you are in Munich.

Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Straße 40
80333 München

Field Trip Friday: 3rd Ward Member Group Show

Last Friday night, OHNY staffer Hae-In went to check out the 3rd Ward Member Group Show in Bushwick, Brooklyn and learn more about the space. The show highlighted work that is being produced by local artists, designers, woodworkers and photographers.

entering the party

3rd Ward is a member-based design center for creative professionals, an “incubator for innovation and possibility.” They offer a supportive community and access to creative resources. Its facilities include four photo studios, a media lab with Mac equipment, co-working space, a 10,000 sq. ft. fully equipped wood and metal shop, and shared and private office space for freelancers.

member show

3rd Ward was created by Jason Goodman and Jeremy Lovitt to help allow artisans to create work and work affordably in New York City. After they moved to the city in 2004, they recognized the limitations of being an independent working artist here, with little access to the space and tools needed to develop your work.

sculptures and 3-D work

Named for the neighborhood’s district, the facility opened in May 2006, inspired by the facilities and atmosphere they had had as students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

wooden bench

3rd Ward is supported by its members, rather than receiving government funds or being controlled by a board, and has since become an art and design incubator.

handmade guitar

In addition to members who pay a fee for access to various spaces, the 3rd Ward offers a wide array of interdisciplinary courses, events and exhibitions for its members as well as the public. Classes are project-based and small in size, providing an ample amount of one-on-one instruction.

dogs like art, too

3rd Ward offers 100 classes a quarter, from woodwork and welding to digital and web design, illustration and fashion, painting, jewelry, audiovisual multimedia, photography, printmaking, screen printing, and urban ecology.


Whether you want to become a member or dabble in different classes, 3rd Ward has something for everyone.

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237