An exhibition exploring the world of comics and their relationship to design is on view at Vitra Schaudepot in Weil am Rhein, Germany, through October 20, 2019.

Titled “Living in a Box: Design and Comics,” the show provides a fresh look at the museum’s collection through iconic and instantly recognizable furniture pieces that feature in popular comic books. In addition to this, inspirational designs based on superhuman strength and lightning speed by numerous designers are featured as well.

According to the museum, design has been an essential part of our lives, and comic artists have reflected that in their work. Comics are stories told over the course of multiple panels with the help of images and texts, in order to keep the readers engaged, comic artists use subtle codes — including design — to create an atmosphere. Design and comics also shared a like-minded definition of what was meant as modern. One that aimed to be international, accessible, and mass-produced.

At the beginning of the 20th century, comics made a breakthrough with the rise of comic strip syndicates in American newspapers. Different sections of society were visually coded and satirized with the aid of design and comic artists in Europe started referencing modernist design objects in their work.

Design objects such as Maurice Calka’s 1969 “Boomerang” desk or Eero Aarnio’s 1971 “Tomato Chair” were inspired by imagery from sci-fi comics of the 1960s. Comic-artist-cum-designers from the 1980s such as Javier Mariscal created furniture to fill in the panels of his work.

The 1990s gave popularity to graphic novels dealing with issues such as war, social injustice, or a simplistic retelling of history that reaches a larger portion of the masses. Inspired by this, author/illustrator duo of Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and Zosia Dzier?awska reconstructed the “E.1027” villa through drawing ideas from the graphic novel “Eileen Gray: A House Under the Sun.”

Juxtaposing comics from a wide variety of genres from Japanese mangas to graphic novels with related design objects from the Vitra Design Museum’s collection, the exhibition showcases objects that highlight the shared spirit in which they were designed.


For details please visit: https://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/3715935/the-world-of-comics-and-design-at-vitra-schaudepot


Founder: Louise Blouin