Can design lead the way? Designing urban paths in an unexpected, curious, playful, even educational way? And again, can design, with its iconic pieces – historical but always current –, indicate the itinerary to orient oneself in the maze of cities, sprawling or not? Yes, design can draw, not only metaphorically, a cultural path.
Vitra and Bouroullec brothers took care of it with a path traced by twelve columns surmounted by rotating glass cases that house some of the most significant classic pieces of miniature design: a selection of unmistakable furnishings, also known to most, which, while pointing the way that from the tram stop in the center of Weil am Rhein leads to the Vitra Campus, tell a story, that of design.
Highlighted by 12 Vitra Miniatures, to represent the salient moments in the history of modern design, the new Designweg path takes a snapshot that portrays almost 200 years of furniture history: from the 19th century Vienna Coffe House Chair by Thonet to the pieces by Le Corbusier and Charles and Ray Eames up to some icons of contemporary design.
The walk, which starts at the last stop of tram number 8, runs along the pedestrian path to the south entrance of the marvelous complex which houses, in a building designed by Frank Gehry, the Vitra Design Museum, one of the most important industrial design of the world.
The educational path enriches the urban landscape, both visually and in terms of ‘geolocation’, intrigues, but above all indicates – transmits – to anyone who passes a trace of the cultural history of design, understood as furniture, but also customs and daily life.
The Vitra Designweg also creates an even closer link between the Vitra Campus and the surrounding area. If the 24 Stops route conceived by the artist Tobias Rehberger connects the company complex with the Fondation Beyeler, the new route defines an axis towards the city center, and beyond, Basel.