While living in London in the late ’90s, I went to a chair exhibit at the Design Museum, which was curated by the Vitra Design Museum. The London exhibit was extensive and ultimately inspired me to finally visit the actual Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. I’ve since always made it a point to visit Vitra’s store in the Meatpacking District whenever I’m in New York.
The museum maintains one of the largest collections of modern furniture design in the world. Special areas include early industrial bentwood furniture and tubular steel furniture from the 1920s and ’30s. The museum also holds the estates of prominent designers such as Charles Eames, Verner Panton and Anton Lorenz. The premises themselves comprise a stunning collection of buildings designed by some of the greats, including Frank Gehry and one of my all-time favourite architects, Tadao Ando.
A few years back, I attended the Vitra “design camp” in Boisbuchet, France and was fortunate enough to work alongside design notables David Trubridge, Claesson, Koivisto, Rune and the Campana brothers. The weeklong workshop took place on the grounds of a stunning country estate in Southwest of France in the Poitou-Charente region. The accommodations consisted of a fantastically renovated former horse stable, and meals are taken in the original estate home. The grounds also feature a fully equipped workshop, main house for dining and hanging out and an impressive castle dating back to the 16th century.
There are different workshops that are offered at Domaine Boisbuchet and the workshops are run by the biggest names in the business. The programs are very well run and the setting is what you would expect to find in the south of France. So if you’re nuts about design and you are looking for a truly alternative vacation experience, check out Domaine Boisbuchet.
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