The same could be said for the pieces from Swiss furniture manufacturer, Vitra. With this company, you can never go wrong.
Vitra basically has a foot into the best classics ever produced, as it owns the rights of American producer Herman Miller. Yet, in addition, it continues to experiment and produce top-quality design by collaborating with the most visionary professionals of the generation – from the Bouroullec to Hella Jongerius to BarberOsgerby.
But it doesn’t end there. It is not only in products themselves that Vitra does so well. The company is also famous for its visionary approach to communications. Its sleek catalogues are never cold or soulless (as many other furniture companies’ catalogues can be), and thanks to its Vitra Design Museum and the Boisbuschet workshops for students, the company is also at the forefront in culture.
This year, in line with the shift that is bringing the focus of communications away from still images and directly into the video scene, Vitra teamed up with a photographer Florian Bohn and a screenplay writer Paolo Bonfini – who worked with Matteo Garrone on the famous screen adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s mafia bestseller Gomorra (as well as on many other films) – to produce a series of clips, shot in six different locations in Rome, that will serve as a catalogue.
The result is not what you would expect. The short movies shift from reality to fiction and present the furniture as part of a mise-en-scène. They have storylines, they feature real people and the settings are actual homes – messy, lively, anything but spic and span.
They are commercials that glue you to the screen and you can’t help but like these people – they are not a perfect family, they are all just like us; their house is lovely but does not look like it’s been styled to perfection by some designer. And, by doing so, the furniture somehow acquires an authentic meaning: it becomes a life companion you’d never wish to part with.
Looking at interiors with life – and steering away from perfection – is a trend that since The Selby and his home stories went viral on the Internet is very much in the spotlight. Ikea was possibly the first company to tap into it with its real-homes videos (viewable online).
It is entirely possible that after the Vitra Fiction experience, other designers may pursue this approach. After all, the purpose is clear: to bring people into design, rather than being scared off by it.