[vimeo 57483353 w=450&h=253]
Vitsoe has just released a great video depicting an apartment in Munich lived in by two Vitsoe veterans who have been living with the shelving system since the 60s.
Dieter Rams and general design aficionados will appreciate the various items presented on the shelves.
We’ve discussed Vitsoe around here before, primarily focusing on what they are most known for: Dieter Rams’ furniture designs, including the 606 Universal Shelving System and the 620 Chair Programme. Founded in 1959, they have worked with arguably some of the most influential mid century graphic designers in Germany, and their attention to detail in the company graphic identity and literature has always been just as impressive as the furniture itself. Now, Vitsoe has started to release some of it’s amazing archival material via it’s newly created Tumblr page, and it’s worth a visit.
I find myself most drawn to the posters and graphic identity that Wolfgang Schmidt created for Vitsoe early on. Being a record collector, I’m obviously obsessed with this 7″ that they pressed in the 1971 for one of the various live performance events in the showrooms.
The poster he designed in 1972 for the 620 Chair Programme is genius – it really captures the idea of ‘furniture as a system’ that both the 606 and 620 embody. Each unfolding of the poster reveals a new layout, ultimately culminating in a whimsical layout featuring the Vitsoe employees as the models.
Schmidt’s book of invitations for the Frankfurt fair in 1971 delivers humor via his iconography combinations.
Finally, Günther Kieser, most famous for his jazz and rock posters, art directed various photo shoots for Vitsoe. This is a postcard featuring one from 1968.
Bookmark the Vitsoe Tumblr page or follow the twitter feed for daily updated content.
Posted by Rob Fissmer
I’ve been an ISO50 reader for a long time—long before Jakub and I put on Ghostly International Roller Hockey Team jerseys and took to a rink in rural New Jersey to embarrass the label—and so when Jakub invited me to take a whack at a guest post, I naturally jumped at the chance. (Meanwhile, does anyone want my (priceless) jersey?)
I’ve since moved to California, where I work out of the Los Angeles “Vitsoe apartment,” which is both the home I share with my wife, and a unique space where we show Dieter Rams’ 606 Universal Shelving system deployed in all ways. From straightforward bookshelves, to workstations, to room dividers, kitchen shelving, and closets, it’s pretty much all represented here (we specifically chose an apartment without any built-in storage).. As a former dj and avid collector of music, my favorite use of the system is for media storage. After all these years of collecting vinyl, I’m finally able to put it all on shelves that will not bow under the weight. Vinyl collectors: contact me, it’s more affordable than you’d think!
I thought it might make sense to do a first post about some of the songs that have been keeping me going while working out of the apartment—and since it’s a Vitsoe apartment, share some images of the shelving put to use for various media, plus the beautiful Dieter Rams equipment we listen to it all on.
Lorn – Weigh Me Down (Illum Sphere Remix).
Unbelievably beautiful reworking of one of my favorite tracks on Lorn’s new album “Ask the Dust.” I’m huge fan of his heavy hitting beats, but this is a nice change of pace, skillfully re-tooled by Illum Sphere. For a taste of Lorn’s own softer side, check out ‘Pause’ from his ‘Self Confidence Vol.2’ unfinished / unreleased / demo tracks over at the Brainfeeder site. A strange anomaly in a very dark oeuvre.
Yppah – Blue Schwinn.
I’m a huge fan of Joe Corrales’ work as Yppah, it’s sort of a shoegazy version of Bonobo, a combo that is pure win in my book. This track is from his third and most recent release on Ninja Tune, “Eighty One.” Anomie Belle’s vocals are a great addition in an instrumental sense, I love how she’s just swirling around in the background and I’m unable to make out the words.
Lost Twin – Soothing Words.
There’s no shortage of great producers in Brighton these days. I can’t remember exactly how, but I found him via Bandcamp, and to my pleasant surprise, he’s offering the whole ‘Birds’ album for free. I would have no problem paying full price (and then some) for his work. Although obviously entirely different in tone, there’s something a little Burialesque about the auto-tuned quick vocal snippets.
Dextro – Ring Cycle.
I’m not sure exactly why Dextro has stayed off most people’s radars for so long: He deserves far more exposure in my opinion. His first release was on Border Community, then the subsequent releases were through his own imprint, 16K Records. Maybe that’s why. I don’t know. What I do know is that his sound manages to successfully bring together elements of Ulrich Schnauss, Slowdive, and dare I say it, BOC. His last album, Winded, from 2009, is a real gem. I’m hoping he follows it up soon, it’s been too long.
A Sol Mechanic – [Almst(Touching)].
I’ll never tire of a good “Everything in Its Right Place” sample. In his own words “it’s less of a remix and more of a branch off. N E Ways.” That’s a good way of describing it, because after that amazing initial drop, the sample gets filtered into the background and the minimal stutter beat takes over.
Geskia! – Melamine.
Geskia’s sound is unabashedly Scoott Herren influenced, and most of his work occupies a space dead center between Prefuse and the long gone DeLarosa & Asora projects. This is a compliment, as he pulls off what so many other fail to do successfully.
Jai Paul – BTSTU.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this kid from London, and deservedly so. I saw a tweet from Four Tet that said simply: “that Jai Paul track,” which of course sent me into a Google frenzy. What I discovered is that there are literally only two tracks under his belt to date. It sounds like he’s in good hands over at XL, in a recent NPR spot I heard them describe how they are giving him loads of space and time to do what he needs to do, because that’s just how he rolls. He really has a grasp on the “Less, but better” approach.
Autechre – See On See (Pixelord Remix).
The thing I like about this unofficial Pixelord remix of ‘See on See’ from 2010’s Oversteps is that it brings me back to the Tri-Repetae days, when the tracks were grounded in dark emotion, and they would hit you in the gut with crisp, hard beats. They lost me long ago, but it’s nice to be brought back if even for a few minutes.
Less and More is the new book about the work of Dieter Rams. The book itself is massive — 808 pages of images and descriptions of Ram’s ground breaking designs. It’s bound beautifully and comes in a really nice display box. Publisher Gestalten wins again. I just received mine from Vitsoe, but you can preorder it from Amazon if you prefer. If you go the Vitsoe route, I would also suggest this poster displaying Ram’s 10 Principles of Good Design.
Less and More elucidates the design philosophy of Dieter Rams. The book is the ultimate collection of images of all of Rams’s products as well as selected sketches and models – from Braun stereo systems and electric shavers to the chairs and shelving systems that he created for Vitsœ and sdr+. In addition to the complete visual presentation of his designs, the book contains new texts by international design experts that explain how the work was created, describe its timeless quality, and put it into current context.
Since we’re on the subject of Dieter Rams this week, I thought I’d post on his Vitsoe Shelving series. You may remeber the name Vitsoe from the Name That Chair post a while back, but it’s not enough just to have a Rams chair, you must also surround it with his amazing shelves. The Vitsoe site features a nice gallery of the shelves in their natural habitat, and you’ll also catch a few 620 chairs in there.
If course, a setup like those in the gallery will no doubt cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s nice to look. It’s always funny, whenever I somehow randomly find myself in some rich guy house, they never have anything as cool as this. It’s either gaudy old classical gold leaf stuff dripping with ornament or garish nouveau riche style with white carpets and bad marble floors. Apparently you have to be broke or German to appreciate this stuff.