Big moments in minis

What would you sacrifice to experience closely beloved, prominent, monumental moments of pop culture, including those from film, television, and advertising?

Allow yourself to gape at the Ribbon Chair from iconic sci-fi TV series Star Trek; the Bocca Sofa featured in the comedy movie Austin Powers 2; and the Barcelona Chair, seen in the James Bond movie Casino Royale!

Photographs courtesy of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Center for Campus Art Ball Chair, 1965, Eero Aarnio


Bocca, 1970, Studio 65.


Panton Chair, 1959, Verner Panton.


MR r90, Barcelona, 1929, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.


Photographs courtesy of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Center for Campus Art
Lockheed Lounge, 1986, Marc Newson.


Womb Chair Ottoman, 1948, Eero Saarinen.

How about you standing before iconic chairs from the biggest names in entertainment, during the advent of MTV, such as Ron Arad’s Big Easy Chair in the video of Janet and Michael Jackson duet, “Scream,” or Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge in Madonna’s “Rain” video.

Let us not forget beholden architects who have applied cross-disciplinary designs to create modern classic chairs, such as Prairie-style founder Frank Lloyd Wright, S.R. Crown Hall mastermind Mies van der Rohe, De Stijl movement expert Gerrit Rietveld, General Motors Technical Center creator Eero Saarinen, modernist influencer Alvar Aalto, and Guggenheim Museum designer Frank Gehry, among several others.

These are among the many reasons why you should drop by 62 Icons: Milestones in Furniture Design from the Vitra Design Museum Miniature Collection, which recently opened at the De La Salle
-College of Saint Benilde Design and Arts Campus, led by DLS-CSB president Brother Edmundo “Dodo” Fernandez, FSC.

They may be minis, but as exhibit curator and Center of Campus Art Director Gerry Torres stated, “Standing at only one-sixth scale of the originals, each recreation promises a high standard of authenticity as it exhibits the same precision from material and color to the most elaborate details in construction and handicraft techniques.”

First things first: The Vitra Design Museum, lauded exhibition space in Weil am Rhein, Germany, continues its mission on research and presentation of design, past and present, and examines design’s relationship to architecture, art, and everyday culture. It was founded in 1989 as an independent private foundation by Vitra chief executive officer Rolf Fehlbaum, son of Vitra founders Willi and Erika Fehlbaum.

This continued pursuit for excellence has led to a collaboration with CWC Interiors, a Philippine one-stop shop for furniture solutions, that carries items from 26 globally-acclaimed names in the industry, such as Herman Miller and Walter Knoll. With Top 500 corporation clients, they serve as a temporary home of several valued pieces from the museum of note.

For further showcasing, CWC president and CEO Fred Yuson has donated the 62-piece Vitra Miniatures Collection to the DLS-CSB.

Created by the leading names in 19th and 20th century architecture and design, the showroom features the familiar icons, to include Mies van der Rohe and The Barcelona Chair, Marcel Breuer and The Wassily, Charles and Ray Eames and The Lounge and Ottoman, George Nelson and The Marshmallow Sofa, Studio 65 and the Bocca Sofa and Gaetano Pesce and his La Mamma, and more!

CWC Interiors and the college believe that the minis are more than just collector’s items – they are essential as illustrative learning materials for budding artists.

“Each of the miniatures will be featured in the context of its creation, the spirit of its time and place, the design objective and processes, the public’s reception, and other key information that will allow a fuller understanding of the pieces,” Torres said.

The college’s Animation students likewise exhibited their skills and creativity through video shorts that narrated the stories of the conceptualization of these pieces of furniture, shown on a screen alongside their physical counterparts.

Not to be missed, CWC Interiors has likewise installed full-sized versions of several pieces of furniture for the duration of the exhibit.

Plastic is usually a bad word. It clogs the seas, affects wildlife and does not decompose quickly. However, this exhibit was an eye opener, as we learned a lesson that this often-touted cheap material could take the form of a lasting memento in the Panton Chairs by Verner Panton. Colorful in presentation, it was the first in history not to possess back legs. Molded entirely using a singular piece of plastic, this idea took twelve years to materialize but it was all so worth it.

62 Icons: Milestones in Furniture Design from the Vitra Design Museum is open Mondays to Fridays, from 10 am to 6 pm, at the DLS-CSB Design and Arts Campus from 14 October to 17 December.

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