Virgil Abloh, the consummate creative force behind fashion label Off-White, Louis Vuitton menswear, and Ikea furniture collaborations, is partnering with Vitra to envision the future of living.
Together, Abloh and the Swiss furniture brand created an exhibition called “Twentythirtyfive,” which imagines the lifestyle of a teenager in the year 2035. Inside the Zaha Hadid-designed Vitra Fire Station on the company’s design-forward corporate campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, Abloh constructed two immersive environments that he’s calling “Past/Present” and “Tomorrow”.
In “Past/Present”, Abloh arranged Vitra furniture into a “dreamlike” environment that looks like a hypebeasty teenager’s idealized room. The designer filled the space with classics like a vintage Jean Prouvé desk and Eero Aarnio’s 1968 Bubble chair and remixed other pieces, like an Eames bench turned into a seesaw.
In “Tomorrow”, things get a little more conceptual. Abloh transformed the Prouvé Petite Potence lamp by giving it a bright orange lacquered sheen and a caged LED, and he updated Prouvé’s Antony armchair with a plexiglass shell and bright orange bones. In a strange but poignant commentary on the value of furniture, Abloh filled a wall with stacks of hollow ceramic blocks that are painted orange and individually numbered.
“Our world will be a different place by then,” Abloh says of the year 2035. “As a design community, we should be thinking about that in the larger sphere of what we’re doing. It’s arguable whether we will even have a need for furniture by 2035.” We wonder how Vitra feels about that theory.
Visitors can purchase limited editions of Abloh’s Prouvé reinterpretations—including the orange ceramic blocks—when they visit the exhibition. “Twentythirtyfive” runs through July 31.