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Germany’s Vitra Design Museum set to host first large-scale Victor Papanek retrospective

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Activist, educator, author, and designer Victor Papanek is set to honoured with his first large-scale retrospective, to be held at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Titled Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design, the show is a celebration of the life and work of the Austrian pioneer responsible for writing Design for the Real World, a book that’s often cited as the most widely read design book ever published.

Crowning him as “one of most influential pioneers of a socially and ecologically oriented approach to design in the twentieth century,” curators Amelie Klein and Alison J. Clarke have conceived of an exhibition which delves deep into what they describe as Victor’s “fundamental criticism of consumerism and his engagement with social minorities, his commitment to the needs of what was then known as the ‘Third World’, ecology, sustainability, and ‘making’ culture,” all of which stemmed from his development as a thinker and practitioner in the 1960s.

Open from 29 September till mid-March next year, the show will feature a wide-array of drawings, objects, films, manuscripts, and prints from Victor’s extensive archives. Alongside his work, Vitra will display contemporaneous material by Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, and George Nelson.