The Vitra Design Museum numbers among the world’s leading museums of design. It is dedicated to the research and presentation of design, past and present, and examines design’s relationship to architecture, art and everyday culture. In the main museum building by Frank Gehry, the museum annually mounts two major temporary exhibitions. Smaller parallel shows are presented in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, a neighboring exhibition space. Often developed with renowned designers, many of the museum’s exhibitions cover highly relevant contemporary themes, such as future technologies, sustainability or questions like mobility and social awareness. Others address historical aspects or protagonists.
The work of the Vitra Design Museum is based on its collection, which encompasses not only key objects of design history, but also the estates of several important figures (including Charles & Ray Eames, George Nelson, Verner Panton and Alexander Girard). The museum library and document archive are available to researchers upon request. The museum conceives its exhibitions for touring, and they are shown at venues around the world. On the Vitra Campus, they are complemented by a diverse programme of events, guided tours and workshops.
In the 1990s, the first major internationally acclaimed exhibitions were presented by the museum, including retrospectives on Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright and Luis Barragán along with influential thematic exhibitions on Czech Cubism and the future of mobility.
In 2011, the museum inaugurated a second exhibition space, the Vitra Design Museum Gallery.