Vitra has manufactured furniture designs by Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson since 1957. Building on this foundation, Vitra has developed a wide range of furnishings for the office, for the home and for public spaces in collaboration with progressive designers. Yet Vitra is more than just a design-oriented manufacturing company. The name also stands for the Vitra Design Museum, for a collection of modern furniture and its accompanying archive, for workshops and publications on topics of design, and for an architectural concept that unites buildings by Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA at the Vitra Headquarters in Birsfelden (Switzerland) and on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein (Germany).
Product longevity is central to Vitra's contribution to sustainable development; short-lived styling is avoided at all costs. This can be seen most clearly in the classical pieces of furniture that have been used for decades, had several owners and have then even ended up as a part of a collection. For Vitra, the manufacture of sustainable products means intense pre-production development, where the highest-grade materials are selected and tests are carried out that simulate 15 years of use. In order to enforce and monitor sustainable development in all business activities of the company, a work group was formed in 1986 by the name of 'Vitra and the Environment'. Because of this, Vitra can proudly claim that it has been dedicated to sustainability for nearly a quarter of a century.
Born in New York City and raised in Florence, Italy, Girard was educated in Europe as an architect. Returning to the United States in 1932, his designs defined a new kind of "opulent modernism," a look that became synonymous with 1960's America. His pioneering work in fabric design as well as his innovative commercial and residential interiors, captivated the public with their theatricality. Girard described himself as "a reasonable and sane functionalist, tempered by irrational frivolity."View other products by Alexander Girard