Vitra Virus


The Crystal Virus has entered yet another chapter. Where in the year before it infected old and plain wooden furniture, this time the Vitra Home Collection hosts the disrupting virus at the Salone del Mobile.

The contrast couldn’t be greater. Famous pieces by Charles & Ray Eames, Maarten van Severen, Sori Yanagi, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Jean Prouve and Jasper Morrison prove to be most interesting subjects. Through form, colour, value and reputation, they claim a prominent role in the matter.The brutal invasion of the crystal onto these design icons creates a dramatic tension. It may well be this provocative drama that has caused the Crystal Virus to appear in bright red. Pieke Bergmans creates her viruses in the Royal Leerdam Crystal, in close collaboration with their crystal blowing masters.

Such a meeting between crystal and furniture is called ‘an Infection’ and is a spectacular sight. The bubbles of hot and fluent crystal are pressed against the furniture. In bursts of fire and smoke they melt together. The black burned stain in the furniture is captured inside the crystal like a fingerprint, and the objects belong together from then on. The piece of furniture has become a pedestal for the crystal object. That, at least is one way of looking at it. Another, more appropriate to the title, is that the crystal object sits on the furniture like a parasite, a virus.