A Way of Life: Notes on Ballenberg



ISBN: 9783037787267 Categories: , , ,

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A multiauthored portrait of the Swiss open-air museum documenting centuries of historic homes and the enchanting details of vernacular architecture

Founded in 1978, Ballenberg is a legendary Swiss open-air architectural museum that gathers more than 100 residential and agricultural buildings from the 14th to the 19th centuries, from almost all of the cantons of Switzerland, which have been transported to the museum from their original sites. Together these buildings show how architecture, furnishings and tools expressed the needs of everyday life in their design and execution. Traditional handicrafts such as basket-weaving, forging, braiding, spinning, weaving and carving are also kept alive in Ballenberg's on-site workshops.

Edited by Rolf Fehlbaum, entrepreneur and long-time driving force behind Vitra, this beautiful publication is an invitation to discover and explore the world of things with fresh eyes. A Way of Life compiles photographs, observations and discoveries made at Ballenberg by the acclaimed designers Jasper Morrison and David Saik and the architect Tsuyoshi Tane, who all share a fascination with the simple, the practical and the functionally beautiful. In concise, elegant writing, Morrison, Saik and Tane comment on the design ingenuities in various features of the buildings. The book's superb photography celebrates the traces of wear and tear on door handles, benches, columns, brick tile floors and other architectural details that testify to a bygone ethos of enduring utility and economic common sense. A Way of Life serves as an encouragement to designers and consumers alike to resist trends and fads, and to critically evaluate the objects of everyday use in terms of utility and aesthetics.

Rolf Fehlbaum, born in Switzerland in 1941, studied social science and earned his PhD with a thesis on utopian socialism. Before becoming CEO and later chairman of Vitra, Fehlbaum was active in the production of art editions and documentary films and in architectural education. During his tenure at Vitra, he established relationships with many of the world’s leading designers and architects and developed projects with Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA, all of whom designed buildings for the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. An avid collector of twentieth-century furniture, Fehlbaum founded the Vitra Design Museum in 1989, which is now considered one of the foremost institutions in its field.

168 illustrations

ISBN: 9783037787267
Format: Hardcover
Publication date: 01/05/2024
RRP: $79.99
Pages: 208
Dimension: 200mm X 150mm
Imprint: Lars Mueller