Rudolf Pütz, CEO of Vitra Germany, sat “On The Red Couch” on one of his very own red couches. He demonstrated to us how design has the ability to shape and mold our feelings, which can radically change how we approach work.
Vitra has been a leader in furniture development for companies and hotels for the last five decades. A flagship for architects, interior and furniture design, Vitra has continually stayed ahead of the curve by challenging our notions of function, playing with the balancing of work and life scales, all while projecting authenticity through their elegant form.
With a haptic philosophy that promotes a more liveable and breathable space, Vitra’s design goes beyond the surface. Their goal is to push every client to differentiate themselves by defining their own identity. After all, the best indicator of a strong organization and their culture is a distinct style.
Work environments are increasingly more flexible with higher mobility. How has Vitra adapted to a rapidly changing work environment?
We are an experimental company: we merge the cultural approach and the business approach. We enjoy the casual way of working. With interdisciplinary skill, you stay open and fresh, so that the designs you develop end up solving problems.
In a time when changes occur at such a rapid pace, our designs are in a permanent beta modus. Our solutions are inherently flexible and more of our prototyping includes flexible solutions. It comes back to being able to connect and deliver a design that is experienced.
When working in a digital world, people tend to want more natural things and surroundings like earthy color palettes and plants. There has to be a comfortable balance between the digital and analog, a consideration of the space and how it will bring people together. Multifunction becomes really important because it is relevant. Different people will be interacting in different ways with a different purpose.
Today people can work wherever they want and however they want. If there is a pull towards experiencing community, we have to reflect these changes. None of our designs come from a theoretical perspective; everything is developed from our own experience.
Sustainability is a key element of contemporary design. How does it fit into the overall scope of Vitra’s products?
Vitra has always made long-lasting products to match the social and ecological components of a design. We are a family business and families do not think in quarters, but rather in decades. We care about the next generation and reinvest into our own corporate culture.
We are a high-quality brand and longevity is probably one of the best things you can do to stay sustainable. Every product that we bring to the market has a minimum lifespan of 15 years.
What elements define the signature Vitra style?
Every designer has their own language. Today you see a trend of plurality – there are so many approaches, languages: there is no clear or distinct development of one trend. We live in a time with so many options and thus, we have to offer different styles. All of our designers are able to communicate and create transversal products: they are created for the home and office. It helps you bring in more emotion into the office and transform the work environment into something more homely.
To take design seriously, it means going beyond the visual. It considers advancements and innovations in materials, sustainability, ergonomics, and the perception of beauty. Altogether, these four corners create good design.
Dedicated to improving the quality of homes, offices, and public spaces, Vitra continues to showcase, over and over again, the power of good design. Next time you walk around one of the Factory Berlin locations, take a moment to be mindful of the space that surrounds you. We dare you to observe how surrounding objects affect interactions with your team, your community, and your productivity. Allow your next big idea to manifest through creativity and exploration within the walls of our Vitra outfitted wonderland.
“On the Red Couch” is a series of public events curated by Factory Berlin. The next event in the series features musician Kat Frankie in March 2019.