Lightopia exhibition @ Vitra Design Museum

The first comprehensive showcase on lighting design from September 28th to March 16th

by Valentina Ieva
11 Love 5039 Visits

New lighting technologies are currently bringing about profound changes in the domain of artificial lighting. This development is the subject of the Vitra Design Museum’s exhibition "Lightopia". It is the first comprehensive showcase on the topic of lighting design, featuring examples from the realms of art, design, architecture and many other disciplines.


Ingo Maurer, Bulb, 1966 © Ingo Maurer,

photo: Collection Vitra Design Museum, Andreas Jung

"Lightopia" encompasses roughly 300 works, including numerous iconic artefacts from the Vitra Design Museum’s lighting collection – which has thus far never been presented to the public – with works by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Achille Castiglioni, Gino Sarfatti and Ingo Maurer.

Cesare Casati, Gino Marotta, Emmanuele Ponzio,

Il Grifoncino, Bolzano, 1968 © Cesare Casati

Other objects demonstrate the performative power of light, like the famous 'Light-Space Modulator' by László Moholy-Nagy, or the spectacular reconstruction of a discothèque from the year 1968, made entirely out of translucent plexiglass.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation, 2010

© Carlos Cruz-Diez & Adagp, Paris 2013

The primary focus of the exhibition is on works by contemporary designers and artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Troika, Chris Fraser, Front Design, Joris Laarman, realities:united and mischer’traxler, who illustrate the scope of new possibilities for designing with light. Among the exhibits are many interactive and walk-in installations that give visitors a direct experience of the archaic power of light.

Ingo Mauer, Lighting concept for the subway station

Westfriedhof, Munich, 1998 © Ingo Maurer GmbH

Munich, photo: Markus Tollhopf

With its interdisciplinary approach, "Lightopia" shows how lighting design has influenced modern living spaces. The exhibition also explores the current paradigm shift and locates it within cultural history. As curator Jolanthe Kugler points out: "Lightopia is the first exhibition that not only examines partial aspects of lighting design – such as light art or the design of luminaires – but also looks at the different facets of lighting design and places it in the context of current debates".

mischer'traxler, Emil & Clara from the series Relumine,

2010 © mischer'traxler 2010

The exhibition "Lightopia" is accompanied by an extensive events programme, including lectures, podium discussions, symposia and workshops with renowned artists, designers and scholars. Our guests will include Michele De Lucchi, Ben Van Berkel, Winy Maas/MVRDV, Rogier van der Heide, Troika, mischer’traxler and many others.

Daniel Rybakken, Andreas Engesvik, Colour Light for

Ligne Roset, 2011 © Daniel Rybakken and Andreas

Engesvik, photo: Kalle Sanner and Daniel Rybakken


    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)