Take it with you when you move / Vitsœ’s shelving system

Vitsœ. A shelving system. A chair programme. A time in history. A philosophy.

I could probably wax lyrical about Vitsœ for some time, and many of you might have heard me in person. It is well deserved and often generates the same response in its customers as it does with me. Of course, I just happen to have a blog to wax lyrical on which makes me a slightly loudly waxer.

Having just packed my worldly goods into a Big little Yellow storage container in preparation for a space to put it in to later, I’m reminded just why Vitsœ’s 606 Universal Shelving System is so loved by many. And this has nothing to do with Dieter Rams, sorry Dieter. This is all the work of the company as it stands today. A company that looks ahead and looks after its customers today so that they continue to be customers tomorrow.

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My shelving had to come down off the walls they had lived for 4 years, to be packed in to brown folded-cardboard wraps with perfectly-scored bends for each type of shelf so that only one “wrap” is required for any of the size shelves you have. It’s probably the simplest piece of design I’ve ever seen. An invisible design that you could gloss over in an instance because it’s there in the background working hard.

I’ve packaged more shelves than I care to recall over the years, so folding and stacking boxes was like second-nature, and these wraps made short work of what I imagined to be a very lengthy process. They kindly delivered to wraps to me, free of charge except for the cost of the courier, so that I may stack these boxes inside my little Yellow box to stay for a few months. Later I can return these back to them in London to be used again and again before recycling.

This isn’t “green”. This is sensible. Common Sense. Typically untypical.

Vitsœ have a line…take it with you when you move, which is supposed to spark an idea in potential customers that this is an investment, and not a cost. One of the few things that will easily move house with you, be reconfigured and reaccept your belongings again in a new home. That shelf of DVDs in the same spot in a new home. Your trusty desk shelf with the pen pot placed in the same spot again. It makes moving less stressful knowing that my belongings will ALWAYS fit.

I, like many others, don’t think about moving when buying a product for the first time. And I doubt this post will make anyone feel any different about it either. It’s just not what we get excited about when buying something. I’ve never walked in to a furniture shop and thought “that will look great in the home I haven’t moved to yet”, so we can’t expect everyone to start thinking like this. But, if you’re thinking about making a purchase, do think about it. Do take a moment to think how that might look in a different room, how it might reconfigure. It will help us all to be less wasteful when we move, save ourselves a lot of money replacing items after we’ve moved and provide consistency from one place to the next.

Thanks Vitsœ for thinking about this for me. It’s helped me move 3 times and still using it.

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Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.


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