From the end of the Sixties to the mid-Seventies the chemical company Bayer rented a pleasure boat during every Cologne furniture fair and had it transformed into a temporary showroom by a well-known contemporary designer. The main aim was to promote various synthetics products in connection with home furnishings. Verner Panton was commissioned no less than twice to design the so called exhibition Visiona.The 1970 Visona 2 exhibition showed the Fantasy Landscape which was created in this environment. The resulting room installation consisting of vibrant colours and organic forms is one of the principal highlights of Panton’s work. In terms of design history this installation is regarded as one of the major spatial designs of the second half of the twentieth century.
Thanks to Verner Panton (Visiona 0, 1968 and Visiona 2, 1970), Joe Colombo (Visiona 1, 1969) and Olivier Mourgue (Visiona 3, 1971), the Visiona exhibitions are still today considered exemplary for the avant-garde living concepts of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They offered designers a platform for presenting new, revolutionary ideas, promoted public debate and the cultural importance of residential living, and provided the industry with new inspiration.
The creative fireworks which Panton lit with his studio within a preparation time of only a few months for Visiona 2 is expressed not only in the highly diversified room designs in the exhibition ship, but also in the wide range of furniture, lighting, wall coverings and textiles developed specially for this presentation. Some of these were adapted and went into series production later.
Visiona concept discarded all traditional notions of architecture: the floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture seemed to be created from a single cast. The windowless space lacked any connection to the outside world and presented itself as an organic landscape, characterised by dynamic curved shapes that seemed as though they were cut out of the material itself. The elements in various shades of blue and red were like a multiplication of his famous Living Towers placed after one another: the blue shades on the outside, the red shades increasingly becoming brighter on the inside, so that the psychedelic arrangement appeared to glow from within. While the designs of Panton’s contemporaries often evoked associations with outer space, Panton’s livable sculpture with its warm colors and soft textiles sought to bring the interior life of the human being to an outer form.
This amazing exihibition is no longer available, but we truly expect to see someting as cool as this in the near future!