You’ve probably seen the Vitsoe 621 before. Maybe you accidentally spilled tea on it in a modish aunt’s living room. Maybe you walked past one at a garage sale a couple of years ago. Or maybe it just looks like something you should have noticed — its iconic modernist lines landed it in the permanent collection at MOMA — even if you weren’t paying attention.
The truth is, the 621 might just be the least current item in the whole GP100. It was first designed more than 50 years ago, in 1962, by the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams. And the ones you think you’ve seen, well, they stopped being produced in the 1980s; they’re veritably vintage by now. Which is why it’s exciting that Vitsoe has decided to reissue these iconic pieces, giving us the chance to own them with the factory-fresh smell of brand-new plastic.
But this isn’t a typical reissue, wherein a company tries to capitalize on recurring trends by resorting to remnants of its past glory. The all-new 621 is a complete work — or rather, it’s the culmination of a design process that began half a century ago. Vitsoe has brought back the master, working directly with Dieter Rams, now a robust 82 years old, to tweak the tables just so in order to perfect his vision.
For the 2014 edition, Rams added a set of adjustable feet that allow the rigid plastic tables to sit flat on uneven surfaces. And he worked with Vitsoe to engineer a new build process using injection molding, a high-powered, high-strength method that gives the tables unparalleled rigidity — and helps achieve Rams’s long-held ideal that well-made products should live forever.
Of course, these adjustments haven’t changed the reasons we fell in love with the original. The form is identical, still clean, simple and elegant. The table can still be arranged in a long list of configurations: top-side up, on its side, tucked under a couch or chair or lined up in a row to create a long coffee table or bench. In black or white, the design is an exercise in subtlety. It almost disappears — except now that you know what it is, you’ll never walk past it without noticing again.
Color: white, black
Height: 17 3/4 inches (large), 14 1/4 inches (small)
Width: 20 1/2 inches (large), 18 1/4 inches (small)
Depth: 12 3/4 inches (large), 11 3/4 inches (small)