Runs until 05/11/2025

Social Seating

For one year, sitting in the rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne will become a collective experience
Verner Panton, Sofa Cloverleaf, 1969, Verpan, Horsens, DNK
© Verner Panton Design AG / Design by Verner Panton / Produced under license by Verpan A/S; Foto: Jasmin Minne

About the Exhibition

For Rotunda Project no. 9, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum is addressing a topic that relates to the idea of “sitting as a collective experience” and “sitting as a form of communication”.

For a whole year, visitors to Pinakothek der Moderne will be greeted by a world of different types of furniture for seating. These invite people to take a seat and interact. The encounter between the museum visitors is staged in the museum space as social seating. The focus here is on the opportunity for open communication with other museum visitors as well as our relationship to seating and to objects that function as seating.

“Social seating” is often used to describe a service that is provided in order to promote social networking. Passengers in airplanes or participants in events can rely on social media data to consciously choose who sits next to them, whereby all data is made available voluntarily.
In the Pinakothek der Moderne Rotunda, people will be able to meet one another spontaneously and sit leisurely on the seating items. The latter have been chosen deliberately to foster shared experiences and help people get into conversation with each other.

The total of 15 seating objects put on display by Die Neue Sammlung are international designs dating from the 1950s to the present. The exhibition reflects on the temporal and social contexts of collective seating, on playful, modular, and experimental proposals, and on how industrial design is rethinking its methods as regards materials and sustainability.

Against the backdrop of growing “social estrangement” triggered by the virtual world and the increasing digitization of social and professional life, our Social Seating exhibition seeks to broach direct contact between people and promote analog conversations.

In this context, the Rotunda will assume a new quality. It will for the duration of the show function as a shared leisure-time space and communicative center.

Plan a visit


Barer Straße 40, 80333 Munich

Opening hours:

Daily 10:00 – 18:00

Monday closed

Thursday 10:00 – 20:00

Landing is a platform for sitting with four backrests
Konstantin Grcic, Bench seat Landen, 2007, Vitra Edition, Birsfelden, CHE, Loan Vitra Design Museum.
© Vitra, Photo: Hans-Jörg Walter
Semi-circular bench, partly with backrests
Ueli Berger, Eleonore Peduzzi Riva, Heinz Ulrich, Klaus Vogt, DS-600, 1972, de Sede, Klingnau, CHE, Loan de Sede.
Photo: de Sede AG
Beer bench Ruku
Rudolph Kurz, Beer bench, 1952, RUKU1952, Illertissen, DEU.
Photo: Zingerle Group
Sofa costume with four units from DIEZ OFFICE
Stefan Diez with Dominik Hammer / DIEZ OFFICE, Modular Sofa Costume, 2021, Magis Spa, Torre di Mosto, ITA, Loan Magis.
Rendering: Magis Spa
Part of a bench made of mosaic and stones by Kerstin Brätsch at the Venice Biennale
Kerstin Brätsch, Fossil Psychic Stone Mimicry (Palladiana, Mosaico), detail, 2021-2022, Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt, Munich, DEU, Courtesy artist, Gladstone Gallery.
Photo: Andrea Rossetti
Green object on a square floor plan with oversized blades of grass
Gruppo Strum (Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi, Riccardo Rosso), Seating object Pratone Forever Greener, 1966/2021, Gufram, Barolo, ITA.
Photo: Gufram
Six benches for children arranged in a circle
Damjan Uršič, Linafurniture, Play furniture Wave, 2014, Materiias, Kamnik, SVN.
Photo: Materiias
Picnik is a unit consisting of two benches and a table
Dirk Wynants, Xavier Lust, Seating unit Picnik, 2002, Poperinge, BEL.
Photo: Beeldcollectief BVBA
Surfbench bench with movable seat ribs
Kim André Lange, Surfbench, 2021, KALD, Wiernsheim, DEU, Loan of the artist.
Photo: KALD
Red spiral bench
Mario Cananzi, Roberto Semprini, Sofa Tatlin, 1989, Edra, ITA.
Photo: Emilio Tremolada
Detail of the Social Softy object that you can sit on
Simon Stanislawski, Social Softy, 2024, Simon Stanislawski, Hamburg, DEU.
Photo: Simon Stanislawski
Seating bench out of paper by mypureliving
In-house design, Paper bench, 2017, mypureliving, Bremen, DEU.
Photo: mypureliving
Black upright bench from the Roll Collection by Akttem
Verena Hennig, Bank Roll Collection, 2015, AKTTEM, Fürth, DEU.
Seating cross by Beat Frank
Beat Frank, Sitzkreuz, 1988.
Photo: Archiv Die Neue Sammlung


Curated by:

Angelika Nollert, Xenia Riemann-Tyroller, Josef Straßer

Supported by:

PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V.

With thanks for the support

Aspen Art Museum
Kerstin Brätsch
de Sede
Gladstone Gallery
Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt
Carin Panton von Halem
Simon Stanislawski