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January 7, 2010

Released at the end of last month, Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design by the Art Institute of Chicago's design curator Zoë Ryan is a fine addition to the growing literature on the excellent Munich–based designer. Written in conjunction with AIC's exhibition of the same name, the show and this book—part of the Art Institute's A+D Series—are bound to increase Grcic's already considerable fame. The exhibition closes on January 24th, and if you've missed it, like I, this book should get you some of the way there.

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  This photo, taken at the Art Institute of Chicago's Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design show, which runs through January 24th, shows a variety of Grcic's work.
    This photo, taken at the Art Institute of Chicago's Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design show, which runs through January 24th, shows a variety of Grcic's work.
  • 
  This photo, also taken at the Art Institute of Chicago show, gives us a nice view of two of Grcic's more important chair designs: Venus from 2006 on the left and the Chaos side chair from 2001.
    This photo, also taken at the Art Institute of Chicago show, gives us a nice view of two of Grcic's more important chair designs: Venus from 2006 on the left and the Chaos side chair from 2001.
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This photo, taken at the Art Institute of Chicago's Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design show, which runs through January 24th, shows a variety of Grcic's work.
This photo, taken at the Art Institute of Chicago's Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design show, which runs through January 24th, shows a variety of Grcic's work.

Ryan takes the reader through Grcic's career, placing him in a wider industrial design context while still paying close attention to his individual works. At 64 pages this feels like just the right kind of primer: Loads of photos of Grcic's work, as well as that of his contemporaries, collaborators and forebears, and a winning mix of history and historicization make this an eminently readable guide to the career of one of industrial design's bright lights.

This photo, also taken at the Art Institute of Chicago show, gives us a nice view of two of Grcic's more important chair designs: Venus from 2006 on the left and the Chaos side chair from 2001.
This photo, also taken at the Art Institute of Chicago show, gives us a nice view of two of Grcic's more important chair designs: Venus from 2006 on the left and the Chaos side chair from 2001.

And at a meager $16.95 you're not faced with a hefty exhibition catalog pricetag or tome. The fifth in the A+D Series, this book was published jointly by Yale University Press and the Art Institute of Chicago. Kudos to Ryan for a thoughful book that's bound to please Grcic rookies and wizened design-heads alike.

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