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Q&A: industrial designer Konstantin Grcic

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The German designer talks about the futuristic visions in his Vitra exhibition and the thrill of making irritating furniture.
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  Life Space at Konstantin Grcic’s “Panorama” exhibition at the Vitra Design MuseumBy playing with ideas of modular living, and setting the Public Space of the exhibition at a hypothetical, offbeat space near an airport, Grcic wants to challenge how we think about our future living spaces. “At a certain point, it challenges a rethinking of how we look at our homes, our values and customs and rituals. I want to question them in a soft way, since we’ll need to think about how to adapt. Think about 100 years ago -- nobody would have thought living in a loft or a factory building would be desirable. Now it ranks as one of the most desirable living spaces. I want to bring up these ideas in order to create a discussion. I’m making a proposal, more than just scenery.” Rendering by KGID

    Life Space at Konstantin Grcic’s “Panorama” exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum

    By playing with ideas of modular living, and setting the Public Space of the exhibition at a hypothetical, offbeat space near an airport, Grcic wants to challenge how we think about our future living spaces. “At a certain point, it challenges a rethinking of how we look at our homes, our values and customs and rituals. I want to question them in a soft way, since we’ll need to think about how to adapt. Think about 100 years ago -- nobody would have thought living in a loft or a factory building would be desirable. Now it ranks as one of the most desirable living spaces. I want to bring up these ideas in order to create a discussion. I’m making a proposal, more than just scenery.”

     

    Rendering by KGID

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  ”Panorama” by Konstantin Grcic at the Vitra Design MuseumGrcic worked with Mateo Kries, the museum director, to create spatial installations, rather than a more graphic museum display, that projected his work and ideas into the future. Photo by KGID

    ”Panorama” by Konstantin Grcic at the Vitra Design Museum

    Grcic worked with Mateo Kries, the museum director, to create spatial installations, rather than a more graphic museum display, that projected his work and ideas into the future.

     

    Photo by KGID

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  Glass Chair for “Man Machine” Exhibition at Galerie kreoOne of Grcic’s latest material experiments was a bit of a challenge to the audience. “It’s not provocation or something that is impossible, It’s a serious investigation of what happens if we make furniture from glass. You said you’d feel strange or irritated sitting on it; it’s a very strong reaction to something as simple as a chair. It means that I can still make a chair that would irritate you. It’s quite amazing.” Photo by Galerie Kreo

    Glass Chair for “Man Machine” Exhibition at Galerie kreo

    One of Grcic’s latest material experiments was a bit of a challenge to the audience. “It’s not provocation or something that is impossible, It’s a serious investigation of what happens if we make furniture from glass. You said you’d feel strange or irritated sitting on it; it’s a very strong reaction to something as simple as a chair. It means that I can still make a chair that would irritate you. It’s quite amazing.”

     

    Photo by Galerie Kreo

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  Rival Multifunctional Task Chair for Artek
Grcic designed this piece as a hybrid home/office chair with a swivel mechanism for comfort, since the office environment has really turned into more of a home for many workers. “I thought it was important for Artek to make a move from just wood,” says Grcic. “It’s always a big challenge for a designer working for a company like Artek that has a very strong identity. Most people would say Artek is about wooden chairs, and I wanted to challenge that.“
    Rival Multifunctional Task Chair for Artek

    Grcic designed this piece as a hybrid home/office chair with a swivel mechanism for comfort, since the office environment has really turned into more of a home for many workers. “I thought it was important for Artek to make a move from just wood,” says Grcic. “It’s always a big challenge for a designer working for a company like Artek that has a very strong identity. Most people would say Artek is about wooden chairs, and I wanted to challenge that.“

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  Konstantin Grcic and “Panorama,” at the Vitra Design Museum
“With dematerialization and customization, we need to create a focus again on physical things, personal things, things that you keep for a long time, rather than things that keep changing all the time and keep getting updated.” 

Photo by Markus Jans
    Konstantin Grcic and “Panorama,” at the Vitra Design Museum

    “With dematerialization and customization, we need to create a focus again on physical things, personal things, things that you keep for a long time, rather than things that keep changing all the time and keep getting updated.”

    Photo by Markus Jans

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