Konstantin Grcic at the Vitra Design Museum
The VITRA design museum is devoting it’s latest exhibition to Konstantin Grcic. For the occasion, the designer has created several installations, one over thirty meters long, which encompass his view of life and the future with his half-experimental, half-industrial aesthetic.
With “Konstantin Grcic – Panorama”, the Vitra Design Museum is now presenting the largest solo exhibition on Grcic and his work to date.
The exhibition itself is an interior design studio and an urban environment depicting Grcic scenarios in fiction that shows his questions, inspirations and aspirations.
Konstantin Grcic became one of the most influential designers of our times with his serious and functional, yet occasionally disconcerting work. Many of Grcic’s creations, such as “Chair_One” (2004) or the “Mayday” lamp (1999), are now seen as design classics.
Specifically for this exhibition, Grcic has developed several large-scale installations rendering his personal visions for life in the future: a home interior, a design studio and an urban environment.
These spaces stage fictional scenarios confronting the viewer with the designer’s inspirations, challenges and questions, as well as placing Grcic’s works in a greater social context. The highlight of these presentations is a 30-metre long panorama that depicts an architectural landscape of the future.
A fourth area of the exhibition takes a focused look at Grcic’s daily work. This section presents many of his finished objects, but also prototypes, drawings and background information along with artefacts that have inspired Grcic – from an old teapot and an early Apple computer to works by Marcel Duchamp, Gerrit Rietveld and Enzo Mari. In the shift of perspectives between larger and smaller scales, the exhibition demonstrates how design is more than mere problem solving for Grcic, but a highly complex process that integrates coincidences, ruptures, chance discoveries and a profound engagement with the visual culture of our time.
Konstantin Grcic (b. 1965) was initially influenced by the minimalist designs of Jasper Morrison under whom he began his career in the late 1980s. Soon he developed his own distinctive stylistic idiom and has become a driving force of formal and technical innovation within the international design scene.
Today, Grcic works for many leading design companies, including Authentics, Flos, Magis, Vitra, ClassiCon, Plank, Krups and Muji. With his widely published designs, he often develops surprising solutions that avoid cliché and derive their radical aesthetic from Grcic’s intensive investigations of materials, technologies and production processes.
With “Panorama”, Grcic enters new territory. Never before has he so fundamentally reflected on his own work and so thoroughly disclosed his own understanding of design in general. The exhibition is based on an extensive analysis of current technological shifts, innovations and upheavals in contemporary design. It was developed over three years of close collaboration between Grcic, the Vitra Design Museum and Z33 –House for contemporary art in Hasselt, Belgium. The result is a striking presentation of narrative and visual intensity, situated on the cusp between present and future, reality and fiction.
More on www.design-museum.de
Photos courtesy of Vitra design Museum