Konstantin Grcic, born in 1965, is a well-known German designer also active in architectural and exhibition design. He moved to England for his studies, attending the cabinetmaking school of John Makepeace, a British designer and furniture maker. The John Makepeace School centred its approach on the integration of design, furniture-making and business management that most certainly influenced the young designer's development. The discovery of Achille Castiglioni's work through the catalogue of an exhibition dedicated to the master encouraged Konstantin to pursue a career in design. From 1988 to 1990, he attended the Industrial Design course at the Royal College of Art in London. His encounter with Jasper Morrison helped stimulate his creativity and talent. In 1991, he returned to Germany and founded the Berlin-based Konstantin Grcic Design GmbH office, which soon began to work for major brands like Vitra, Cassina, Flos, Driade, Agape, Magis and Plank.
Grcic designs are characterised by attention to detail, formal rigour and functionality. His aim is to facilitate everyday life by combining function and aesthetics. Some Grcic projects have made design history, like the May Day lamp by Flos (2001); the Myto chair by Plank (2011); the OK lamp by Flos (2016). These projects were all awarded with the ADI Compasso d'Oro. Other achievements include Chair One chair by Magis, in the permanent collections of MoMa in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the award-winning Miura stool by Plank; Table B by BD Barcelona, which won the Red Dot Award in 2010; the innovative PRO seating collection for Flötotto. More recent creations include the Mingx chair and armchair collection for Driade (2016) inspired by Ming dynasty furniture; Cup armchairs by Plank (2019); the Citizen armchair for Vitra (2020).
Grcic's work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, among which Haus der Kunst in Munich (2006); Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam (2006); The Art Institute of Chicago (2009); Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhine (2014); Die Neue Sammlung in Munich (2016). The designer also participated in art projects, like the temporary installation Magliana Project (2017), curated by the Giustini/Stagetti gallery, held in the reinforced concrete pavilion built in 1940 by Pier Luigi Nervi in the Magliana neighbourhood in Rome. For this occasion, Grcic designed a series of limited-edition furnishings - a modular table complemented by seats and hanging lamps in reinforced concrete. In 2018, for the Volumes installation at the Kreo gallery in London, he presented a collection of six marble monoliths, each with a hole at the base. The collection was an explicit reference and tribute to the Arco lamp by Castiglioni, the master who inspired him in his youth and to whom the designer owes, in a certain way, his career.
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