Can you imagine that Konstantin Grcic was a cabinetmaker? Seems surprising given his emphasis on and exploration of all manner of modern materials. But actually it makes perfect sense. For what other discipline inculcates such precision, such imagination, such an inquisitive bent for creating something out of nothing? His work is a delightful confluence of formal exploration, functional exactitude, and cheerful humor. Brut Furniture for Magis is a great place to start.
Perhaps Brut refers to “Brutalism,” for this stripped-down collection is “raw and untreated,” just like Le Corbusier’s famed architecture. A bare bones exploration of iron, Brut features the casted metal coaxed into familiar shapes: a variety of tables as well as an upholstered bench/sofa. Brut is tough and uncompromising, but it also has a softer side: “calling to mind the sweetness of sparkling wine, which speaks of refinement and sophistication.”
From iron to glass. The Noctambule lamp (the name suggests nocturnal ambulation) is an ingenious assembly of blown-glass modules. These somewhat blend into the scenery during the day, but at night they’re illuminated in a gorgeous enlightened and invigorating display. The modules can be stacked to form an ineffable column of light. And extra elements like glass domes and cone-shaped heads make Noctambule a versatile collection, as they can be used for floor lamps and pendants.
Made of extruded and folded aluminum topped with float glass, Champions Tables are formidable and durable pieces that engage with an intriguing philosophical proposition: “how the psychology of graphics on products and the semantics of certain colors, words, and symbols change the perception of an object.” In this case, the vibrant colors and sport-charged language engage with the sleek, aggressive aesthetic to comment on the intersection of performance and high design.
Mayday is a great example of what can happen when an accomplished designer takes on a “mundane” object. This is an eminently functional and good-looking lamp. The name refers to the need for rapid assistance, say, if you’re looking for your cat in the brambles or can’t find a lug nut. Mayday performs tasks such as these with stylish aplomb. Its lightweight diffuser is made of durable polypropylene. And it sports a convenient pair of hooks to wind up and store the five-foot-long cord.
What is the “B” for in Table B? Brazen? Behemoth? Beatific? All of these adjectives aptly characterize this very very large extruded aluminum table for BD Barcelona. What else to say but this table is SO COOL. A vast expanse of polished chrome, it resembles airplane wings in all their gravity-defying glory.
Then there’s Myto. This marvel of monoblock plastic injection moulding is proof positive that the guy in The Graduate was on to something with his endorsement of “plastics.” Working in conjunction with BASF, Grcic concocted the ideal embodiment of the material. Myto’s monoblock construction is the epitome of flow. The chair’s elegant transitions from legs to seat to back elicit comparisons to the exactitude of living tissue. No wonder it’s in the permanent collection at MoMa.
Konstantin Grcic Design is based in Berlin. From that locale, he and his colleagues engage in industrial design projects, exhibition design, and architectural collaboration. His clients include Cassina, Flos, Galerie Kreo, Plank, and Vitra. His MAYDAY lamp, MYTO chair and OK lamp have been awarded the Compass d’Oro. You will find his work is in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Centre Georges Pompidou. See Konstantin Grcic for more.