Konstantin Grcic is renowned for the precision, care, and formal rigour he brings to the design process. His work expresses, above all, simplicity and functionality.
Anita Hackethal, Architonic: Which material would you choose if you had to restrict yourself to working with just one for the next three years?
Konstantin Grcic: Steel fascinates me, because it’s a multi-faceted material and can be worked in diverse ways in a variety of processes. And it’s a material that has helped define modern furniture design –for example, in the first tubular steel furniture in the 1920s. Steel is, additionally, a plentiful resource and a material that stands in a congruous relationship to what furniture is. It always includes this industrial character.
At what point within the design process do you decide in favour of a specific material? What comes first: the shape or the choice of material?
Design concepts frequently arise out of a process that, in turn, is closely associated with a certain material. It’s very often the case that material and process play a role, for the simple reason that the design is always shaped in part by the reality of its production. That’s why it’s important to fairly quickly give ideas this grounding of “How will this work in practical terms?” The processes themselves are usually very inspiring and help in the search for a solution. The material poses certain requirements, and I see that more as a quality than a limitation.
Is there a material with which you don’t have quite so much experience, but would like to explore a bit further?
Textiles are a material of the future because they’re versatile and lightweight. At the same time, they have a lot of strength and performance capacity. With 3D knitting, for example, the textile itself is put together so that it meets the demands of the purpose it’s designed to serve. I have a certain amount of experience with textiles, but it’s an extensive field that still holds a great…