KONSTANTIN GRČIĆ / KGID (DE)

Related Projects: Belgrade Design Week Festival 2008, Belgrade Design Week Festival 2006

The participant’s list is impressive! Belgrade Design Week is the best professional event I ever participated in. But to me it also has emotional significance. I am in Belgrade again, twenty years later. I was not sure what to expect but I encountered a fantastic atmosphere and amazing people. I have a feeling I have old friends here.

Konstantin Grcic (*1965) was trained as a cabinet maker at The John Makepeace School (Dorset, England) before studying Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Since setting up his own practice Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) in Munich in 1991, he has developed furniture, products and lighting for some of the leading companies in the design field. Amongst his renowned clients are Authentics, BD Ediciones, ClassiCon, Flos, Flötotto, Laufen, Magis, Mattiazzi, Muji, Nespresso, Plank, Serafino Zani, Thomas-Rosenthal and Vitra. For Galerie kreo in Paris, he has created a number of limited edition pieces since 2004. Many of his products have received international design awards such as the prestigious Compasso d`Oro for his MAYDAY lamp (Flos) in 2001 and the MYTO chair (Plank) in 2011. Work by Konstantin Grcic forms part of the permanent collections of the world´s most important design museums (a.o. MoMA/New York, Centre Georges Pompidou/Paris).
Konstantin Grcic has curated a number of significant design exhibitions such as DESIGN-REAL for The Serpentine Gallery, London (2009), COMFORT for the St.Etienne Design Biennale (2010) and BLACK2 for the Istituto Svizzero, Rome (2010). In 2012 he was responsible for the exhibition design of the German Pavillon at the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Solo exhibitions of his work have been shown at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006), Haus der Kunst (Munich, 2006), The Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and most recently at the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, 2014). The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) appointed Konstantin Grcic “Royal Designer for Industry”, in 2010 he was fellow at Villa Massimo in Rome. Design Miami/ arwarded him the title “2010 Designer of the Year”.

Konstantin Grcic defines function in human terms, combining formal strictness with considerable mental acuity and humour. Each of his products is characterized by a careful research into the history of design and architecture and his passion for technology and materials. Known for pared-down pieces, Grcic is often called a minimalist but the designer himself prefers to speak of simplicity.

Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!

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