Interview with Konstantin Grcic, Designer of the Year 2010 / Design Miami, Miami Beach

The design fair Design Miami has selected the German designer Konstantin Grcic as this year’s recipient of the Designer of the Year Award. The fair has commissioned him to produce a new piece for the fair, and presented an exhibition of highlights from Konstantin Grcic’s career, curated by Grcic himself.

In this conversation with VernissageTV’s Sabine Trieloff, Konstantin Grcic talks about “Netscape”, the installation he has created for the fair, and his career. The above video is an excerpt, focusing on “Netscape”. The full-length version is available after the jump.

Konstantin Grcic is one of the world’s most influential designers. In 1991 he founded Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID). The design studio has worked in fields ranging from furniture and product design to exhibition design and architecture-related commissions. Konstantin Grcic’s products have received numerous awards including the Compasso d’Oro for his Mayday lamp in 2001. His designs are part of the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Neue Sammlung in Munich.

Interview with Konstantin Grcic, Designer of the Year 2010 / Design Miami, Miami Beach, December 2, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Full-length version (17:07 min.):

From the press release (pdf):

In keeping with Design Miami/ tradition, Grcic has created an installation for this year’s fair. His piece, entitled Netscape will be presented in an outdoor area in the courtyard of Design Miami/’s Temporary Structure designed by New York-based design studio Moorhead & Moorhead. Given flexible boundaries for the commission by Design Miami/, Grcic chose to create a functional work that visitors to the fair will be able to interact with directly. Playing off this year’s tent design, Grcic created a six-point star-shaped structure from which seats made of netting will besuspended. The hanging chairs will rock slightly when used by visitors and will create a space for guests to engage with one another before entering or leaving the fair. Netscape will seat 24 people at a time.

“When I first looked at the design for this year’s Temporary Structure, there was this beautiful part of the tent, just before the entrance,” says Konstantin Grcic. “I knew that I wanted to create something special for the fair””something functional, but also something that incorporated my ideas of what a place like Miami is like in December. The idea for the commission was fairly immediate because the tent design by Moorhead & Moorhead really lent itself to a project like this. It’s a space for people to enjoy.”

In conjunction with Netscape, a small exhibition of Grcic’s work will also be on display inside the fair, near the show’s entrance for Design Talks, the forum for exploring contemporary design practice and collecting. The works in the exhibition, chosen by Grcic himself, will include his favorites, along with seminal pieces from throughout his career. Among the designs on display will be the Blow Table for Established & Sons (2010), the Miura Bar Stool for Plank (2005), and the Tip Waste Bin for Authentics (2003), among others. The fifteen works in the exhibition will be placed on readymade modeling stands placed in front of large-scale digital images taken in Grcic’s studio.

“I wanted to create a display that celebrates the objects that allowed me to win this wonderful award,” says Grcic. “When you place furniture on the floor, people try it out. When you put it in a display like this, it changes the context. We chose to display these 15 pieces in front of images of the studio as a way to invite people into our world. You see the ‘mess’ behind what we do, but also the inspiration.”