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Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design

November 20, 2009–January 24, 2010
Gallery 184

This significant exhibition is the first in America to explore the work produced by German designer Konstantin Grcic, one of the most important industrial designers working today. Grcic is known for his logical designs, driven by an honesty of materials and an appropriateness of production methods, yet injected with an inventiveness and originality that set his work apart. Although his production continues to be characterized by simple and distinctive design solutions, Grcic has more recently harnessed an interest in new technologies and materials research—a shift in practice that has afforded him a progressively ambitious portfolio of furniture and product designs that are transforming the landscape of contemporary design.

Based in Munich, Grcic’s studio KGID has gained international critical recognition for work that cuts across commercial and cultural fields for a cross-section of prestigious companies worldwide, including Classicon, Krups, Moroso, Plank, Vitra, Luminaire, Magis, and Muji. This work includes the Mayday Lamp, produced for Flos in 1999, a reinterpretation of the industrial lamps used in auto mechanic shops and transformed for domestic use, and the Myto, designed for Plank in 2008, a cantilevered chair, named after the Mito motorbike made by Cagiva, whose low-sling thrust was made possible by using an advanced plastic polymer.

Grcic delights in creating fresh takes on familiar industrial designs—whether desks, chairs, benches, stools, a range of kitchen equipment, lamps, or a set of salad servers. This foundation has enabled him to carve out a unique career path that honors modernism’s pure geometries yet remains unrestrained from industrial design ideologies and approaches. The results are innovative new archetypes of form and function that offer insightful and intelligent commentaries on the objects that determine our daily lives.


The exhibition is accompanied by a new fully illustrated publication, the first to explore Grcic’s work over the last five years authored by Zoë Ryan, Neville Bryan Curator of Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Support for this exhibition and publication is generously provided by the Fellows and Benefactors of the Architecture and Design Department, the Architecture & Design Society, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Luminaire.

In-kind support is provided by Magis, Plank, and Bridgestone Americas.

Myto Chairs, 2008. Produced by Plank.