A groundbreaking presentation of contemporary design and a unique insight into the mind of its curator, German designer Konstantin Grcic, one of the most influential figures in 21st-century design. Grcic has selected objects currently in serial, industrial production that push boundaries in form and function. The exhibition features an interactive space specially designed by Grcic where visitors can investigate how the designs interface with society.
Curated by Konstantin Grcic
Exhibition designed in collaboration with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni
Across the globe, there is a growing awareness of design and its impact on the world we inhabit. Like contemporary art, design both shapes and reflects our constantly changing society. Good design understands human behaviour, offers pragmatic solutions to problems and enhances our everyday experience.
Design Real, curated by the renowned industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, is the Serpentine Gallery’s first exhibition devoted to contemporary design. Grcic’s selection for the exhibition focuses on ‘real’ items: mass-produced items that have a practical function in everyday life. The exhibition presents a wide range of products with different styles and functions, from furniture and household products to technical and industrial innovations.
With objects from well-known designers, such as a chair by Jasper Morrison, luggage by Ross Lovegrove and waterproof shoes by Zaha Hadid, as well as products by anonymous designers, including a wheel-shaped water container, a municipal recycling bin and a Volvo tail light, the exhibition provides new perspectives from which to look at the material world around us, encouraging new insights into design.
Grcic says of the exhibition: ‘What interests me about industrial design is how these things are made, in what material, and how this has affected their language and their quality. Some objects are very technically-driven; the function really determines the object. Other objects have much more of a signature or an authorship; you see the handwriting of the designer who made it and that’s what makes it so special. There is only one common denominator for the objects selected for Design Real: they came on to the market not more than ten years ago.’
The Serpentine’s central gallery features a research space expanding on themes developed in Design Real, designed by Grcic especially for the exhibition. A dedicated internet site, www.design-real.com, designed by Field Trip, is the exhibition’s central resource and an integral part of its concept. The site investigates the objects in the exhibition in detail, exploring aspects of their development, production and use. Visitors to Design Real can access the site in the exhibition’s research space. The space is also the setting for a series of free public Saturday Seminars at 3pm.
Design Real is curated by Konstantin Grcic, in association with Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director, and Kathryn Rattee, Curator, Serpentine Gallery. Exhibition design in collaboration with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni.
List of Works
3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Shield; Artemide Yang light designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua; Babybjörn Baby Carrier Synergy designed by Ergonomidesign; Cormoran Cora-Z fishing lures; Dainese Wave-V 2 Neck Jacket; EAU DE PARIS Carafe EAU DE PARIS designed by Pierre Charpin; Established & Sons Convex Mirror designed by Sebastian Wrong; Fiskars Servo-System Grass Shear; Froli Frolexus Sentina spring bed; Gaggenau CE 491 102 ceramic hob; GH form Pictoform pavement marking designed by Knud Holscher; Globe-Trotter onehundred&ten luggage designed by Ross Lovegrove; Herman Miller Aeron Chair (Size B) designed by Don Chadwick & Bill Stumpf; Ikea ELLAN chair (discontinued) designed by Chris Martin; ISSEY MIYAKE INC A-POC clothing designed by Issey Miyake; KUKA Automation + Robotics KR 5 arc robotic arm designed by Mario Selic; Kvadrat A/S North Tiles designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec; Kyocera kitchen knives: FK-130- BK, FK-150-BK and FK-160-BK; Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 front spoiler designed by Luc Donckerwolke; Ligne Roset City Gregory table designed by Gregory Lacoua; LIKEaBIKE Racer; Magis Air-Chair designed by Jasper Morrison; Melissa Plastic Dreams Melissa + Zaha Hadid shoes designed by Zaha Hadid; One Laptop per Child XO laptop designed by Yves Behar; PalNet GmbH Unit Load Device LD-3 AKE; plusminuszero Humidifier designed by Naoto Fukasawa; Q Drum Ltd Q Drum water container; Qantas Airways A380 Economy Seat designed by Marc Newson; Quechua 2 Seconds I tent; quietrevolution QR5 wind turbine blade; Santa & Cole Bina recycling bin designed by Gonzalo Milà Valcárcel & Martina Zink; Selle Italia SLC Gel Flow bicycle seat; Södra Parupu pulp chair designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune; Swedese Möbler AB Heaven step ladder designed by Thomas Bernstrand; Tesla Energy Storage System designed by Klaus Adolph; TOA Corporation ER-1206W Hand Grip Megaphone designed by Shin Azumi; Volvo XC60 tail light; Yamaha Corporation EZ TP Trumpet (discontinued) designed by Toshihide Suzuki; yellow inc Tatamet collapsible helmet designed by Norikatsu Morita and Keiichi Hirata; Vestergaard Frandsen LifeStraw; Woodhouse for Escofet Banc-U 140 bench designed by A. Viaplana / H. Piñon
One of the most influential figures in 21st-century design, Konstantin Grcic, born in Munich in 1965, founded Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) in 1991. KGID specialises in various fields of design ranging from industrial products to exhibition design. Grcic’s products have received prestigious international design awards and form part of the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.
The Art Institute of Chicago has organized the first major exhibition of Konstantin Grcic’s work in a US museum. Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design (18 November 2009 – 24 January 2010) brings together more than 100 of Grcic’s designs, including furniture, products, tableware and office accessories. The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication, the first to explore Grcic’s work over the last five years, by Zoë Ryan, Neville Bryan Curator of Design in the Department of Architecture and Design of the Art Institute.
Since 2000, the Serpentine Gallery has presented its annual Pavilion commission, the only architecture project of its ambition worldwide. Following the international success of the Pavilion programme, the Serpentine is developing its commitment to design by inviting German product designer Konstantin Grcic to curate Design Real, the Gallery’s first-ever exhibition of contemporary design.
Image: Installation view Serpentine Gallery, London. Photograph: Raphael Hefti
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