Fuorisalone Milan Design Week 2011: Konstantin Grcic @ Vitra

Among the new Vitra products launched in Milan one of the most eye-catching was Waver by Konstantin Grcic.

Following an initial cooperation in the form of a Vitra Edition project, Waver is Konstantin Grcic’s first commercial product for Vitra. Created for outdoor use Waver borrows heavily from the visual aesthetics of “lifestyle” sports to create a product that not only goes its own way formally but is also remarkably comfortable.

In the second part of our interview with Konstantin Grcic we talked about Waver, the cooperation with Vitra and the importance of Fuorisaloni Milan.

(smow)blog: Starting at the beginning, what is the background to Waver ?

Konstantin Grcic: Waver is part of a much larger project with Vitra, namely outdoor furniture. Vitra have products that can be used outdoors, but no specific outdoor furniture. That was my idea when we started talking to Vitra. We wanted to work together – but on what?  And I was attracted to “outdoors”  because there is also a freedom in the typology. For me the Vitra home collection is so dominated by the classics, which are so strong, that it’s very difficult to compete with them and so I thought I’ll go outside…

(smow)blog: …. so leave Eames in living room and you go in the garden…

Konstantin Grcic: ….Exactly. I’ll go outside and do my thing. And Waver is a individual item. The rest of the collection, on which we are still working, will be more a family. And so as an individual piece Waver has a little more freedom because there is no need to apply the same geometry or grammar to accompanying products.

(smow)blog: We imagine that with such a project as Waver, there must have been a few challenges along the way ….

Konstantin Grcic: … Naturally. The biggest problem is the UV light, which is very aggressive. But obviously we wanted Waver to be a product that can be used outdoors, without the colours fading over time. And so trying to find a material that was both UV resistant and also strong enough, made things very complicated. With Waver the material carries a large amount of the weight; and so we needed something that was up to the job.  However in the end we did manage to to find a suitable material in Italy.

(smow)blog: Can one say, “Konstantin Grcic has finally arrived at Vitra” or was that never so an aim of yours?

Konstantin Grcic: Yeah. A little bit. Vitra is a company that I have always really admired and it was, yes, always a wish or a dream to work with them. And then it happens and its not a dream any more but reality with all the daily problems associated with design.

(smow)blog: And our final question, our standard Milan question. Is Fuorisaloni, Milan Design Week, still important?

KG: I think so, I must however admit I don’t get to see that much simply because I have too little time. But for me I think it is still very important because once a year everyone comes here. And even when it is all such a hype, that makes everything more important that it actually is, it defines the rhythm of the whole industry. We as designers start now in May with preparations for next year, and when Fuorisaloni wasn’t there a lot of things would inevitably fall by the wayside.

Waver by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra

Waver by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra

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