Designer volumes: Konstantin Grcic designs a collection of abstract stone objects

Volumes collection at the Kreo Gallery.

Presented as an installation at the Kreo Gallery – an exhibition venue with sites in Paris and London specialising in the production of works of art in collaboration with leading international designers – Volumes is a collection of six monolithic objects in natural stone designed by Konstantin Grcic. It is the expression of design research developed independently of the use of such objects which therefore remain suspended between the design dimension and the purely artistic-expressive one.

Pure expression

While Grcic is generally known for his technical skill in drawing his design objects down to the tiniest details, in this case the German designer has interpreted the project as an exercise in simplicity in terms of both expression and construction: this explains the choice of natural stone as the only material, without any other additional elements. The six items in the collection are consequently sculpted rather than constructed objects, obtained simply by cutting a block of Savoia Blue marble. The as-cut surfaces, however, were judged to be too smooth and instead of accentuating the domestic effect with polishing, Grcic opted for sand-blasting to return a more natural grainy consistency to the material. These simple design gestures – cutting and sand-blasting – seek to enhance the abstract shape of these objects: the outlines of each piece are similar in terms of size and resemblance to everyday objects such as chairs or stools but intentionally shun clear and direct functionality.

A tribute to Castiglioni

The apparently not very eloquent circular hole at the base of each object in the collection is actually an explicit tribute to one of the most iconic design objects in Italian design, the Arco lamp designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. The hole in Arco’s Carrara marble base allowed a broom handle to be inserted so that two people could lift and move the lamp. An ironic and ingenious detail, cross-referenced in Volumes starting from this albeit minimal functional feature yet capable of characterising the collection designed by Konstantin Gricic with an elegant and discreet sign of the domesticity from which it programmatically deviates to give life to refined conversation pieces.

Project: Konstantin Grcic

Production: Galerie Kreo
Completion: 2018


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