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We caught up with Konstantin Grcic earlier this month in Germany where the furniture designer was debuting his PRO school chair for Flötotto at IMM Cologne. Grcic sat down with us to discuss top mentors, retreating with a good book, and design favorites.
ID: Why did you become a designer?
KG: Because I love building things. When I was 19 years old, I did an apprenticeship for a cabinetmaker and I became intrigued. I discovered that I could create or rethink the things I built. I enrolled at the RCA [Royal Academy of Arts] in London.
ID: How did you get your start?
KG: Jasper Morrison was my instructor at RCA. After I graduated, I went to work in his studio. He recommended me to Giulio Cappellini. I still look up to Jasper. He’s a strong reference for everyone working in this field.
ID: Who else has influenced your work?
ID: What do you think is your most important design?
ID: What are you working on now?
KG: Milan is the one important date. It’s coming together. I’m doing furniture for Magis, Vitra and BD Barcelona. I’m also doing the interiors for the new Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. The architects, Herzog & de Meuron asked me to take on the project.
ID: Where do you get inspiration?
KG: It comes from everywhere—from daily life.
ID: What does design mean to you?
KG: That’s an impossible question. You could write a book or say something really stupid.
ID: How and where do you relax?
KG: I relax with books. Right now I’m reading “Just Kids” by Patty Smith. It’s beautifully told. I don’t travel for vacations. I have a small apartment in Berlin. It’s my retreat.
ID: What do you most like to design?
KG: The physical scale of furniture attracts me. It’s what I’m good at. And it's what I really like.
ID: What advice do you have for young designers?
KG: Do your thing and go your own way. But know that it’s very hard work. It won’t be easy.