Konstantin Grcic is one of the world’s foremost industrial designers. He has developed furniture, lighting, accessories and housewares for leading brands, with many of his products receiving prestigious international design awards. In this interview he opens up about his design process and his work on the new Rado Ceramica.
Q: What is your relation to time / watches?
A: I have a strong sense of time. I would even go so far as to claim that time really matters to me. Timing is discipline, but also something quite sensual, elegant. The right timing plays a key role in life. I have always been very aware of that.
I got my first watch when I was six years old and I have been wearing watches ever since. I get up and put it on; I go to bed and take it off.
Q: Rado is known as a pioneer in material innovation – how important are materials in your work as a designer?
A: Materials are definitely key. Everything we design has a physical dimension. What is something made of, and how? The right choice of a material determines a product´s performance and longevity. And even before that, it determines how something is produced, which is a crucial business consideration. I am not a materials expert, by no means, but I have a huge interest in and curiosity about understanding as much about materials as possible. The more I know about them, including their constraints, the more efficiently I can apply them. The intelligent and economical use of material forms an important part of my understanding of good design.
Q: It’s impressive to see the variety of products and projects you have developed in your career – you must have many opportunities for collaborations. What prompted you to accept Rado’s invitation for this project?
A: Collaborations between designers and industry always work on different levels. When I first met the Rado team, there was a pleasant chemistry between us. A solid personal relationship is the foundation of any successful collaboration.
Working for any Swiss watch brand is quite unique, but the thing about Rado was that they brought their very own high-tech ceramic technology into the equation. Of course I was very tempted by that.
Q: Did you have any personal connection to Rado before this project?
A: At the very begining of my career, German Vogue asked me to participate in a promotional photo shoot for watches. Different people wearing different watches – that was the idea behind the story. And for whatever reason, Vogue´s art director decided that I should wear a black Rado Ceramica. Somewhere in their archives they must have that photo documenting this first encounter between the very young me and the Rado Ceramica. Interesting how, quarter of a century later, I was asked by Rado to redesign this very same model.