A smartphone lying on a desk seems familiar to us. If a time-travelling person were to look at it from the past, the object would seem strangely mysterious. We are constantly surrounded by objects in our everyday lives; and we exhibit behaviours and perform rituals that seem quite natural to us, but would have been incomprehensible to many a short time ago. Our reality is thus constantly changed by the everydayness of objects and behaviours that at first seem strange.
Since 2007, the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin Zehlendorf has been presenting outstanding positions in architecture and design at irregular intervals. After “Full House – Designers in Berlin” (2007), Werner Aisslinger (2013), Haus-Rucker-Co (2015), Stefanie Hering (2015/16) and Barkow Leibinger (2020), the series now continues with Konstatin Grcic. The industrial designer, born in Munich in 1965 and winner of the German Design Award in the Personality category in 2016, has been living in Berlin for several years. Under the title “New Normals”, he has developed constellations and installations in the Haus am Waldsee from “everyday objects and objects from his own oeuvre”, which, as the press release states, “on the one hand reflect our present and on the other explore the diverse possibilities of the future – utopian as well as dystopian”. The “Super Normal” concept by Naoto Fukusawa and Jasper Morrison (whose assistant Grcic once was) is now answered by “New Normals”.
Since his designs shift our perspective “from the existing to the coming”, Grcic has designed “gateways of speculative imagination” for the exhibition that “point to a future in which other constellations of living and working together are tried out”. In such scenarios and environments, the viewers would be confronted with their own ideas: “What references to one’s own life, to expectations of the future, can be read from these scenarios? What new ways of looking at the present arise from these constellations?” Through “the recombination of familiar materials and objects from Grcic’s oeuvre”, “anticipations of one of the many futures that could await us” emerge. The exhibition curated by Ludwig Engel, Anna Himmelsbach and Konstantin Grcic can be seen in the Haus am Waldsee until 8 May. A catalogue with photographs by Florian Böhm and an interview by Anna Himmelbach and Ludwig Engel with Konstantin Grcic will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.
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