Design Real

Serpentine South Gallery 26 November 2009 — 7 February 2010 Free

Developing its commitment to design, the Serpentine Gallery invited influential German product designer Konstantin Grcic to curate Design Real, a groundbreaking presentation of contemporary design.

Grcic’s selection for Design Real focused on ‘real’ items all conceived in the last decade: mass-produced products that have a practical function in everyday life. The exhibition presented a wide range of objects by leading international designers and manufacturers, from furniture and household products to technical and industrial innovations.

“What interests me about industrial design is how these things are made, in what material, and how this has affected their language and their quality,” explains Grcic. “Some objects are very technically-driven; the function really determines the object. Other objects have much more of a signature or an authorship; you see the handwriting of the designer who made it and that’s what makes it so special.”

By highlighting objects that have made a significant impact on our lives, the exhibition provided new perspectives from which to look at the material world around us and encouraged new insights into design.

Design Real featured a space specially designed by Grcic, where projections expand on themes developed in the exhibition and visitors could investigate the origins and applications of the products on view. A dedicated website,, which could be accessed in the space, was the exhibition’s central resource and integral to its concept. The space was also the setting for a series of free public seminars.

Grcic, born in Munich in 1965, founded Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) in 1991. KGID specialises in various fields of design ranging from industrial products to exhibition design. Grcic’s products have received prestigious international design awards and form part of the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Curated by Konstantin Grcic. Exhibition design in collaboration with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni.



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