KONSTANTIN GRCIC discusses the process behind the BARBICAN sofa, why minimalism doesn’t have to be the bare minimum and the importance of working with manufacturers who understand collaboration.
EST: Barbican doesn’t look like a traditional sofa. How did this form come about?
GRCIC: When Sebastian approached me, the first idea was really to revisit the Cape sofa and expand its possibilities. I have always liked revisiting existing projects – it is actually an opportunity that a lot of companies are missing out on because we’re always focused on doing new stuff. So I found that idea very tempting. And then we realised it wasn’t that easy: what we did wouldn’t make the existing sofa better, it just made it more complicated or even diluted the strength of the original design. Nowadays, sofas can be landscapes and have different formations and constellations, and that is what we wanted to get to. This realisation made this new kind of sofa happen. Then it was a process of learning and making decisions, and looking at how the different elements play together and where they lead. Kind of like fine-tuning a little system.
EST: Is this kind of collaborative process with a manufacturer important?
GRCIC: People like Sebastian, they are the reason why we work with certain clients because we want to work with people that we trust, where there is kind of mutual interest, passion, understanding and a chemistry. The best partnership is always with someone who does not always agree with you on everything. That creates a discussion, a dialogue and a search for something. I find projects boring when the solution is obvious.