Konstantin Grcic: Bench B by BD Barcelona Design
“I’ve known BD since the late eighties or early nineties. I was a student of design then, and at the time Spanish design had a real Renaissance or it just seemed to have popped up on the map. I drew my intention to the country, I travelled to Spain and discovered a lot of things. Among those BD Barcelona Design, a company which had an incredible facility to mix old and new, and something quite artisanal with very industrial things.
Many years later when BD got in touch with me, it seemed so clear to me thatI wanted to make some kind of reference to the history of the company that I like so much: a collection with aluminium extrusions. I proposed making just a big table, like an aeroplane wing. When you see the table in the largest dimensions, up to almost 6 meters in length, it is something that the eye with the brain doesn’t understand of how it can work.
It was obvious that if you have a table you need chairs. So it became the next project, the B Chair. But instead of doing a chair in aluminium, we opted for a chair in wood with one extruded element: the technical spine of the chair. A quite invisible piece of tube.
It is a wooden chair that has a classical form with a half round back. The seat is folding, which allows for horizontal stacking so it’s a chair that can be quite economical in terms of the space it takes up.
After the chair we wanted to find a new territory and we conceived Bench B. We started working on the bench as a family of elements from very short, like a one-seater side chair, to a long bench of up to 6 meters. It can be for indoor or outdoor, it can have arms or not, it can be upholstered or left pure aluminium. I think we have created a kit of parts which can be turned to very different typologies or uses of this bench.
What is interesting in this bench is that it makes reference to a very famous piece of furniture: The Barcelona Chair designed by Mies van der Rohe. I think it is interesting to make this reference in design. Design is not about inventing new things all the time, design is an evolution of things.”