Konstantin Grcic’s Rival is designed with people working from home in mind. In its use of materials, Rival reflects its roots in the legacy of Artek, with a mix of solid birch for the legs and laminated birch for the arms and back, and in the circular geometry of the seat. But it also has a technical finesse, which transforms it into an entirely modern piece of furniture. The swivel function offers a psychological clue as to the purpose of the chair – a multifunctional task chair for contemporary living.
Grcic designed legs milled from one piece of solid birch. This technique has recently been used in a number of chairs, resulting in the wood taking on a fluid quality more like moulded plastic than timber. But Grcic has maintained a more conventional form that reflects the materiality of birch.
The birch of the back and the arms is displayed in a saw-cut lamella.
For Grcic, designing a chair works on a number of levels. There is the choice of materials, and it was clear that for the Rival, birch would play an important part. There is the home office typology, a reflection of a contemporary approach to life. And third is what might be called the grammar of construction, the way in which a piece is put together. The first incarnation of Rival is an armchair with a low (KG001) and a high (KG002) back version, a seat in a choice of a three-dimensional textile or leather upholstery, available in a range of colours.