konstantin grcic: 'comfort' exhibition at saint étienne biennale 2010
konstantin grcic: 'comfort' exhibition at saint étienne biennale 2010 konstantin grcic: 'comfort' exhibition at saint étienne biennale 2010
nov 23, 2010

konstantin grcic: 'comfort' exhibition at saint étienne biennale 2010

different ideas of what ‘comfort is _____________________’ image © designboom

‘comfort’ curated by konstantin grcic cité du design, saint-étienne november 20th to december 5th, 2010

the feeling or idea of comfort is chiefly subjective relative to context, making it difficult to set a definite course of action or system of values for it. in ‘comfort’, german designer konstantin grcic‘s curated exhibition on show at the saint-étienne biennale 2010, he attempts to delineate the complexity of a subject / object, by leaving room for special interpretations.

on show are 47 banal objects / everyday services which grcic has chosen based on various ideas of comfort. he has selected this varied group of products, displaying them behind glass vitrines in hopes to trigger stories about them. they were selected because ‘they are aids, vehicles, which enable comfort to happen. many of the thigns in the ehibition are to do with the lucury of freedom and independence,’ says grcic. each one is accompanied by little anecdotes, written by eckhart nickel, which changes or reinforces one’s notion of comfort in relation to the subject at hand. what may be a comfortable thing for one, may not be for another.

‘comfort is not solely limited to our physical contact to objects (a chair, clothes, etc.); it is, and therefore along with a discomfort, also stimulated by our psychological sensitivity. the powerful effect of a situation, of some imagery, or of all external factors on our well-being is undeniable. what feels comfortable to some may feel quite the opposite to others. likewise, what may feel comfortable to one person in one situation may become uncomfortable in different circumstances.‘ – konstantin grcic

here is a look at some of the subjects on show:

’08 pregnancy test’ image © designboom

’08 pregnancy test’ he could not help but laugh: where to store the thing after she gave it to him coming from the toilet? too excited to wait looking at the magic round, he placed the test on top of her bookshelf, and, finally not able to resist from peeping, saw the pink line of a future song: ‘here comes the son’.

’09 velcro’ image © designboom

’09 velcro’ it always broke her heart to see her small son struggling with a task he gave himself. following a word of her father who always told her to pursue targets not too far too reach but far enough to be challenged, she chose the first shoe he could open and close by himself: with a touch-on lace.


’37 audio book’ image © designboom

’37 audio book’ whether it was the soft rattling of the night train of the hypnotizing voice of the writer on his audio book, he must have fallen asleep for a second, when he heard the whisper in his hear: ‘hey you, yes, you, don’t! first you don’t read my book yourself and when I read it to you, you fade away. it’s not fair.’

’26 WiFi’ image © designboom

’26 WiFi’ after she landed she switched on her mobile to see if there was WiFi available so she could send him a photo of her finger with the new ring along with the beautiful icon they used in the lounge to signalize wireless. after he got the message, he mailed back: ‘I must be talking to an angel.’

’17 barcode’ image © designboom

’17 barcode’ his passion were hands, the cashier girl at the supermarket was his favorite: he was so happy for her that she did not have to type down goods any more, but with an incredibly elegant move, was able to just turn the barcode of the goods towards the reader: a dark red flash enlightened her pretty face.

’38 sabar sex toy’ image © designboom

’38 sabar sex toy’ she was alone but made movements a if there was somebody else in her bed. arousing herself was one thing, but with the help of her friends – this is what she imagined the recently bought toys to be – it was in a way the same thing as the comfort of a stranger you don’t need to talk to after.

’16 SMS’ image © designboom

’16 SMS’ when she heard the glass bing noise on her phone, she was almost too nervous to look at the screen, as she waited for this SMS of the boy she fell in love and sent her heart to for three endless days. ok, there was his name, but what was this meaning of LOL again? was it ‘lots of love’ or ‘laughing out loud’?

’22 fiskars scissors’ image © designboom

’22 fiskars scissors’ she always looked at her left-handedness as a handicap until she passed by a travelling salesman one day and was drawn to his tender insistent voice: ‘this is cutting edge. ladies and gentlmen, the first pair of scissors for the true avantgarde, who are going to rule the world with what’s left: their hand.’

’33 amazon’ image © designboom

’33 amazon’ loneliness was a warm gun, ok, but there were ways to deal with it. so when he ordered books or CDs for himself at amazon.com he always marked the gift wrapping option to surprise himself, and followed their suggestions grateful: customers who bought this also liked ‘the man machine’.

’41 powerbar gel’ image © designboom

’41 powerbar gel’ he was following the tour de france on TV since he was a small boy. back then, he would be sucking on his favourite liquid ice called mr. freeze; now, on a peugeot racing bike himself, climbing the heights of french jura in summer, he zipped open a power bar gel and called it fondly ‘mr. squeeze’.

’18 fedex’ image © designboom

’18 fedex’ she came up with the idea late at night, when the flighttracker on the screen showed the position of her aircraft somewhere over saskatchewan: what if she could monitor the birthday present she sent out yesterday with fedex to her sister in japan the same way. would they cross lines at some point?

’31 post-it’ image © designboom

’31 post-it’ to forgive is to forget – as the scientist did not want to forgive himself in case he would not fulfill his new year’s resolutions, he started to write them down on post-its he distributed generously through his apartment on the 1st of january. his first resolution concerned others though: don’t forget to forgive.

’35 taxi’ image © designboom

’35 taxi’ he was lost on a hill somewhere in north london and drunk. dawn was about to rise, and the girl he fell in love with had left the party telling him only the name, not the address of the nightclub she wanted to go to, but then he saw the taxi and waved – thank god the driver knew annabell’s.

’36 nespresso capsule’ image © designboom

’36 nespresso capsule’ every morning at home, standing in front of her nespresso machine mad her feel like being in a very good neighbourhood bar in italy, where the rancilio coffeemaker is heated up for hours already to produce the first excellent cappuccino of the day. she just needed to put in her capsule, and push start.

’25 black american express card’ image © designboom

’25 black american express card’ every time he opened his wallet to see if it was still there, he knew it would be only for a special occasion that he would prove ‘black magic’, as good friends called his credit card, and its promise – no limits: the engagement ring he saw in the window at tiffany’s held a profound diamond in his heart.

’06 hippo water roller’ image © designboom

’06 hippo water roller’ his first project in the opera house of burkina faso touched a delicate subject: a ballet after händels ‘water music’. a day spent in the desert gave him the inspiration for some serious stage action: when he saw water carriers rolling their tons he realized that it was all about balance in africa, head to toe.

installation view of ’45 aircast XP walker’ and  ’27 kony raid damper’ image © designboom

each vitrine of objects is set a top a different table, plinth, platform. image © designboom

general view of the exhibition image © designboom

video by designboom

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
482,780 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy