Emboss and Fold follow Drape and Rise in a series of non-woven concepts designed by Konstantin Grcic in collaboration with Maharam. The result of seven years of intensive development, these sleek industrial materials reflect a dimensionality that was previously unachievable in embossed polyurethane.
Maharam invited Grcic to explore non-wovens based on his finesse with polymers, as demonstrated by designs like the Mayday lamp, the Muira bar stool, and the MYTO cantilever chair. Despite non-wovens’ vast potential for interior application, innovative products remain challenging to realize with manufacturing dominated by the apparel and footwear industries, which require smaller products produced at a faster pace. To counter this, Grcic toured production facilities throughout Europe to gain a deep understanding of the manufacturing processes at his disposal. He then developed his ideas in the abstract, filling three process books with experimental applications of pattern and texture on various furniture forms. This fascination with the unique ability of non-wovens to enact a dynamic marriage of surface and form guided Grcic and Maharam through an extensive process of exploration and pattern testing and ultimately culminated in Drape and Rise in 2013, and now Emboss and Fold: four abstract patterns that only become activated, and in essence complete, when applied.
Grcic’s textiles posit a new material language for interiors, one in which dimensional non-woven textiles can enhance an applied surface to the point of optical illusion. For Emboss and Fold, Grcic and Maharam employed advanced polymer embossing techniques that were largely nonexistent at the project’s inception. Fold focuses on clarity of line, combining oblong verticals of negative space with bisecting architectural diagonals. A matte industrial palette highlights the contours and shadows of a large-scale undulating pattern. Emboss is a clustering of dotted imprints of varying size and depth. A gridded arrangement balances molecularity with precise symmetry and even spacing. Emboss’ luminous surface further enhances a moonscape effect. Both palettes were chosen by Grcic and are complementary.
Konstantin Grcic is an industrial designer based in Munich. He trained as a cabinetmaker before studying design at the Royal College of Art in London. Having apprenticed with Jasper Morrison, Grcic established his own practice in 1991 as Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID). He has designed furniture, lighting, and other products for clients including Classicon, Established & Sons, Flos, Magis, Muji, Plank, and Vitra. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among others. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2006), Haus der Kunst (2006), the Art Institute of Chicago (2009), and the Vitra Design Museum (2014). Grcic has completed other commissions for Maharam, including a memo sample storage system for clients and bags for Maharam’s accessories collection.