Design Real is the first design-focused show to be presented at the Serpentine and represents the development of the Gallery's long-standing commitment to design through the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion programme, which celebrates its tenth year in 2010. Design Real is curated by Konstantin Grcic and designed in collaboration with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni.
Grcic is one of the world's leading industrial designers and his dedication to the importance of good design in everyday life is at the very core of the exhibition. Grcic explains: 'good design admits to the deeper insight that beyond performing a purpose in a good way, the purpose itself has to be good. All 43 items in the exhibition fulfil this idea in their own way. The relevance a product has to our life lies not only in its use, but also in how far we identify with it. A good product becomes part of our culture.'
His selection of objects was guided by several basic criteria. As the title of the exhibition suggests, all of the selected products are 'real', mass produced items that have a practical function in everyday life. There are no prototypes, concepts or models featured in the exhibition. With few exceptions, all of the products are currently in serial production and are more or less available for individuals to buy. Moreover, all of the objects were conceived within the last ten years. From this starting point, Grcic has brought together a wide range of products with different styles and functions, from furniture and household items to technical
and industrial innovations.
In the galleries, the items are identified by broad, generic categories. Additional contextual information is not provided in order to encourage an unmediated encounter with the exhibits on display. In the Serpentine's large central room, Grcic has designed a research space for visitors to further investigate these objects. www.design-real.com is the exhibition's central resource and an integral part of its concept. The website is a parallel reality; a database that investigates the products in detail, exploring aspects of their development, production and use. The space is also the setting for a series of free public Saturday Seminars at 3pm.