Konstantin Grcic's Brut sofa references cast iron's industrial history

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Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

Konstantin Grcic's Brut sofa references cast iron's industrial history

German designer Konstantin Grcic has created a sofa with machinery-inspired cast-iron elements for Italian furniture brand Magis.

Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

Unveiled during Salone del Mobile in Milan, the Brut sofa contrasts soft upholstery – including a tubular backrest – with a solid metal framework. Angular armrests allude to cast iron's industrial history.

"Iron casting is one of the oldest ways of using ferrous metals," Grcic told Dezeen. "The material is heavy and strong. It performs best under compression, which is why it is used as a structure material for building bridges and, on a smaller scale, as bases for heavy machinery – which inspired the industrial shapes of the collection."

Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

The seating is the latest addition to Grcic's Brut range, which was launched to mark Magis' 40th anniversary in 2016. Its dining, trestle and side tables all feature metal parts, but the sofa is the first upholstered piece.

Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

"The effect of combining the upholstery with the raw cast-iron elements was a nice surprise for us," added Grcic. "The coming together of two contradicting materials and techniques seems to create an unexpected but positive tension."

Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

According to the designer, the furniture – which is named to reflect the heaviness and "uncompromising" nature of cast iron – is intended mainly for public areas such as waiting rooms, shops and offices.

"The sofa is comfortable, but it is not so much a sofa for watching TV," said Grcic. "I am definitely convinced, however, that cast iron has a place in domestic settings. The weight is an issue, but once the piece is in place, it turns into an advantage."

Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis

The German designer set up his studio in Munich in 1991 after studying design at the Royal College of Art in London. He launched several new products at this year's Milan design week, including a "strictly vertical" chair for Mattiazzi and a sofa for Cassina that similarly featured metal elements.

Grcic ranked 14th among designers on Dezeen Hot List – a data-based power ranking of key players in the design industries.

Magis, which was founded in 1976, has previously collaborated with Swiss studio Big-Game to release an adjustable children's chair and Jaime Hayon to create a skeletal plastic chair.

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Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis
Brut furniture by Konstantin Grcic for Magis