Humility, discretion and visual silence stand at the core of Marc Krusin’s designs
Currently based in London, Marc Krusin consults and designs spaces and products for clients in several countries around the world. His admirable mindful philosophy, based on “being fully present Now”, is the basis for his visually silent objects and interiors.
Design is definitely related to reality and if we try to think in systems, this becomes evident: designs and environment are strongly interconnected since they influence each other. Indeed, it is clear that designers have the power to affect our ecosystem and being aware of this kind of mechanism could make the difference.
What they could do is enhancing their level of awareness more and more by adopting a sustainable mindset. In this sense, Marc Krusin gives us an admirable example, stating that “If I am here now, I can create with purity and focus. If I am not, I can’t”. Through embracing a mindful philosophy Marc designs products and interiors characterized by humility, discretion and visual silence.
Curious about his approach, DesignWanted took the chance to interview Marc Krusin, finding out more about his design journey, focus, practice works’ recognition and future steps.
Who is Marc Krusin? How did your design journey begin?
Marc Krusin: “He is a human being like many others on the planet who happens to be a designer. He was naturally attracted to building and making three-dimensional things as a young child and thankfully, he was allowed to continue with his natural passions and abilities instead of being pushed into some other activity as so many children are.”
Why focus on consulting and designing spaces and products?
Marc Krusin: “It is where I’ve naturally ended up. Furniture was a passion that then grew into spaces once I realised that furniture had to exist within one. I am aware that as a young, ambitious designer it was largely about me and what I could “get”. Then at some point, I found a teaching that gave me an increasingly solid experience of the present moment, the more I practiced.
And as I became more present I was able to see all the effort I was putting into trying to be something I was not. Living a more present life changed the game from using this moment to try and get to some other place in some other moment, to a pure desire to be of service right now. This means that my collaborations are really based around what I can give if anything – and it’s not always the case that I can, in which case I make that clear!”
If you’re interested in furniture design, don’t miss Charles and Ray Eames, the couple that earlier than any other identified the need for affordable, high-quality furniture for the average user.
Marc Krusin: “Regarding goals, one general desire would be for humanity to fully wake up and create a new reality here on earth! But I don’t have personal goals in the sense that the word is usually intended. Personal goals are based on the feeling that something is lacking right now – a need to get to some future moment when things will be “better” because I will have “achieved” something other than what I have now.
The only intention is to, more and more, be fully here Now, present and enjoying this moment, whatever may be happening. And from here I am able to truly apply myself to the situation at hand – be that designing, playing with my sons or taking a walk in the park.
Funnily enough, being fully present Now also means that all sorts of even unthinkable things are “achieved” without ever having to strive for them! In fact, ironically, not having goals in that sense should be the “goal” of everyone – and then everyone could see what goals come their way instead of constantly striving towards them!”
Products and spaces are both relevant aspects of your design practice, and we believe there is an on-going dialogue between them. Can you tell us more about the ways you approach products and interiors?
Marc Krusin: “Humility and discretion as well as visual silence. I am not interested in creating egocentric pieces or spaces, just as I don’t find egocentricity in people a very useful or attractive quality. I would rather that a design be quietly appreciated, at first sight, but also perhaps more so as time goes on.
Objects need to harmonise with each other and within their surroundings. Spaces need to provide a beautiful and harmonious backdrop or landscape for other things to exist in.”
Several pieces you designed have become iconic: we could mention, for instance, the range of tables Clay and Mini-Clay, winner of different awards and included within the Desalto catalogue. But, when did your work start to get recognition?
Marc Krusin: “In one sense it appears to have been a gradual thing with certain products, now and again, having more recognition than others. The first products that started to get attention were more experimental pieces for Opos in Milan and Codice 31, a group which several friends and myself formed (also in Milan) back in 1998.
Other earlier examples that gained recognition would be the Wrapp chair for Viccarbe, and the Krusin Side Chair and Low Table range for Knoll and more recently Pixel for Knoll. But the absolute truth is that the work started to get more recognition the more present I became. It appears to be a simple rule – which makes perfect sense. If I am here now, I can create with purity and focus. If I am not, I can’t.”
While doing research, how could analyzing competitors influence the foundations of the project?
Marc Krusin: “The intention is always to take inspiration from much broader areas – art, sculpture, architecture, nature, the world in general. We only really research competitors’ products or projects to see what has already been done so that we don’t repeat it.“
How different is your first prototype from your first concept?
Marc Krusin: “It depends on the project. Some can be designed almost entirely in the prototype process, and so look very different from the original, and others can be quite close at the first time – needing very little adjustment.”
Many believe failure is a requisite for innovation and success, do you agree? Could you share with us some failures you went through in your career and what did you learn from them?
Marc Krusin: “Early on, a lack of awareness of what I was doing, why I was doing it and for whom, led to many projects and proposals that were not so successful. I think there is a trap which many younger designers fall into which only allows them to see as far as the integrity of a project from a designers point of view, forgetting that a large part of the reason that we are designing it in the first place is so that people will spend money on it and enjoy it – be it a product or space.
So, as designers, we need to be aware of this fundamental reality, and from that basis push the boundaries and be disciplined enough with ourselves to create the unexpected, even if it is unexpected in some small way.”
What can we expect from Marc Krusin in the near future?
Marc Krusin: “We have a new coffee table version of the Mini-Clay coming out and we are presenting two new products this year and a new bespoke furniture brand called Reale: PIXEL LOUNGE for Knoll which is a soft, modular sofa system for collaborative and informal workspaces, meeting areas, break out spaces and waiting areas.
It contains a highly efficient electrical system and features a series of table surfaces. I am particularly excited about this project as it evolved into a product with beautiful features and details – such as the curved design of seatbacks and the stitching reveal. I also love the philosophy behind the collection which is that sometimes the best work gets done when it doesn’t feel like work at all!”
Marc Krusin: “For Viccarbe we have designed SOLAR, a single-user station, comprising an integrated seat and tabletop. Designed for outdoor and indoor communal spaces SOLAR revolves around its base, bringing an element of fun to the product and user experience but also allowing the user to position themselves in any desired direction – very useful for collaborative spaces in general, and particularly outdoors as it allows one to adjust one’s position in relation to the sun. I love this project for its sculptural and kinetic qualities with two discs floating in space, rotating around each other.
REALE is a new bespoke glass furniture brand which we are launching with Vetreria Re in Italy. Vetreria Re work with glass at the highest levels of quality and precision for architectural applications within the fashion sector and high-end private residential. They have asked us to create a new brand to house a collection of furniture which we have also designed, combining glass and leather and exploiting their incredible, unique production processes and attention to detail.
In addition to products, we have also recently launched our Instagram account focusing on design and consciousness – with the aim of promoting awareness through design, that inner peace and true happiness are possible for all!”
Eager to know more about the designing practice? Let’s get into the process of design with Sukwoo Lee, founder of SWNA!