“A blender is a very straightforward machine,” German designer Konstantin Grcic says in reference to his design for the Krups KB720. “The challenge is to come up with something that makes it distinctive.” Although it resembles most blenders in its basic form, the KB720—which makes its American debut at ICFF—is indeed distinctive: at 1,100 watts, it is one of the most powerful blenders on the market, yet the Krups Motor Technik system provides evenly spaced rpms that make the machine significantly quieter than its competitors. However, the real pleasure of the KB720 is in the details—particularly the user-friendly control panel, which projects on an ergonomic “balcony” from the die-cast aluminum base and features eight simple buttons. “You could call it slightly naive,” Grcic says.
This willingness to reduce designs to their most salient details while maintaining a human touch distinguishes much of Grcic’s work. Since establishing his practice in Munich in 1991, the 42-year-old has produced a string of precise, subtly humorous designs, ranging from the Square trash can for Authentics to the May Day light for Flos (now in the MoMA’s permanent collection). His partnership with Krups began in 2003; prior to the blender he designed a waffle maker, an espresso machine, a toaster oven, and a blocky black sandwich maker that looks more like a car battery than a kitchen appliance. Speaking of his design for the blender, Grcic could just as easily be describing all of his work. “There’s something beautifully obvious about it,” he says. “There’s a logic to it—and something very honest, I think.”