“They don’t spend anything on office furniture,” says German designer Konstantin Grcic about the tech companies of Silicon Valley. “It is something that has to be cheap and has to be quickly accessible. They buy a lot of furniture on eBay because they can have it within 24 hours.” (‘Hack’ Designer, Konstantin Grcic )
This attitude was what inspired the designer, Konstantin Grcic, to develop Hack. The culture within start-ups is one that is easily adaptable to change, where furniture for them becomes a commodity. Hack’s raw wooden panels deliver an unfinished aesthetic at first glance that is flexible in use and easy to ‘hack’. “If it is a piece of wood, I can drill into it and add a hook or a shelf to it myself. They (start-up tech firm employees) call that hacking the product as they do with hacking a programme. ” (Konstantin Grcic)
While not necessarily created for the big tech companies such as facebook, Hack represents the manufacturers response to scrappy, D.I.Y., “hackable” office trends that strongly lends itself to a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done, start-up ethos.
Hack is unlike anything Vitra has designed before, and that stems from the culture and inspiration in which it was developed. In Designo’s interview with Grcic, he takes us on a journey into the atmosphere and learning environments within Silicon Valley’s start-up culture. “If you do it the Californian way, then it’s ‘That’s an interesting idea, lets do it.’ You do something and maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t work…” It is this mentality that gave us Hack. At Vitra, producing a new product takes a long time because everything is scrutinised and analysed, but taking notes from his visit to Silicon Valley, Grcic produced Hack within a year. He released it with the expectation that even if the product is ripped apart and criticized, it would still be learning experience, just within a quicker time frame.