Friday, January 03, 2014

Sebastian Herkner: Turning Tables*

"I don't want to create trendy products; my aim is to make companions for your whole life". Тhis is how Sebastian Herkner explains his approach to work, which, in turn, explains his success. The young German is among the industry's most acclaimed designers these days. He launched his enormously successful Bell Table for the traditional company ClassiCon in 2012, but he has also collaborated with many of the top international furniture brands, including Moroso, Pulpo, De Vorm, and Nanoo.


While he was still a product design student at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, Sebastian began to focus on designing objects and furniture which link different cultural contexts and combine new technologies with traditional methods of craftsmanship. His 2010 reddot design award winner Bell-Table is a prime example of this approach. A fascinating combination of materials and harmonious lines, it is a masterpiece of traditional craftsman’s art. Here is how Herkner describes the process of its creation: "I set out to turn the usual way of seeing glass tables upside down: in the case of the Bell Table, it is not simply a matter of a glass slab on a metal foot, but the foot is itself made of glass on which the metal body then lies."
Sebastian Herkner's sensitivity is clearly visible in his work, bringing forth and emphasizing function, material and detail. His products also show a desire to interpret characteristics from various contexts of society and culture, as well as to implement them in new artifacts.

Bell Side Table

Coat, an armchair that Herkner created for Moroso, comes with fruity flavours and has exposed seams on the arms. A practical armchair, it rests directly and firmly on the floor, but at the same time it is lightweight and easy to move. The idea for it comes from the hosiery industry, the non-slip soles used for children´s socks and the prints that are functional and decorative at the same time. The pattern, in transparent silicone, does not add colour but instead tones down the fabric and creates a water effect. The upholstery, a soft and supple removable cover, wraps around and dresses the seat - a simple trick which maintains the design coherence intact.
Sebastian Herkner was born in 1981 in Bad Mergentheim. He studied product design at the HfG Offenbach am Main (Offenbach University of Art and Design). Still a student, he did an internship with Stella McCartney in London. Herkner founded his own design studio in Offenbach am Main in 2006. Since graduating from Offenbach in 2007 he has worked as assistant in the Product Design faculty.

*This is my article published earlier on

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“The idea that design is the development of a series of progressive sketches is romantic and not very accurate,”

Charles Eames noted back in 1964.