Each edition, Maison et Objet Paris chooses a designer of the year whose work stands for innovation, excellence and has quite the impact on their generation. This time around, the lifestyle and design trade show has selected the German designer, Sebastian Herkner. Today, Paris Design Agenda will showcase his impressive work and background, so take a look.
Herkner graduated from the Offenbach University of Art and Design and, since then, he has collaborated with some of the biggest international design brands, including Moroso, Thonet and Lintello. Due to his innovative and traditional approach to design, he has received plenty of recognition, so it comes as no surprise that Maison et Objet has awarded Herkner as the designer of the year.
In 2006, Sebastian Herkner opened up his own design studio in Offenbach. The German designer has completely blurred all boundaries between modernity and traditionality in his creations, adapting new technologies with craftsmanship. His first landmark design was the “Bell table”, whose steel and brass platter nestles on a hand-blown glass base produced in a centuries-old Bavarian glass factory. Another great example of the designer’s expertise in combining technology with traditional craftsmanship is the “118 chair” for Thonet, a piece that uses a mix of CNC milling and steam bending to fashion the wood.
“It’s absolutely vital we revive all these traditional forms of craftsmanship before they get lost forever, as they’re an integral part of our cultural heritage”
The German designer is always seeking new challenges and explore new things. Besides furniture and accessories, he has actually come to create design glasses, bicycles, perfume bottles, among others. He also did an internship with a fashion icon, Stella McCartney. Here, he honed a special care for the combination of colors, a characteristic that can now be seen in many of his work, as he explains “Colour is often the very last thing designers think about. For me, it’s always the starting point for the whole design process.”
When it comes to inspirations, the designer has always had a longstanding habit of quenching his thirst for ideas elsewhere, from China to Thailand, Colombia and Canada, as he discloses “different cultures, skills and lifestyles all fuel my inspiration”. He often also seeks inspiration in traditional materials such as leather, ceramics and marble, and, of course, art. One of his most iconic pieces that embody this notion is the “Oda” floor lamp which he designed for Pulpo. This lighting piece was directly inspired by photographic images of water towers captured by Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Every single source of inspiration is perfectly in tune with his quest for authenticity, his desire to use sustainable materials, and his sense of respect for the time it takes to create a truly stunning piece. His approach to design is both ethical and committed, imbuing the creative process with the same degree of importance as the actual end product itself.
This year, Maison et Objet will take place from 18-22 January 2019 and Sebastian Herkner never misses an edition. This year, the spotlight will be on his work and he will be able to display some of his latest creations whilst simultaneously showcasing the manufacturing processes that have always been so close to his heart.
Source: Maison et Objet Paris