Design of the times: Sebastian Herkner

Sebastian Herkner is making his name designing for EMU and Sancal, with furniture driven by needs and his observations of nature.

German-born Herkner studied product design at Offenbach University of Art and Design where he explored how to combine new technologies with traditional craftsmanship to highlight the beauty of materials and attention to detail. He interned at Stella McCartney in London and founded his own design studio in 2006. Based in Germany he has designed a diverse range of products for Sancal, EMU, Moroso, Cappellini, Fontana Arte, Thonet and a long list of other renowned European brands.

Many of Herkner’s designs are everyday objects, conceived for his own way of life and his observations of people and their actions. Herkner’s outdoor furniture designs, for example, are adaptable and flexible for work activities to occur outside. “Why shouldn’t one be able to do office work outdoors as well? Enjoy the open space and sit at a laptop in a protected area – be inspired by the pleasant atmosphere,” Herkner explains. “Such questions are increasingly influencing the design of outdoor furniture.”

The designer’s outdoor collection Dock for EMU is a modular system that includes one-, two- and three-seaters and a range of side tables. The pieces can be configured for space and needs, arranged to create day beds, armchairs, sofas and loungers, and is suitable for transitional areas between indoors and out. The graphics of cane baskets inspired the design of Dock; the seats have aluminium bases and overstuffed cushions are upholstered with technical fabrics. The tables have glass tops with a variety of designs and finishes.

Herkner’s TALO collection for Sancal also has overstuffed cushions for comfortable seating. The reinterpreted classic armchair and two-seater sofa have angled rear legs inspired by the stabilising buttress roots of mangrove trees. The oak legs are available in a wide range of natural stains as well as vibrant colours such as green and mango, and the upholstery cover has extra thick piping around the top of the chair to accentuate its handcrafted nature.

Herkner designed Vesper for Sancal as a family of tables available in four different heights. Vesper, in German means ‘teatime’ as such the name reflects the collection’s use as casual dining tables or low occasional tables.

As with TALO, Herkner was inspired by nature and the tables are reminiscent of smooth pebbles fresh from the river. The forms are made with a stone and resin material to emulate the rounded edges of a pebble and the irregular edges formed by erosion.

For more information about the Dock collection for EMU and TALO and Vesper for Sancal, drop by the KE-ZU showroom at Alexandria or view the product online via the links below

View Dock for EMU here

View Talo for Sancal here

View Vesper for Sancal here

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