Sebastian Herkner is German lighting and furniture designer currently based in Offenbach am Main. This young designer has a background that extends from an internship with Stella McCartney to producing work for companies such as Foundry, Nomess and Radius Design to teaching at the Academy of Art and Design Offenbach am Main Germany, Department of Industrial Design. Herkner's most recent work was shown at [d3] design talents during IMM Cologne.
Some of your recent designs do double-duty: a cabinet sits upon a table to extend storage and display possibilities; a lamp functions as a source of energy as well as one of light. Even the shipping containers for your work became the displays for your booth in Milan last year. Do you set out to create designs that serve more than one function? Is it important for you that your work serves more than one purpose?
Well, yes, you're right. In the case of the shipping containers for the booth at Salone Satellite the big advantage was to use the boxes for the showcase concept. Otherwise we had to organise a stock to put them away during the exhibition. So we reacted on this point and used the boxes in another way. It was an installation, which was special and authentic like the products, without any unnecessary padding. I think some of my designs do double-duty, because I interact with the transfer of thoughts, the observation of the context and I really love the collage of stereotypes and the convergence in design.
The ventilation shaft is one of your most recent inspirations. What other humble objects have been important influences in your work?
The inspiration for the Tauber-Cabinet was the ventilation shaft, its aesthetics and way of production.... to transfer this industrial product made of white sheets and transport this behavior to the private context by using brass. I often find my inspirations in the industry or at craft producers. I like traditional handcrafts as well as CNC technology. I like to work with both to get the best result for my identification of design.
What are the most important factors that concern you when you set out to design lighting?
To be authentic and to design in a sustainable manner; sustainability can also mean to work with small craft producers to support their identity and know-how.
What's next for your design practice?
It's important to be open-minded and censorious to all kinds of creativity and culture, like architecture, music, landscaping....
Photo of Sebastian Herkner courtesy of Michael Hudler.