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Maison & Objet

Editor checks in: January ’19

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When two trendy worlds collide in January…

Excitement and optimism are both thick in the January air. My train carriage on the Eurostar is full to the brim of creative people. Half the passengers on board are interior designers on their way, like me, to Maison&Objet. The other half are fashionistas, bloggers and journalists preparing to arrive at Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Two worlds collide to converge in conversations around this season’s must-see designers and emerging trends to keep an eye on. It reminds me of yesterday when I published my exclusive interview with lighting designer to the stars, Moritz Waldemeyer. In 2007, the young, enthusiastic Waldemeyer found himself in the same unfamiliar setting when fashion legend Hussein Chayalan asked him to create a lighting installation unlike any other for one of the shows.

11 years on from Waldemeyer’s first dip into high fashion and, while trends have shifted, the core of our creative business remains concrete; we are never afraid to knock on doors to chase inspirational ideas.

Ever since 1995, when the show first launched, Maison&Objet has powerfully set the industry up for the year. Yes, recently have witnessed somewhat more of an upsurge in attendees compared to early years, but the show has always given apt context to many of the discussions that ripple through the rest of the 11 months as things undoubtedly develop from the ‘trends’ that ping through to our inboxes on January 1.

“Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights.”

Altering course for a moment in order to explore which other worlds are in fact colliding, the cruise industry in recent years has been reaching out to more and more hotel designers to imagine the interiors of future fleets. Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights with the aim to understand how our industry can benefit from coming together with other markets.

At the core of all of these topics, bringing the loose strands of ideas together through conversation, is networking. Following the success of Meet Up North and The Brit List 2018, I am proud to announce that our Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 event will take place in Fitzrovia’s trendy neighbourhood on March 28 at Minotti London’s stylish showroom. The deadline for suppliers, designers, hoteliers and architects to claim their early bird tickets is fast approaching (February 7), so click here to purchase your tickets.

I look forward to continuing this adventurous journey with you as Hotel Designs itself prepares to enter a new chapter.

Editor, Hotel Designs

In Conversation With: Sebastian Herkner, designer of the year

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In Conversation With: Sebastian Herkner, designer of the year

At just 37 years old, designer Sebastian Herkner who is known for straddling the boundaries between modernity and tradition, becomes  designer of the year at Maison & Objet. In between Herkner’s press calls and panel discussions, editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with the man of the moment discuss the evolution of his pieces…

What makes Sebastian Herkner a name to remember in the congested industry of interior design is his ability to effortlessly fuse together tradition with creativity.

His approach to design first became commercialised in 2006, after completing his studies at the University of Art and Design at Offenback, when he set up his own studio. His first landmark design, the Bell Table, took no less than three years to find the right manufacturer because of Herkner’s design being ‘ahead of its time’, the double-edge sword of being a leader with creative vision. The table consists of a steel and brass platter that nestles on a hand-blown glass base that was produced in a centuries-old Bavarian glass factory.

The bell table by Sebastian Herkner

Image caption: The Bell Table

His appetite for a challenge and his desire to explore unchartered territories has not only led him to design glasses, bicycles and perfume bottles or make forays into the world of interior design, but also to embark on an internship with fashion designer Stella McCartney during the course of his studies. “I was interested in the manufacturing processes used in fashion, and understanding how colours are put together” he explains. The flair for combining colours he honed whilst there now underpins his signature style. “Colour is often the very last thing designers think about. For me, it’s always the starting point for the whole design process”. He does admit, nonetheless, that “it can take years to find that perfect colour combination”.

“I want my products to become companions, which I believe is very important these days in order to create timeless pieces.”

Fast-forward 15 years from when he opened his first studio, and more than 120 product launches later, Herkner is today centre stage at one of the world’s most reputable design fairs, Maison & Objet, being dubbed the ‘designer of the year’, a title that feels not only thoroughly deserved but also one that feels totally appropriate for the man who never looks back. “My designs are not driven by target groups, they are more driven by quality and functionality, while mixing new technologies and materials with craftsmanship and colours,” Herkner explains. “I want my products to become companions, which I believe is very important these days in order to create timeless pieces.” These ‘companions’ sit in harmony at the show, exhibiting the designer’s journey.

Clip Chair for De Vorm

Image caption: Sebastian Herkner’s Clip Chair for De Vorm

Be it in his studio, surrounded by a six -strong team that herald from all four corners of the world, or during his frequent trips to China, Colombia, Thailand, Senegal and Canada visiting local manufacturers , design houses and craftsmen, Herkner has a longstanding habit of quenching his thirst for ideas elsewhere. “Different cultures, skills and lifestyles all fuel my inspiration” he explains . He also finds his inspiration in traditional materials, such as ceramics, leather, marble and also in art. Another of his iconic pieces, the “Oda” floor lamp (Pulpo , 2014), bears testament to that . Resembling a reservoir of light, the design 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.

Bulbous glass light on floor

Image credit: “Oda” floor lamp (Pulpo , 2014)

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What colour are you finding interesting at the moment? 
Sebastian Herkner: Salmon pink (in Matt)

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without:
SH: My phone. I am addicted! 

HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list? 
SH: I would love to go to Peru. Big cities, unfortunately, look all the same. 

HK: Is there a trend that you hate? 
SH: When people choose to infuse ‘soft Skandi’ in their interiors. I love the Scandinavian look and feel, but I feel as if people should use it with more courage and strength. 

HK: Would you change anything in the last ten years?
SH: No, nothing. 

For a designer who is known for being ahead of his time when it comes to his ability to combine functionality with technology, I am somewhat taken aback when Herkner suggests that the industry has to some extent gone too far. “Smart homes is one thing, but i believe that furniture will remain still because they are designed for human beings,” he explains. “We need somewhere to sit, and I do not believe there is any need for charging sockets in the sofa – in the table, perhaps, but not the sofa.

Herkner’s recent accolade gives him a platform to unveil some of his latest creations whilst simultaneously showcasing the manufacturing processes that have always been so close to his heart.

Main image credit: Sebastian Herkner/Gany Gerster 

Moooi teams up with Arte to launch wallcoverings range inspired by extinct animals

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Arte’s Extinct Animals wallcoverings are inspired by Moooi’s Museum of Extinct Animals…

Launched at Deco Off in Paris, the Extinct Animals wallcoverings range is the result of a unique collaboration with Arte and Moooi. Both leading brands have launched the collection in order to celebrate nature’s diversity, stimulating to stretch the limits of imagination.

Within the Extinct Animals wallcovering collection, each pattern is inspired by the characteristics of one extinct animal. Striking combinations of colours, features and patterns of its fur, plumage or skin bring it vividly back to life on the walls. The collection that follows popular demand within the industry for art outside the frame, features designs within the wallcoverings that narrate a story; others stimulate our senses using imagery and textures. The animals that time has forgotten that have been depicted within the range include:

Aristo Quagga 

Printed wallcovering with a flock finish, inspired by the delicate features and royal appearance of the Aristo Quagga.

Armoured Boar

Wallcovering with gauze and Japanese paper, representing the shiny coat of the Armoured Boar. The upper part of its body was covered in black and golden scales, which gave it an ornamental appearance.

Dodo Pavone

3D wallcovering with a soft suede look, inspired by the Dodo Pavone’s natural outfit – a soft plumage of silvery feathers with different nuances of grey, blue, beige and white.

Blooming Seadragon

Printed wallcovering with a flock finish inspired by the mysterious Blooming Seadragon, who evolved spectacular leaf-like appendages in yellow, brown and green as a clever camouflage.

Dwarf Rhino

Soft suede 3D wallcovering, based on the unique structure of the ancient skin and the typical grey-brown folds that section the Dwarf Rhino’s body, bearing the appearance of a suit of armour.

Umbrella Squid

Wallcovering with a textured print, based on the magical skin of the Umbrella Squid which was covered in bioluminescent ‘jewels’ that changed colour to match its surroundings.

Flying Coral Fish

3D wallcovering with a satin look and a pattern resembling the pectoral fins of the Flying Coral Fish, shaped like delicate, thin and translucent wings.

Blushing Sloth

Printed wallcovering with a flock finish, resembling the beautiful fur of the Blushing Sloth, which lived its life so still and quiet that algae found a way of growing on the outer layers of their fur, giving them a breath-taking glow.

Calligraphy Bird

Wallcovering with a high gloss lacquer print, representing the elegant tail feathers of the female Calligraphy Bird that ended in what resembled graceful calligraphy swirls.

Bearded Leopard

Foil based wallcovering lined with cork and a flock finish, based on the fur of the Bearded Leopard – pale yellow to deep gold, and a dark constellation of rosebuds adorning it.

Menagerie of Extinct Animals

A fantastic fauna print – digitally printed on soft touch textile with a non-woven backing – in which each of the 10 extinct animals are mysteriously hidden.

Moooi is the extraordinary design brand founded by Marcel Wanders. For more than a decade the brand has inspired and seduced the world with sparkling and innovative creations. This brand presents creative luxury for a well curated life. Innovative, provocative & poetic at the same time.

Arte achieved international fame as a designer of the most luxurious and sophisticated wallcoverings. Known for their superior quality and exquisite designs, Arte wallcoverings adorn the walls of residential homes and project interiors all over the world. Inspired by each other, Moooi & Arte created the luxurious wallcovering collection Extinct Animals.