SEBASTIAN HERKNER SHARES HIS TAKE ON OUTDOOR DESIGN, AND THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND HIS MBRACE COLLECTION FOR DEDON.
“Ialways like to show a new perspective in my work, and I’m very interested in working with people,” says Sebastian Herkner, one of Europe’s most talked-about young design talents. For his collaboration with Dedon, the German company known for its luxury outdoor furniture, Herkner visits Dedon’s factory in Cebu, where the world’s best weavers handcraft the brand’s innovative pieces. Here Herkner takes an intimate look into the painstaking detail that is necessary for bringing his designs to life. “It’s very interesting to understand who is working, and the technique they work with. I find that it’s very important that pieces are crafted by hand because it creates a certain quality and depth of character. This is especially true with wickerwork, where you need time and patience to fashion something that is very precise.” Herkner, who studied Product Design at the Offenbach Design Academy, developed a particular liking for color, material, and their connection during his internship at Stella McCartney in London—a focus that is evident in his current Mbrace collection, which includes the use of teak and three vibrant colorways he conceived together with world-renowned colorist Giulio Ridolfo. At the Dedon factory, where he sits amidst the curves and weaves of the prototypes for his next collection, Herkner is almost like a kid in a candy store. “This line will be shown in Milan next year, and this is the first time I’m seeing some of the pieces,” he admits. “It feels a little bit like Christmas.”
Herkner’s hyperfocus when it comes to precision and design is counterbalanced with the ease in his manner, as well as the sheer delight he seems to exude when it comes to his creations, an attitude that is easily reflected in the shapes, textures, and spirit of Mbrace. One of the collection’s most distinctive features is an open, mesh-like triaxial weave. And along with its vivid colors (Spice, Pepper, and Atlantic) and teakwood bases, Mbrace brings a playful spin to