German precision: the ’Mbrace’ rocking chair by Sebastian Herkner for Dedon

Hand-woven outdoor furniture specialist Dedon collaborates with Sebastian Herkner on a bold interpretation of a rocking chair, with an optional footstool
Hand-woven outdoor furniture specialist Dedon collaborates with Sebastian Herkner on a bold interpretation of a rocking chair, with an optional footstool
(Image credit: TBC)

A focus on detail and a deep respect for traditional craft drives the work of the young German designer Sebastian Herkner. His most recent project, a bold interpretation of wingback, lounger and rocker chairs – including an optional footstool – for hand-woven outdoor furniture specialist Dedon, embodies these key design principles with an intriguing transparent triaxial weave and distinctive cocoon-like forms.

The sculptural designs expand upon Dedon’s signature low-slung sleek style and classic neutral palette, adding a fresh touch of colour in pepper, Atlantic blue and spice red. A base of simple teak legs also mark the first time Dedon has incorporated timber within a product.

The designer says he usually retreats to the solitude of his Frankfurt home to jumpstart the initial design process, hand-sketching concepts in colour: ‘It is a very personal process and I need my silence.’ With the concept established, he returns to his studio where the sketches are translated into 1:10 scale cardboard models ‘to help develop shape’, followed by a larger model in wood and cardboard to help refine the internal frame. ‘Computer technology is useful but a model really helps to get as close as possible to check measurements,’ he explains.

The innovative double-layered moiré weave seen in 'Mbrace' was inspired by textiles, to create the sort of openness seen in Henry Moore’s sculptures that the designer says ‘allows the sculpture to connect with the outside’. The team turned to digital programming to experiment with its complex colours and patterns before prototypes were created by hand at Dedon’s Cebu workshop. ‘The technical production of the fibres by an extrusion machine is fascinating but it is the craft side that makes it a sensual product,’ Herkner explains. ‘It’s an interesting collaboration between German engineering with Filipino craftsmanship.’

illustration designs

Herkner explains, ‘My focus on detail comes from my time working at Stella McCartney. She worked at another scale examining every stitch and every detail...’

(Image credit: TBC)

paper models of herkner designs

’...I learned that one thread could be made up of five or six different colours that you only see when you look closely. That is why the detail is so important,’ explains Herkner. Pictured: a paper model of his designs

(Image credit: TBC)

person welding metal chair

With the concept established, Herkner returned to his studio where sketches were translated into 1:10 scale cardboard models ‘to help develop shape’, followed by a larger model in wood and cardboard (pictured) to help refine the internal frame

(Image credit: TBC)

Close up of the chair design

Working in close collaboration with world-renowned colourist Giulio Ridolfo, Herkner and Dedon developed three unique colorways for the collection – spice, pepper and Atlantic blue

(Image credit: TBC)

Herkner poses with his design

Herkner poses with his design

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit Sebastian Herkner’s website (opens in new tab)