German designer Sebastian Herkner in the spotlight
The 37-year-old German designer Sebastian Herkner (pictured above) has been honoured with all kinds of awards for his innovative work, often created in collaboration with major names in the design world such as Moroso, Dedon, Pulpo and Thonet. Trained at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, Herkner founded his studio in 2006 in the same city, close to Frankfurt, where he fuses traditional crafts with new technology. Here, he crafted one of his first major designs, the “Bell” table, a steel and brass platter nestled on a hand-blown glass base. Now, the German designer’s innovative yet traditional work is being celebrated at the January edition of Maison & Objet, where he is Designer of the Year.
Excuse my French
According to Vincent Grégoire, of the Paris-based trend forecasting agency, NellyRodi, France is at the forefront of the international scene. “There is a new curiosity, a sort of fascination for the French,” explains Vincent Grégoire. This is partly because, in an increasingly uniform world, exceptions are like a breath of fresh air. Such differences and exceptions are often channeled through France’s home-grown creations, with a wealth of small companies revisiting traditional skills and craftsmanship with new, innovative products, and in a “New Wave” of designers adopting multicultural approaches.
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Showcasing China’s young talents
This year, the Rising Talent Awards stand is looking East, as China’s young designers take center stage at this January 2019 edition of M&O. Six rising talents from the Chinese design scene have been selected by six personalities from the interior design and decoration industry, such as Liu Xu, president of the China National Interior Decoration Association, and Xing Tong-He, former architect-in-chief of the Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group, one of the world’s biggest architecture practices. Also on this year’s Rising Talents selection jury are the sculptor and artist Qu Guangci, and designers Tom Dixon, Luca Nichetto and the duo Neri and Rossana Hu, co-founders of the Shanghai-based design and architecture practice, Neri & Hu.