Cru by Sebastian Bergne

London-based designer Sebastian Bergne will exhibit his new designs for wine consumption at The Aram Gallery in a show called CRU, which opens next week.


The exhibition proposes concepts for transporting, storing, serving and consuming wine. Objects on show include glasses and decanters that incorporate corks, pins for joining used corks together and T-shirts dip-dyed in wine. Above: Corked 8 – Wine bag container. Top image: Corked 1 - Flip over bottom fill decanter and Corked 2 - Matching glass.


The exhibition will be open 27 November 2008 – 10 January 2009 at the gallery in London.

Above: Corked 7 – Top inside decanter. Below: Corked 4 - Trousers glass.


The following is from the The Aram Gallery:



New work by Sebastian Bergne. Below: Corked 3 - Cork Stem glass (for red wine)


A series of decanting and serving vessels that explores the contrast between the hard, precise glass components and the soft cork parts which make the product complete and become a range of functional, symbolic and formal objects. Studio edition for sale or to order.


Above: Wine Diary
A series of plastic containers entitled Wine Diary containing samples of wines that form a column of colour as you drink - a recollection of the consumed wine. Unique prototypes. Not for sale


Above: Non Set
A collection of similar shaped but different sized, found wine glasses. Despite the same design, each glass is perceived as having a different value and level of formality. Even the wine drunk from them seems of a different quality, due only to their scale. By adding an identification ring to the foot of each glass, a set is made from a group of individuals. Three sets of 6 glasses available for sale. Available to order.


Above: Case
Self-assembly transport cases for six bottles of wine. Once at home, the plywood crates become stacking storage for the same six bottles. Studio edition for sale or to order.


Above and below: Pro Wine
A group of three objects specifically designed to communicate and measure three aspects of wine appreciation; the bouquet in the inhaler glass, the colour using the flat glass and the colour index and the temperature in the thermometer glass.


Above and below: Pro Wine. Functional prototypes. Available to order

Below: Geo Cork A small multi-pin element that joins used corks into an endless playful sculpture that grows in proportion to the wine consumption. It is both a drinking game and a reminder. Prototype. A set of 20 prototype pins is available for sale.Below: Geo Cork
A small multi-pin element that joins used corks into an endless playful sculpture that grows in proportion to the wine consumption. It is both a drinking game and a reminder. Prototype. A set of 20 prototype pins is available for sale.

Below: Valet
The action of carrying and the moment of serving wines are improved with these simple tray/container hybrids.


Studio edition for sale or to order


Below: Marcel
The monolithic, 800mm high wine storage is completed by adding any number of wine bottles. One off pieces made of Portugese limestone or Black Corian Studio edition for sale or to order.


Below: Vintage Dip
A collection of 25 limited edition t-shirts exploits the staining qualities of wine. The strong colour and graphic resulting from the dipping process give the shirts a feeling somewhere between sportswear and watercolour paintings. Studio edition of 25 hand dipped T-shirts for sale.



Self-initiated and self-produced work is the ultimate model for the designer as author. Not only does the designer set the brief, but they approve the results and take them through into production. It is the dream, delight and dread, of undisturbed control over the process and product. Then the design searches a user, and following first impressions, desire and purchase, finally the design is challenged with fulfilling it’s promise on neutral ground.


And so we see that sense of control that the designer has won has changed something fundamental about the journey of a product from concept to use. The ongoing feedback and evaluation loop that characterises a client relationship is near impossible to simulate when working for oneself. The product has a longer life with its ‘originator’ and a postponed response from it’s user.


If the designer is the financial backer, as is often the case, this tension is compounded by business risks. But more designers are choosing this route, not only those at the start of their careers but also well-established professionals, with some creating substantial new name based brands as a result.


It seems the option to take control, the excitement and even the tension of taking decisions on what to progress into realisation, is so seductive it outweighs the uncertainty and the risks that inevitably accompany. It’s possible these tensions could be important, vital even, in stimulating creativity and excellence in the resultant work. Above: Corked 5 - Tripod glass


For CRU, our monographic exhibition of the work of Sebastian Bergne (who has designed to briefs from leading manufacturing companies such as Authentics, Muji, Moulinex, Habitat and Vitra for the past 18 years), Bergne set himself a challenge to produce from scratch a collection of pieces under his own name. It’s a departure for him. Above: Corked 6 - Tripod decanter.

For him it signals the growing interest of a mature designer in the control and thrill of initiating new work and finding new outlets for ideas. He is a designer that has worked for industrial manufacturing in the typical model of professional anonymous practice, but both he and the model are changing. A growing number of companies and designers that worked primarily in the anonymous shadows of products are reconsidering the value of the recognition.

And even more evident is the number of designers actively creating their name brand, some also becoming producers while others being bought by existing companies that are expanding and developing their brand in association with an author design name.

When the idea of an exhibition at the Aram Gallery was initially broached it was a question of what to show from the vast number of projects Bergne has been involved with since his graduation. The decision to look ahead and do all new work, in the form of a small collection with a fast turn around from ideas to production, is fantastically exciting.

Having recently returned to London after a seven year spell in Bologna, Italy, Bergne is still in the process of contemplating and comparing the opportunities offered by the notion of a fresh start and real possibilities of a design practice that enjoys London. CRU (a term meaning 'growth' which is used as a means of classifying wines, also indicates that the wine is from a town or producer of high quality) shows work which responds to and reflects on this transition.

The collection of designs is inspired by the Italian wine culture that is intertwined in day to day life for most people in Italy and shared by many in London. The exhibition includes concepts for transporting, storing, serving and enjoying new ways of consuming wine. Although some items are ready for production and available to purchase, the exhibition is primarily a series of experiments.

The Aram Gallery is pleased to continue providing a platform for initiating and launching new experimental work and thanks the Arts Council for supporting these special projects. CRU will be on show at The Aram Gallery from 27 November 2008 to 10 January 2009.

Curator Daniel Charny
Assistant Curator Ellie Parke
Director Zeev Aram.

More Dezeen stories about wine:



In Vino Veritas by Matali Crasset


Hruska by Martin Zampach


Seven Deadly Glasses by Kacper Hamilton


Swing and Shadow by Gumdesign