Stellar pendant lamp by Sebastian Herkner

Sebastian Herkner named Maison&Objet 2019 designer of the year

Dezeen promotion: Sebastian Herkner has been named as the designer of the year for the January edition of Maison&Objet 2019, and will get to present his selection of work in a self-designed exhibition space at the fair.

The German designer, who has has been commended by organisers for "straddling the boundary between modernity and tradition", will take the title at the upcoming design fair, which will take place in Paris, France, between the 18 and 22 of January.

Sebastian Herkner named Designer of the Year at Masion&Objet 2019
As designer of the year, Sebastian Herkner will to present his own work in a self-designed space at the fair

"Sebastian Herkner has unremittingly focused on creating designs that fuse tradition with creativity, new technology with craftsmanship," explained the organisers of Maison & Objet.

"His approach to design is both ethical and committed, imbuing the creative process with the same degree of importance as the actual end product itself."

Bell table by Sebastian Herkner
The designer's Bell table has a hand-blown base

Herkner studied at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, where he first developed an affinity for creating furnishings that play with colour and texture. This was encouraged by an internship at high-end fashion label Stella McCartney, where he learnt more about how different shades and materials can be combined.

"Colour is often the very last thing designers think about. For me, it's always the starting point for the whole design process," explained Herkner.

Oda lamp by Sebastian Herkner
Herkner's Oda lamp features rounded forms balanced on thin steel legs

After starting his own studio in 2006, the designer has since produced works including his Bell table, which features a funnel-shaped brass counter perched upon a hand-blown glass base. He also created the signature Oda lamp, which takes cues from the rounded form of silos and water towers.

Herkner has collaborated with a host of design brands. In 2015 he created a seating range for Moroso that was composed of thick metal tubes, while last year he made spherical lamps for Pulpo that contrast fluted and frosted glass.

Designed by Sebastian Herkner
The Grace serving trolley emerged from a collaboration between Herkner and furniture brand Schönbuch

"There is a sensitivity and identity to my work that emphasizes the function, the material and the detail. I transport and interpret characteristics from various contexts of society and culture and implement them in new artifacts," added the designer.

"This character infuses the most everyday objects with respect and personality."

Designed by Sebastian Herkner
Herkner has teamed up with glass company Edition van Treeck to create the delicate Pastille table

Maison & Objet is a twice-yearly fair, while the January edition is more focused on product or industrial designers, the September edition hones in on the work of interior designers.

A designer of the year is selected for each of the two shows, and given a space in the venue where they can exclusively showcase their canon of work.

Last year's recipients were Scandinavian designer Cecilie Manz, who was described by organisers as an "advocate of warm minimalism", and Belgian designer Ramy Fischler, who was praised for his "free spirit".

All photos courtesy of Studio Sebastian Herkner.