Floral vision

What is the first part of a chair that we set eyes on? This is the question Sebastian Herkner asked himself at the beginning of the creative collaboration with furniture-company Pedrali – for whom he then designed the “Blume” collection.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 6/24/2020

“I didn’t want to use plain vanilla round tubing for the frame that then runs up to the chair’s backrest, but instead revisited the chair legs and tried to come up with an elegant, functional detail,” Herkner explains. The result is a slender, wave-like extruded aluminum profile with a cross section reminiscent of a flower blossom with seven petals. “Blume”, in the meaning of “flower”, is fittingly the name of the German designer’s first collection for Pedrali. The dialog between Sebastian Herkner and Pedrali started many years ago when they met up at the Salone del Mobile. “I immediately felt a high regard for Monica and Giuseppe Pedrali, they were so down-to-earth, precise and cordial,” he recalls. Intensive conversations followed, as did a trip to visit one of the Italian manufacturer’s factories in Mornico al Serio outside Milan, where furniture is made from plastic materials, metal and upholstery. “I found it fascinating to experience first-hand how craftsmanship and modern technology go hand in hand in Pedrali’s production processes,” Herkner says. Moreover, Pedrali’s in-company manufacturing is highly sustainable, dispenses with red tape, and relies on swift communication. “For me, it’s important to know where the materials come from, and to witness a company’s philosophy and its vision,” Herkner continues. And Giuseppe Pedrali adds: “We’ve been following Sebastian’s career ever since he took part in the Salone Satellite back in 2009, we really appreciate his style, and down through the years never lost sight of each other. So the time had definitely come to start to collaborate.”

Versatile character

Herkner was given free rein when it came to creating “Blume”: The slender, decorative profile wraps round a geometrical upholstered seat made of polyurethane foam. The seating’s structure is reinforced by a steel element below the seat that also keeps the legs in place. Fine cushioning covers courtesy of Kvadrat and Sahco make for a luxurious feel, something of great importance to Herkner. Indeed, the chair is a veritable magnet tempting you to touch it, to run your hand softly over the refined profiles and the high-grade textiles. The spectrum ranges from linen in natural colors to an opulent velvet in lush colors – “Blume” can be as discrete as it can be extravagant in effect. The aluminum frame comes with grey, black, brass, or bronze finishes, and Pedrali also lets you choose between a matt or a gloss coat. The stackable chair and lounger are not the only gems in the new collection as the characteristic profile is also to be encountered in a selection of couch tables of different heights, all of them featuring marble tops, be it the bright, sand-colored marble Breccia Aurora or Rosso Levanto, Fior di Pesco which naturally oscillates between reddish and grey-green. “The profile as a decorative element lends the ‘Blume’ collection a character of its very own. Moreover, with their rounded shapes and ultimate comfort the chairs are firmly geared to human wellbeing,” comments Giuseppe Pedrali.

Sebastian Herkner tells Blume collection

Comfort, aesthetics, quality, function, and sustainability – these are core features that Pedrali seeks to emphasize with its “Blume” collection in the austere days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Precisely now there is a need for products that go well beyond merely serving a function, that are a source of joy and whet your thirst for good design, for experimental approaches to materials, colors and shapes. For Sebastian Herkner, other aspects also played a role in ensuring collaborating with Pedrali was so great: The family-like, respectful interaction, mutual appreciation, and the combination of know-how. “Our fantastic dialog and the progressive mindset at Pedrali really defined the creative process and are also clearly discernible in the design of 'Blume',” he narrates.

Blume by Sebastian Herkner - Flower silhouette