Three of the many creatives who design for Thonet today and deal with the heritage: Sebastian Herkner, Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau (Studio Besau Marguerre) in an interview with Thonet.
What fascinates you about the Thonet brand, and what’s exciting about working with Thonet?
Eva Marguerre: “We’re fascinated with the round shapes that you can find in the Thonet bentwood and tubular steel classics. They represent the revolutionary innovativeness of both epochs, which were decisively influenced by Thonet.”
Sebastian Herkner: “Thonet is one of the most influential design companies ever, and it has been for 200 years. The company has repeatedly reinvented itself through innovation and vision, as well as through exciting collaborations. For me as a designer, this is the perfect foundation for cooperation. We have an intensive dialogue driven by knowledge, enthusiasm, and ideas.”
What are the decisive aspects that play a role in your view of Thonet?
Sebastian Herkner: “Working with the material and the motivation to push the development of the brand. In the case of our collaboration, it is particularly the interaction of tradition and know-how on behalf of the company along with my own interest in quality, detail, and colour.”
Marcel Besau: “For us, Thonet radiates a certain type of coolness due to the materials wood and tubular steel, which are decisive for the brand. We believe that a little warmth fits it well. And we try to achieve that with our approaches, for example by interpreting chair 214 with a new, contemporary colour concept or the use of textiles in the case of trade fair booth design.”
If you were to conceive a brand like Thonet today, how would you describe your approach?
Sebastian Herkner: “Good craftsmanship represents a German tradition in design, just like technology and innovation. All of this has to be responsibly advanced in the context of our time, and I tried to do just that with my range 118.”
Eva Marguerre: “For us, the question is this: how can the icons be placed in a contemporary context? It is a challenge to deal with the history in a respectful and responsible way and to think it forward into the future. You’re not completely free, but we like having a framework and certain limitations because something new and surprising always results from that. We believe – and this is how we worked on our projects for Thonet – that even a small shift in materials, colours or details lead to a successful dialogue with contemporary designs.”