Ambiente talent Eduard Herrmann from Prague, emerging capital of cool, creates subtle, airy interior design and furniture with a cultural twist. His carefully-conceived cutlery sits smoothly in your hand, his glass lights bathe the room in a poetic glow. For #TalentsTuesday, we interview our emerging designer about the domino effect.
Mr Herrmann, your cutlery looks like magic wands made of bone, with a shape that invites a playful approach. What’s it all about?
Firstly, these are only prototypes, 3D-printed plastic models. Playful is about right: the cutlery’s called ‘Domino I’, after the well-known game. The spoons and forks can sit on their sides very naturally on the table, just like dominoes. Except these won’t fall down. Balancing on a small contact surface, this cutlery stands firm while looking light as a feather: that’s the secret. It’s something we’ve seen with knives for a long time, but never before for spoons and forks. And when they’re made of stainless steel, they’ll be perfect for every occasion.
Although you’re still a design student, you’ve certainly got a lot in your portfolio. For example, Czech furniture manufacturer TON – established by Michael Thonet in 1861 – is producing your Esquí lounge chair.
After my first degree in Bratislava, I went back home to Prague in 2014 and soon studied for my Master’s at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design. My idea was to keep it simple, to be new and yet traditional: it was an approach that appealed to TON. Esquí means ‘ski’ in Spanish. The bentwood chair looks to me like it’s on skis or runners.
On the subject of tradition … Is that why you chose glass from Bohemia for your lighting collection, which we saw alongside the cutlery at the Talents stand for Ambiente 2015?
Yes, my design was commissioned by the famous Czech glass manufacturer BOMMA. They specialise in the computer-aided cutting and engraving of handmade crystal. That’s how my original table lamp design was born. I call that design Ignis. The glass at the top forms the lampshade and the cable forms the base. The light suffuses through, like with a cloth lampshade. Many visitors to Ambiente were fascinated: it was a great experience for my début in Frankfurt.
One final question: the picnic season is almost upon us, what do you think about disposable plastic cutlery?
(Laughs) I admit, I’ve never seen any beautiful, really elegant plastic cutlery. But even disposable items deserve good design. The Domino I cutlery and more geometrically-shaped Domino II could totally be made in a plastic version.
All in all, it’s subtle avant-garde art you can touch. A designer who is certainly one to watch. Thanks very much for this Talents interview!