January 23, 2019
Harry Skinner, Lead Designer, ic! berlin
Material innovation and design excellence have always been key principles at German eyewear company, ic! berlin. Its close ties to Berlin and the city’s highly regarded design scene have remained fundamental to its energy and creative direction, and its advanced production to create eyewear collections that bridge the high-end and the handcrafted, the technical and the leading-edge. Harry Skinner, head designer at ic! berlin, answered our questions on a new collaborative project, launched with Sebastian Herkner for the current season.
Q: ic! berlin announced the new collection with Sebastian Herkner in Autumn 2019. How did the project come about?
A: We contacted Sebastian with the idea of collaborating. His approach to design is process and material focused, something that resonates with our philosophy. We are huge fans of his work and were intrigued about what would be possible in the field of eyewear with him on board. Once we met up with him to discuss the concept of working together, I think it was clear from the beginning that it was going to be an exciting project.
Q: What design direction did the collaborative collection take, and how does this fit with the creative DNA of ic! berlin?
A: At ic! berlin we are always trying to push our production techniques to achieve new innovations with materials. Sebastian recognizes our ideology and shares the same drive. He helped fuel this creativity by imagining new ways to work with acetate and metal and how both these materials can interact on a frame. He brought his knowledge of colour and refined shapes to the collection helping make it individual and unique. One key goal was to emulate the aesthetics of his furniture in the frames through form and colour.
\\ Model Bellevue: ic! berlin x Studio Sebastian Herkner Capsule
Q: Sebastian Herkner was named Designer of the Year in 2019 at Maison & Objet. Tell us more?
A: Sebastian trained at Offenbach University of Art and Design, and is working on an ever-growing number of collaborations with international design houses including Moroso, Dedon, Thonet, Lintello and Stella McCartney. Over the course of the past decade, he has received some thirty awards in recognition of his innovative yet traditional design work.
Q: How have you personally worked together with Herkner to bring this collection into fruition?
A: Working with Sebastian felt natural and easy-going. We worked together at our design studio in Marzahn on several occasions. At the studio, we have access to the production house allowing us to experiment with the tooling and materials freely. The line was developed to include four unisex models, two prescription glasses and two sunglasses, each available in three different colours. Essential design attributes are the extravagant forms, the skillful use of different materials as well as the patented ic! berlin screwless hinge system, manufactured by hand in Berlin.
“We are working on new techniques and processes for manufacturing developed through knowledge gained in territories foreign to eyewear design.”
Sebastian Herkner, interiors and product designer
Q: What is ic! berlin working on for release at opti Munich this month?
A: At opti 2020 you will see us showcase a wide range of collections within product lines. It’s an exciting time for us. We are kicking off the New Year with a new collaborative project, new material focused collections and colourful innovations with sheet metal.
Q: How would you describe the direction of the main line collections for 2020, and should we expect more collaborations or capsule lines?
A: You will see more collaborative projects by ic! berlin in 2020. We have been busy working with the very best designers in fields that you might not associate with the eyewear industry. By fusing different disciplines together, the outcome is always unpredictable and rewarding. We are working on new techniques and processes for manufacturing developed through knowledge gained in territories foreign to eyewear design.
Q: As a company, how do you reflect on the start of a new decade? What are your creative aspirations for 2020?
A: We want to continue with our vision and to develop our intelligent approach to eyewear design. Breaking the creative boundary norms and upholding our reputation as industry pioneers through innovation and free-thinking.
\\ Model Avus: ic! berlin x Studio Sebastian Herkner Capsule. The models are named after iconic locations and buildings in Berlin