is the sketch. There is hardly a product that has not been designed on a sheet of paper. This is still the first step of every designer in the design process. These valuable documents have received very little attention so far. We would like to change this and place these works into the focus of our gallery.

“Already my first sketches are in color, because they give a design its
own character and visualize my idea better.”

Sebastian Herkner

“When Sebastian Herkner presented his diploma thesis at HFG in Offenbach in 2006, I met him for the first time. From then on, our paths crossed and he participated in many national and international exhibitions which I organized and curated. We became friends and I was able to follow Sebastian’s path into the design world. I hardly know any other designer who has so single-mindedly followed his goals without doubt, despite initial larger and smaller stones in his path. This sounds so easy in retrospect, if you read his impressive biography, but his success is certainly also based on his likeable nature, his ability to connect people and stay grounded. His success stands for itself, his work shapes our everyday life, his love for genuine, classic materials and traditional craftsmanship make his designs unique. Sebastian already manages to create design classics that affect a whole generation. How nice to have you with us in our Cologne Design Gallery!”
Natalie Weis, founder of the Cologne Design Gallery

Sebastian Herkner (born 1981) studied Product Design at HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design. During his studies he began to focus on designing objects and furniture, honing his keen sense for materials, colors and textures.
An unconditional love for traditional craftsmanship paired with a good feel for new technologies, a true flair for color, authentic materials and textures, an unadulterated curiosity for different cultures, and a commitment to taking responsibility for the things and people one works with, not to mention consideration and respect for all of the details and steps necessary to create an extraordinary object…: Balance and intuition are important and enduring factors in his work, which he sees as a continuous dialogue that straddles the disciplines: It takes him to the far corners of the world in search of almost forgotten crafts techniques, of manufactories that have a tradition going back centuries, to the crafts Sleeping Beauties that he can awaken from their slumber.

“It is primarily a matter of quickly achieving a dynamic three-dimensional impression.
It is tried out, rejected, developed further and above all detailed.
Sketching alone helps me to fix myself in one place and focus on a single problem.”

Eric Degenhardt

“Before I got to know Eric Degenhardt, I noticed his products. Especially the “Container” for Böwer.  The simple containers are typical designs for Eric. They are characterised by a wonderful depth of detail and look like small sculptures in a finely tuned colour scheme. I simply found them great. It was much later, in spring 2017, that our paths crossed when we moved into our office and gallery space in Cologne, which Eric renovated and designed. Soon I noticed how similar Eric is to his products, how much his reserved and skilful character shapes his products.  Here too, in our offices, he has shown a fine sense for simple details. We feel very comfortable here and are happy every day about this wonderful place in Cologne.”
Antonia Varelmann, founder of the Cologne Design Gallery

Eric Degenhardt was born in Cologne, Germany. He studied Architecture at the Rheinisch Westfälisch Technische Hochschule in Aachen and has worked on several architectonical projects before he switched his focus on furniture and industrial design – after spending a time in London.

Taking his idea of space and architecture, it was a logical step to move away from the big scale and move towards the smaller scale. It is the furniture and the products, together with the users, that finally define the function of an architectonical space. He tends towards formal lightness – letting the pieces hover, with sleek shapes and clean details and a minimum of different materials. Since setting up his own studio in Cologne in 2000, he has developed furniture, packaging and architectonical spaces for international clients.

“As a product designer sketching is an integral part of my work process. This is how all projects begin. Sketching is a tool to achieve instant feedback on ideas. A tool to try out shapes and forms. It is intuitive, it is thinking on a piece of paper.”

Jonas Wagell

“When I met Jonas Wagell 16 years ago, he was still in the early stages of his studies. His first attempt to design a sofa, a conceptual design called “chill”, was entered in the young talent competition “inspired by cologne”. If you look at photos of this prototype today, you cannot imagine that Jonas Wagell designed it as since then he has gone through a major design development. As a person, he was convincing then as now, his open and engaging nature makes him likeable at first sight. This is certainly one of the reasons why Jonas has become a successful designer; especially in the Scandinavian area he is an indispensable part of the design world. He makes use of a soft, minimalistic design language. His modern product and furniture design has received many awards. His works combine graphic simplicity with restrained playfulness. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to win him for the Cologne Design Gallery with his sketches.”
Natalie Weis, founder of the Cologne Design Gallery

Jonas Wagell is a Swedish architect and designer born in 1973. The studio JWDA was founded in 2008 and is today located in a converted car repair shop in central Stockholm. His collaborations span from Scandinavia to China, Italy and North America.
Wagell’s architecture work is perhaps most known for the prefab house concept Mini House (2007-2012), early recognized by Wallpaper* Magazine which named him one of the “world’s 50 hottest young architects” shortly after graduation in 2008. Today the work is primarily focused on product and furniture design, but occasionally the studio also consults with art and design direction.
Jonas Wagell’s design has been described as minimal with soft and friendly shapes. He was introduced to design through an interest in graphics, print and typography and perhaps this has influenced today’s work with his simplistic and clear, but expressive design language.