#18 - Underground Phenomena

Sebastian Herkner: Sensual Interior Design at IMM Cologne

Courtesy of Constantin Meyer photography

In 2016, a German designer was asked, for the first time, to conceive the “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” at the international interiors show IMM in Cologne. Sebastian Herkner offered a sensual experience to visitors by creating a house that “is soft and aromatic, colorful and communicative, and which is able to change its form like a chameleon.”

The idea was to create a flexible transparent and movable house. He went to German textiles manufacturer Nya Nordiska, a sponsor for his Das Haus project, to produce a decorative facade of curtains.

Sebastian Herkner: The textiles separate areas of the house at certain locations. The curtains act as a shield that you can see through, but you don’t see clearly what is behind. It’s also about acoustics, about senses and lighting. For us, it was important to have a house touching all the senses; to see something, to feel it, but also to interact with the sounds. The textile surfaces made the house much more quiet than all the noise coming from the fair. It became an oasis.

Images: Das Haus 2016 by Sebastian Herkner. Courtesy of IMM Cologne.

Soft aromas invited visitors into the bathroom.

Sebastian Herkner: The bathroom walls were covered with soap tiles, so it was something you could smell. I don’t think this is very common in furniture and lighting design, that you can smell something. This had very good reactions. This idea came from the fact that close to our studio there’s a soap manufacturer. In summer when we have lunch outside or a barbeque in the evening, you can smell the production of roses or daffodils or lilies if the wind comes from the right direction. We wanted to bring this experience to Cologne.  

The movable curtains that replaced wall elements made the house accessible to anyone passing. Find out more about this project in a previously published interview with Herkner.

About the Author

American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of AgriExpo e-magazine and ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.

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