Sebastian Herkner

Lightweight lounge chair 119 by Sebastian Herkner

Classic materials such as bentwood and canework, reduced to the essential. The new 119 chair designed by Sebastian Herkner is a quintessential Thonet piece that’s bound to make its mark in any setting.

The lounge chair 119 can be seen as an extension of your 118 collection for Thonet. How did it come about and to what extent do the designs differ from one another?

It was an intuitive decision to take the 118, which was designed for the dining room, and turn it into a piece of furniture for the living room. It is the first wooden lounge chair in the Thonet portfolio – an addition to the collection that pays tribute to typical Thonet features but also hints at the specific character of the familiar 118. The newly created 119 also has a bentwood frame, but the large backrest around it is a new detail. In this version as well, the combination of curvature and precision in the chair legs is a key feature.

Where do you envisage the 119 being used?

It is definitely a lounge chair for the living room, and, thanks to its refined elegance, looks great set against big sofas. But it also has a place in reception areas, for example in a hotel lobby or other waiting area. And even in New Work settings the 119 can be used to create specific accents. The chair is highly customisable, so it allows interior designers to blend it seamlessly into the room’s design; there are options for a moulded plywood seat or an upholstered version, a canework frame or an optional cushion. One of the great things about the chair when it comes to versatility and different uses is the fact it weighs so little.

Sebastian Herkner
Sebastian Herkner
Sebastian Herkner

How important is the comfort aspect when developing a chair?

Alongside quality and durability, comfort is essential in product design, particularly in keeping with the sustainable concept of slow furniture. It’s about adopting a holistic approach during the creative process and product development stage. In today’s fast-paced society, we can see a conscious shift towards high-quality products that are durable and timeless, pieces that can be passed down from one generation to the next. Thonet has always been synonymous with these principles, and I make it my goal as well to incorporate this ethos into my designs for the Thonet brand. Products will only have a long life if they are comfortable to use.

Sebastian Herkner

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