Zanat was formally launched as a design brand only in 2015 and it has come a long way since. Zanat’s roots, however, are to be found much earlier in history. It started more than a century ago when Gano the great grandfather of Zanat’s founders, Orhan and Adem Niksic, stumbled upon what once was a primitive hand-carving technique that originated from a small village close to our hometown of Konjic, just south of Sarajevo on the Neretva River.
Gano learned the carving technique from some pioneer woodcarver-entrepreneurs who (thanks to visionary educational support of the Austro-Hungarian empire’s regime that ruled Bosnia at the time) perfected the village technique beyond recognition and teamed up with already established furniture producers in Sarajevo, such as Buttazoni-Venturini, who exhibited hand-carved furniture pieces at fairs and exhibitions in Milan, Paris (Millennium exhibition of 1900), Vienna.
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. For a short while he then worked for Stella McCartney in London. In the year 2006 Sebastian Herkner founded his own studio. Since that time, he has designed furniture, lamps and smaller items for manufacturers such as Ames, and Tradition, Cappellini, ClassiCon, Dedon, Ex.t, Fontana Arte, Gubi, Linteloo, Moroso, Pulpo, Rosenthal, Schramm Werkstätten, Thonet, Wittmann and Zanotta. Herkner also realizes interior architecture projects and museum and exhibition design. His works have won numerous accolades – among others the IF Award, the Iconic Award and the Elle Deco International Design Award (EDIDA). As Guest of Honor to imm cologne 2016, Sebastian Herkner provided the design for “Das Haus”. Maison&Objet has elected him 2019 “Designer of the Year”.
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, for embracing and integrating them, 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…: Since the success of the Bell Table for ClassiCon in 2012, Sebastian Herkner has never looked back, while remaining true to his word – and himself. 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. In the process he creates not just chairs, sofas, lamps, tables, vases and carpets, but an entire cosmos that shines a new light on how objects can appeal to the senses, and where beauty is cultivated from within the process itself and his empathy towards people.