Ambiente: Curating the smartest solutions

For more than 25 years, Sebastian Bergne has been developing ideas in his London design studio for world brands, and has won numerous international awards. Here, he represents Ambiente in their ‘Solutions’ showcase.

Bergne’s designs can be characterised as simple and rather functional. For this showcase, he believes the objects must be practical and have an everyday use.

Sebastian Bergne Ambiente products table kitchen

“I like products with a cheeky aspect, like my pipe: a drinking glass shaped like a tobacco pipe, produced in a limited edition of 100. And the ‘ring soap’, a 1994 design, can be displayed on your bathroom or kitchen wall like a graphic design. It hangs on a hook, so stays dry and doesn’t get used up so quickly.” – Sebastian. Ambiente asked about his insights. Take a look at the interview below:

The longlist normally runs to over 150 products. How do you choose the finalists? “Imagine a room with lots of open packages in it. I look at each product that’s submitted, working with industry experts. Is there a clever new idea behind it? Is the product easy to use? Does it offer a real solution to everyday problems in the kitchen and around the home? We use everything, we’ll test out a corkscrew on a wine bottle or cut something with a knife. The room looks like a miniature workshop.

Did you find any funny, genius products in previous ‘Solutions’ presentations?

“We did have a fly swatter with a little pair of tweezers in the handle, to remove the dead fly from the wall afterwards. It was nothing truly unusual from a design perspective, but the added functionality was really handy. Often there’s just a small, sometimes unprepossessing detail that has a big effect. ‘Solutions’ shows off precisely this sort of experimentation and invention by makers.

So Mr Bergne, home sweet home: what can we expect the UK to become an Ambiente partner?

“Our country has very good young designers. Typically, many of them implement new ideas using tried and tested technologies, for example in ceramics. This shows the legacy of the Arts & Crafts movement here, of which we are still rightfully proud. At the same time, revolutionary technologies have also made their presence felt. My studio is currently working with an American firm that prints out 3D designs in metal using a complicated high-tech process. The quality and price are market-ready. In future, it will mean that we can manufacture products like this on demand, so producers won’t have to store them.”



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