Spotted by the designer Alexander Lervik with whom she now collaborates, the young designer Anna Herrmann presented her creations at the Stockholm Design Week, including an amazing chair/armchair model called The Poodle, which we can say has a dog!
Anna Herrmann is undoubtedly one of the names to remember from the Stockholm Design Week in September. She presented three products: the chair and the armchair The Poodle, created for the furniture brand Johanson, and the wall lamp The Juno, designed for the Noon collection. What these pieces have in common is the presence of the famous Swedish designer Alexander Lervik, who spotted her after she graduated – like him, twenty-five years earlier – from the renowned Beckmans College of Design in Lidingö, near Stockholm. Lervik found that there were more young female design students than women actually working as designers on a professional scale, so he was particularly interested in giving a boost to a talented young female designer. The choice of Anna Herrmann is particularly judicious.
Divided between Stockholm and her own studio in Munich, the German-Swedish designer is indeed very persistent in her ideas, which she expresses in the wake of her personal origins, between Scandinavian minimalism and a more bohemian Bavarian spirit. For the Noon lighting collection directed by Alexander Lervik, she created The Juno, whose design is particularly poetic, with its fluid line and astral elements whose shadows seem to float and project on the wall.
The Poodle: volume and character
As part of the PLUS1 project for the furniture brand Johanson, she worked with Alexander Lervik on the design of the chair and armchair The Poodle, whose ample, cut and raised forms evoke the frank curves of the cuts and shears (sheepskin-pants cut, sheepskin-clipper cut) operated on the poodles. An unusual textile grooming operation as the seat of The Poodle is very surprising and mimetic with the shapes of the poodle that gives it its name.
The funny thing is that the idea for the design came to Anna Herrmann while she was searching on the internet for cutting patterns for her own doggie. “In fact, my web algorithm was bombarded with dog grooming solutions because I was spending my time looking for online tutorials for mine, a cockapoo, since all the salons were closed because of COVID,” she explains. “As soon as I came across the photo of the poodle, I knew there was a potential to create something. The idea was then to try to capture the whole formal essence of this poodle. Not just the volume, the ʺhugs/cuddlyʺ aspect, but also something holding the character, personality and attitude of the poodle in that photo.” The impact of the poodle on the design of The Poodle chair/armchair is also reflected in the choice of material, Teddy Fabric cotton.“It helped support the tactile experience, with this slightly curly fabric that evokes a furry feel, without being completely furry,” she continues.
Another interesting aspect of the product is the way it highlights the principle of collaborative work between a renowned designer like Alexander Lervik and a young recent graduate. “The Juno lamp project, which was published in Alexander’s Noon collection, is completely my own and dates back to my student days,” she notes. “But The Poodle is a truly collaborative work. However, Alexander was willing to gradually give me more space in it until he was content with a simple mentoring role. It was very important to him that I had the latitude to develop real personal creative work in connection with the Johanson brand’s design style.”
The first sketches were drawn and worked on by four hands, before Anna gradually took the reins of the project. “At first, since I was still based in Munich, we exchanged a lot of ideas, sketches and inspiration remotely, via Zoom. Then, I ended up being primarily involved in communication with Johanson, making presentations, dealing with technical issues of product development and machining, making adjustments, etc. But, Alexander was always available to give me good advice. But, Alexander was always available to give me the right advice.” A way of saying that the know-how of Swedish design is not only based on its technical quality, but also on the relational quality of the designers who are its guarantors.