Berlin, Germany | Wood: Red Oak
Pascal Hien is a German designer, who, after graduating from UDK Berlin in 2014 was awarded a design scholarship at Fabrica Research Center in Italy. Following this his professional experience includes working for Steelcase Inc. and Konstantin Grcic Design. His work often expresses itself through cultural exchange and a commitment to create meaningful design with an honest and responsible approach. He looks at creation in a holistic way, not divided into its single disciplines.
‘What I wanted the object to be is something that creates a presence. I wanted to create something that you can have a relationship with. I didn’t want it to be a passive object. I wanted it to be like a buddy.’
The design process
When restrictions were imposed Hien had to re-arrange his small home to accommodate work desks for him and his partner, who is also a designer. ‘One was in the living room and the other was in the bedroom,’ he says. The pair switched places after three months to refresh their surroundings. ‘The project gave me a chance to make a statement on my feelings during this situation. ‘I was keen to express the sense of uncertainty and adaption. The lockdown created this time of reflection and that was what the object was supposed to represent. I hope it’s an object that speaks about the period.’
The making of the final piece
Hien chose red oak for Migo 01 because of its strength. ‘The chair has a few connections that need to be stable and it was a perfect fit for that. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to replace wood with plastics or other materials, whereas, I think nowadays we could say that it’s very futuristic to use wood in a high tech way.’ The product comes in four colours – natural, grey, black and red. ‘I wanted to show the natural grain, but also highlight the contours of the object as it is quite graphic.
The end result
Migo 01 is a chair which can be used in a number of ways. ‘There’s no front or back. There’s no right or wrong. Yes, it’s a chair and you can sit on it but you can sit on it in various ways. You can adapt to it or it can adapt to your needs.’ Not only that but the user can perch on it or it can also act as a side-table. Ultimately, It’s a companion or a friendly little helper.’ It’s probably important to point out that it isn’t something designed to be lounged on, as Hien is happy to admit. ‘You’re not supposed to be 100 per cent comfortable. You’re supposed to have an awake mind.’