Wrong Made Right

Take one designer, a playful approach, a mastering of materials and an obsession with geometrics.

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Sebastian Wrong is as informed a designer as you are likely to find. An arts education and background in sculpture has provided him a unique perception on form whilst a full and varied career, characterised by design manufacture, has cemented an extensive knowledge of the technicalities of design with an inherent creative flair.

Educated at the Camberwell School of Art and the Norwich School of Art, where he specialised in sculpture, Wrong then moved on to produce design objects, adding function to his accomplished sculptural forms. Later, Wrong established his own company,

Drove, and produced such significant works as Spun, a hugely acclaimed Light series which is now in production, and much in demand, from Italian manufacturer Flos.

It’s the qualities of honest, skilled manufacturing that interest him. Wrong’s skill base and technical know-how were proven a valuable asset when, in 2005, he took a calculated leap in setting up Established & Sons of which he is a founding director.

Although heavily involved in the running of Established & Sons today, Wrong remains an independent designer producing work for the Established & Sons collections as well as apllying his skills to directing the companys collection and working alongside a stable of the worlds best design talent.

Of all of his work however, it is Heidi, a series of stools launched this April in Milan, that Wrong says most efficiently illustrate his design aesthetic; ‘Heidi isn’t a show-off piece. It’s a very modest piece. Although the construction is actually very complicated.’

Wrong’s skill base and technical know-how are a proven, valuable asset. Wrong explains that the juxtaposition of the two materials and two definite methods of construction; a resin tractor seat and oak legs, produce a tension in the stool’s design but also display the qualities of honest, skilled manufacture that interest him; ‘I made use of the playfulness of the resin, it’s a very honest material. It has been cast and polished, nothing else.’

Wrong adds that the material’s structural and honest qualities bring a playfulness to the design of which he is fond (Wrong further likens the polished resin to Mickey Mouse’s nose). He then combined the liquid, moulded quality of the seat with the wooden pylon-like legs; ‘The tractor seat is about comfort, its an icon of comfort – then you’ve got this rigid timber construction that brings everything back to the ground.’

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The seemingly elementary design makes use of details that will delight anyone with a knowledge of, or thirst for quality design – they are subtle and discreet.

And it is a characteristic of Wrong’s work to conceal sophisticated, complex procedures within a design whose first appeal, it’s pavement pull, is about humour or wit. With Heidi, Wrong used triangular tapers on the legs, relying on complicated joins produced with the help of a CNC program to produce the necessary accurate angles.

Other recent works by Wrong such as the Convex mirror, Font Clock or Wrong Woods series of cabinets each also display a witty, irreverant twist on iconic or formal shapes.

It is a characteristic of Wrongs work to conceal sophisticated, complex procedures within a design whose first appeal is about humour or wit.

On Heidi Wrong says; ‘It’s a bit naughty, a bit playful and it’s about materials so it’s very much my aesthetic. I’m pulling two things into the design here; I’m pulling in curvaceous comfort and finish and I’m pulling in a rigid, formal use of material.’

Wrong goes on to cite Modernism and ‘that kind of constructionist geometry, like you find in pylons,’ as further current inspirations in his work.

Whatever the ingredients, Wrong’s single-minded approach and dexterity of manufacturing skills have earnt him many admirers – related to Established & Sons and beyond. He is currently in talks with several manufacturers, and has been invited to extend his making skills even further with a project for Vennini, working with the age-old techniques of glass production there; ‘that has opened my eyes to using ceramics and glass within lighting products. At the moment, creatively, I’m breaking out, having a bit of fun really.

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Photography by Peter Guenzel

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