Interview with Stefanie Hering: Designer. Entrepreneur. Mother

How do you celebrate family dinners at home?
The whole family used to sit around the table, but today my two daughters have long since flown the nest. When they come home from university a few times a year, we cook, eat and feast. The fridge is full, the table lavishly set, and you immediately feel welcome and at home. By the way, every child has their own clear preferences and favourite pieces of porcelain. It is a real pleasure for me to choose from the full porcelain cupboard what is then put on the table to everyone's delight.

What can we learn from our children?
"The fearless view of the world and that progress always means throwing yesterday's and today's assumptions overboard. In the course of life, this may be an annoying process in some aspects. But it is crucial in any creative project: to empathise with people, with designs for products and collections that people really use, live with, enjoy the beauty and practicality of - for far more than a decade."

What do you pass on to your children?
"My credo: Never give up! Life's desires do not come true in a linear fashion, but it is always worth fighting for a true passion. And a friendly scepticism towards limits set from outside, especially when it comes to achieving goals for women. “

What values do you convey with your design?
"It doesn't need an I, it needs a we. That's my motto, both privately - as a mother - and professionally in the team. The best ideas are worth as much as the dialogue they spark. Only through discussion do I make progress in my work as a designer. My employees - whether at the headquarters or in the manufactory in Reichenbach - form a very special family. We communicate at eye level, with mutual respect. I know each of the up to 80 production steps in detail. And when a new collection is created with skill and expertise, there is pure magic in the air: each piece is unique. Each bears the mark of the hand. My design shows the indescribable value of handwork.

There is a story behind every creation. What do the objects you design tell?
"My grandparents had a farm. Eating together was a central part and important moment of family life. I realised early on that the food that goes on the table deserves a proper stage. And I wanted to build that stage. At the age of 16, I started an apprenticeship in pottery and found myself increasingly enjoying the beauty, the possibilities, but also the challenges of porcelain. That's why I decided to do additional studies in ceramic design and there I got the answer to my questions: What is my style? What do I want to give to the world? My porcelain tells of this passion, of my drive to always question the commonplace."

How significant are the past and the future for you as a designer?
"The past belongs to all of us because we can draw and learn from it every day and are rooted in it. We have to learn to see. The future belongs to our children. So it is important to me that and how we actively shape and leave the world behind. As a designer, I try to anticipate social developments, how we live, needs. All this influences the design process of my objects. I try to go through the world with my eyes open."

What does design need so that it never goes out of fashion?
"Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said: "The material is beautiful - we should show it". This is also my personal design postulate when I design. Because the perfection of form lies in concentrating on the essence. No matter what material we designers work with, my very strong opinion is that you leave the material room to breathe and to develop. I don't impose a shape on porcelain or glass, but emphasise their beauty in an organically grown design. To do that, however, you have to know your material very well. I see this quality in all designs, which fascinate us the most: They radiate a lightness, naturalness and beauty of form that lives from the material and its high aesthetics itself. I would like to pass on this respect for resources to the next generation.

How environmentally friendly does design have to be in times of climate change?
"I see it as my task as a designer to think about sustainability in the design of products - with my own children and their generation in mind. I only work with companies and partners who live a philosophy of sustainability in order to constantly improve production and processes with a view to the environment. This concerns raw materials, the manufacturing cycle, packaging and transport, an important, highly complex process."

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